Paris Hilton is the grand daughter of billionaire tycoon Barron Hilton. From the age of 19 she was named New York's "It" girl and has rarely been out of the tabloids since- due to her very public extravagant lifestyle and run-ins with the law.
Paris Whitney Hilton is born in New York to the Hilton family. As the eldest of four children- Nicky Hitlon, Barron Hilton II and Conad Hilton III, she is immediate heir to the vast Hilton Hotel and real estate dynasty. She is the daughter of Richard and Kathy Hilton (Richards) and the niece of child stars Kim Richards and Kyle Richards. She is also related to Zsa Zsa Gabor and Elizabeth Taylor. Her great-grandparents were Hilton Hotels' founder Conrad Hilton and his first wife, Mary Barron. When Conrad Hilton died in 1979, he left nothing in his will to his children or other descendants. His son Barron Hilton contested this decision in court in 1988 and won. The value of Paris's inheritance has been widely estimated to be between $30 and $50 million.
Hilton moves between several exclusive homes throughout her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, as well as Beverly Hills and the Hamptons. She spends her freshman year of high school in Rancho Mirage, California at the Marywood-Palm Valley School. Her sophomore and junior years of high school are spent briefly attending the Canterbury Boarding School, in Connecticut before transferring to the ultra-exclusive Dwight School in New York. She drops out but eventually earns a GED through home-schooling.
Hilton begins modelling as a child with her first appearances in charity events. At 19, she signs with Donald Trump's modelling agency, 'T Management'. Hilton works for New York and London based modeling agencies. She appears in various advertising campaigns, including Iceberg Vodka, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Marciano.
The nineteen year old starts to develop a reputation as a socialite- identified by 'The Guardian' as "New York's leading It Girl" whose fame is beginning to "extend beyond the New York tabloids".
Living the glitzy socialite life from a relatively early age, attending exclusive parties and being followed by the gossip columns, Hilton seems to be addicted to obtaining celebrity status. Perhaps this was encouraged by her mother, Kathy Richards, who had a brief acting career, mainly on TV.
Intent on becoming famous, Hilton spends as much as it takes to make it, whether this is on television or in music. Her effort includes a total physical makeover;dying her hair blond and using blue tinted contact lenses. She also reportedly undergoes plastic surgery but no amount of money can change what she hates most about herself: her size 11 feet.
She appears in cameo roles in films such as 'Zoolander' (2001) and Nine Lives (2002). She guest-stars in TV shows such as 'The O.C.' (2003) and 'George Lopez' (2002).
'The Simple Life' TV series premieres on December 2, 2003, starring Hilton and Lionel Richie's adopted daughter Nicole Richie. The series follows their rural exploits ie. living with a family on their farm in Altus, Arkansas and becomes a hit for the Fox network.
After the first season ends it is picked up for two more on Fox. However the network then cancels the show after a falling out between Hilton and Richie. The show is consequently picked up by E! Entertainment Television for a fourth and fifth season.
Critics believe the endless celebrity fallouts surrounding Hilton are in fact publicity stunts in order to keep her in the press. It has even been said that the online leak of her infamous sex video with her then boyfriend Rick Salomon, was all part of her self-publicity campaign. If it is, it worked well for her. The leak came a week before 'The Simple Life's premiere attracting worldwide publicity in late 2003. Hilton becomes an overnight celebrity thanks to 'One Night in Paris' (2004)
In September 2004, Hilton releases an autobiography; 'Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose'-co-written by Merle Ginsberg. Hilton reportedly receives a $100,000 in advance payment for it. Despite the media criticizing the writing as childish the book still manages to become a New York Times bestseller. Next comes a designer diary, also written with Ginsberg, called 'Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All To Me' published on 11th November 2005.
In 2004 Paris is involved with a perfume line by Parlux Fragrances. Originally meant to be a small release, demand is high resulting in a bigger release before Christmas. The launch brings a 47% sales increase for Parlux. After the success of Hilton's perfume, Parlux Fragrances releases several more perfumes with Hilton's name, including fragrances lines for men.
Hilton uses her name to establish a chain of nightclubs called 'Club Paris' in 2004. The first of which in Orlando which is a success and a second club located in Jacksonville, Florida opens in July 2006. Hilton is fired in January 2007 by club owner, Fred Khalilian, after failing to attend several scheduled promotional appearances.
She announces her engagement to Paris Latsis, a Greek shipping heir, but it is called off five months later. Thereafter, she begins dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, but in May Hilton's publicist Elliot Mintz informs the press that Paris and Stavros have broken up.
Hilton strongly denies the sceptics' claims about the video '1 Night in Paris' (2004) and states that she is "embarrassed" and "humiliated" by the publicity brought by it. As if to prove this, Hilton sues Salomon over the release of the tape, but settles out of court in July 2005. Hilton is reportedly awarded up to $400,000 and plans to donate a percentage to charity, although in a 2006 interview with GQ magazine she denies receiving the money from the sale of the video.
Hilton lands her first lead roles in 2006 with the straight-to-DVD releases 'National Lampoon's Pledge This!' (2006) and 'Bottom's Up' (2006). Her role as Paige Edwards in the 2005 remake of the 1950s horror film 'House of Wax' wins the Teen Choice Award for 'Best Scream' and earns her a nomination for 'Choice Breakout Performance Female'. She also earns a nomination for 'Best Frightened Performance' at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards.
The first single from Paris, 'Stars Are Blind', is produced by Fernando Garibay, and is released to download on June 20, 2006. It peaks at number eighteen on the Billboard Hot 100. 'Turn It Up' and 'Nothing in This World' follow as worldwide singles. Hilton's self-titled debut album is finally released on 22nd August 2006. Hilton collaborates with Fat Joe and Jadakiss on the song 'Fighting Over Me'. Although the album reaches number six on the Billboard 200 for a week, the number of sales is low.
In August 2006, it is revealed that artists Banksy and Danger Mouse replaced 500 copies of Hilton's debut album in various UK record stores with their own parody remixes and cover art. These include topless photos of Hilton with slogans such as "Every CD you buy puts me even further out of your league".
In September 2006, Hilton is arrested and charged with drink driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, the minimum at which it is illegal to drive in California. As a result Hilton's drivers license is suspended in November 2006. In January 2007 she pleads no contest to the driving charge. Her punishment is 36 months' probation and fines of about $1,500.
Hilton's private life again creates headlines with the launch of ParisExposed.com, a website that features images of personal and medical documents, videos, and other private material. It also reveals private telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of numerous Hollywood celebrities.
On February 3, 2007 Hilton obtains a temporary injunction against the website, closing it down.
Hilton is again caught driving with a suspended license, this time at 70 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. She is also caught driving at night without headlights. Los Angeles Prosecutors decide that these actions, along with the failure to participate in a court-ordered alcohol education programme constitute a violation of the terms of her probation.
Hilton is sentenced by Judge Michael T. Sauer to 45 days in jail for violating her probation. Initially, Hilton plans to appeal the sentence, and starts an online petition asking for a pardon from California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In response, her opponents create a petition to maintain the sentence. Both petitions gain tens of thousands of signatures. Paris then changes lawyers, and drops her plans to appeal.
The press report that Hilton's record label is dropped by Warner Bros. Records, because single and album sales do not meet expectations. 'Heiress Records', had been created in 2004 in order to release her music. The label's only release was 'Paris'.
Hilton is required to begin her jail term on June 5, 2007, or risk her sentence being doubled. On June 3, 2007, after attending the MTV Movie Awards, Hilton enters the Men's Central Jail of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. From there, Hilton is transferred by authorities to a special section reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates within the Century Regional Detention Facility, an all female jail in Lynwood. It is anticipated that with good behaviour Hilton will only serve 23 days of her 45 day sentence.
In an surprise turn of events, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca signs orders on the morning of June 7, transferring Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device, due to an unspecified medical condition. According to Baca, under normal circumstances, Hilton should not have served any time in prison, and he adds that "The special treatment, in a sense, appears to be because of her celebrity status".
The same day as Paris as released from prison, Judge Michael Sauer orders her to reappear back in his court the following morning. At the hearing he declines to be briefed by Hilton's attorney in private chambers on the nature of her medical condition and sends her back to jail to serve out her original sentence. However, concern about Hilton's condition leads to her being moved to the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
In a phone interview from jail, Hilton tells Barbara Walters (from the Associated Press) that God had given her a second chance, and that she would no longer "act dumb".
She appears in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the world's "Most Overrated Celebrity". In a poll conducted by the Associated Press and AOL, Hilton is voted the second "Worst Celebrity Role Model of 2006", behind Britney Spears. Critics have alleged that Hilton epitomizes the phrase 'famous for being famous', but she seems to prefer the saying 'there's no such thing as bad publicity'.
Paris is released from prison after serving around half her sentence. She is met by paparzzi and gives her first interview on CNN's 'Larry King Live'. She is quoted as saying that she now has a new outlook on life.