If there is another celebrity who dominated the media in the 00s besides Britney Spears, it would have to be Paris Hilton.
Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the man who founded Hilton Hotels. As an heir to the Hilton fortune, she is the quintessential upper-class “socialite” – an heiress who is famous (and infamous) almost exclusively because she comes from an extremely wealthy family.
Hilton is the oldest of four children: she has one sister, Nicky, and two brothers. Kicked out of the Canterbury Boarding School in 1999, Paris has a wild personality and for much of the 00s decade was involved in some kind of scandal or another.
She’s best known for the sex tape she made in 2003, and the TV series The Simple Life that she did with friend and fellow socialite Nicole Richie. Since then, she’s done a book, some films, modeling, and even a pop album. Hilton also did jail time in Los Angeles county in 2007, which was widely reported on. Her famous phrase is “That’s Hot.”
A homemade sex video [link NSFW] of Hilton and Rick Salomon (her boyfriend at the time) was leaked on the Internet in 2003. It was later released on DVD as 1 Night in Paris. In January of 2007, a website called parisexposed.com was launched, which featured personal documents and video from a storage locker of Hilton’s. She had failed to keep up payments, and the locker contents were auctioned off. Included in the locker contents was another video, shot by Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild fame, which featured Paris nude in a bathtub and smoking pot, among other things.
DUI arrest, prison time
In 2006, Hilton was arrested and charged with a DUI in California. In 2007, she was caught driving on a suspended license on two separate occasions, one which involved excessive speeding in a 35mph zone with no headlights at night. On May 4, 2007 Hilton was sentenced by Judge Michael Sauer to 45 days in jail for violating her probation. Paris checked into the all-female Century Regional Detention Facility, in Lynwood, California. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca then signed orders reassigning Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition. However, Judge Sauer would have none of that, and sent her back. (It was an emotional courtroom appearance on Hilton’s part). She was released from jail on June 26.
In addition to 5 seasons of The Simple Life, Paris has done appearances in various films, the most famous one being the remake of House of Wax, which features Paris in a rather nasty death scene. She has done 1 pop music album, titled Paris.
Here’s a version of an infamous Carls Jr. commercial Paris starred in:
A fan of small dogs, Hilton lives with a female Chihuahua named Tinkerbell among many other pets (17 dogs in all). Paris Hilton is frequently seen carrying Tinkerbell at social events. She also created an apparel line for dogs called Little Lily. At one time, a nightclub was opened in Orlando featuring her name (Club Paris) which sported a giant Styrofoam replica of Tinkerbell at the front entrance.
Paris Hilton is the seedy side of the 2000s. She is representative of society’s fascination with the decadence of the super-rich, made much more visible by the constant 24/7 media presence, an atmosphere saturated with reality-show programming, and the hunger for any kind of scandal or real-life drama. You can hate Paris Hilton, but for awhile there she was difficult to ignore.