Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American heiress of the Hilton Hotel fortune, a model and actress. Hilton is frequently derided from some quarters for epitomizing the vacuity, narcissism, and extreme promiscuity of American celebrity life, although some believe that she makes at least some attempt to cultivate and play up to this persona in an ironic fashion.
She was born in New York, New York, the eldest of four children born to real estate mogul Richard Hilton and former actress Kathy Richards. Her sister and brothers are Nicholai Olivia "Nicky" Hilton, Barron Nicholas Hilton and Conrad Hughes Hilton.
Her paternal grandparents are Barron Hilton and Marilyn Hawley. He was the second child of Hilton Hotel chain founder Conrad Hilton and Mary Barron. Her granduncles are Conrad "Nicky" Hilton and Eric Hilton, and her grandaunt is Francesca Hilton, whose mother is Zsa Zsa Gabor. The family worth of Barron Hilton and his descendants is estimated at over $335,000,000. The family's original surname was Holver, which was borne by Augustus Holver, Paris's paternal great-great-grandfather, a Norwegian immigrant.
On the maternal side of her family, Hilton is a niece of two popular Disney child stars of the 1970s and 1980s, Kim Richards and Kyle Richards, who appeared in such films as Escape From Witch Mountain and television series like Nanny and the Professor and Little House on the Prairie.
Paris moved between several homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, California and the Hamptons. After secondary education, she decided not to go to college. Instead, she worked as a fashion model for Catherine Malandrino and Marc Bouwer, and on an ad campaign for Italian label Iceberg.
Paris and her sister Nicky, with whom she is often mentioned, are known for their jet-set lifestyles, though Paris has more readily sought the spotlight as a celebrity. Hilton has also been widely discussed by tabloids. In 2000, the National Enquirer reported a casual friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio as something far more intimate. She has, however, dated several notables, including actor Edward Furlong, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, model Jason Shaw, Chicago Bears football player Brian Urlacher, singers Rob Mills, Deryck Whibley, and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. While Paris was dating Nick Carter she sported bruises, which caused rumours that Nick may have hit Paris. This rumour was neither confirmed nor denied by Paris at the time. A few months later, she announced that those "bruises" were from a magazine photo shoot (just when the magazine was coming out). Hilton was also blamed by the media for breaking up the relationship between Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis and singer Delta Goodrem.
Hilton has also received a lot of press for a variety of incidents, mainly party antics. She's been said to have pushed in front of others in line for a public bathroom, saying she only wanted to look at herself in the mirror. Hilton has danced on the top of bar banquettes, worn shirts reading "Got Blow?," and others times worn no top at all. One of her more famous quotes is: "What's a soup kitchen?"
Hilton had a cameo appearance in Zoolander (2000), and has also appeared in the short QIK2JDG as a model, as well as The Hillz, Wonderland, and the big-screen adaptation of The Cat in the Hat. Pictures of her have appeared in several magazines, including GQ, Vanity Fair and FHM.
Hilton and her best friend, Nicole Richie, starred in the 2003 FOX hit reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived with a family on their farm in rural Altus, Arkansas. Highlights of the show included the girls performing poorly at various jobs, making out with the local boys, and numerous instances of them shown as "fish out of water." On March 19, 2004, she suffered a horseback riding accident while filming The Simple Life 2, requiring treatment at a hospital.
She was also the subject of South Park season 8 episode 12, "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" in which she opens a store called "Stupid Spoiled Whore" selling girls everything they need to emulate her.
On top of her acting career, she has also helped to design purses for Samantha Thavasa and Toys for Tots. Despite her successes, Hilton's recent attempts to start a modeling company and a makeup line seem to have been unsuccessful.
She is the founder of Heiress Records, a label on which she plans to release her debut album in 2005.
An unauthorized sex video of Hilton with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, who leaked it onto the Internet, was released shortly before The Simple Life debuted, causing a sensation. On June 9, 2004 it was released as a DVD titled One Night in Paris. Hilton sued Salomon for releasing the tape. In July, the suit was settled, with Hilton receiving $400,000 and a percentage of the profits. The original video, and a rip of the DVD, are still circulating on the Internet.