Paris Hilton is sharing the traumatic story behind her infamous sex tape.
In an excerpt from her upcoming memoir published in U.K. newspaper the Times, the heiress and entrepreneur, 42, speaks candidly about how she ended up participating in the tape with ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon, whom she does not mention by name.
Hilton, who was just 18 when she first met Salomon, who proudly went by the nickname “Scum,” says she doesn’t remember much about the night he asked her to make the videotape. But she says that “he kept pushing,” and told her nobody but themselves would ever see it. Desperate to look mature in front of her older boyfriend, Hilton was struggling to understand her sexuality at that age and “wanted to feel like a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin.”
“He told me if I wouldn’t do it, he could easily find someone who would, and that was the worst thing I could think of — to be dumped by this grown man because I was a stupid kid who didn’t know how to play grown-up games,” the Paris: the Memoir author writes, adding that she used alcohol and Quaaludes to let her guard down.
“I needed to prove something to him and to myself, so I got hammered, and I did it,” she shares.
In 2003, long after the couple had split, Hilton learned the tape had been leaked online.
“It took me a minute to make the connection to that private video. I had to close my eyes and breathe. I felt like I was going to throw up. It was inconceivable to me,” she writes. While she reached out to Salomon begging him to stop the release, he told her he had every right to sell the tape because it “had a lot of financial value” due to her burgeoning fame.
“More value than my privacy, obviously. My dignity. My future. Shame, loss and stark terror swept over me,” says Hilton, who was set to appear in The Simple Life. Now a mother herself, Hilton also looks back on the effect her video had on her mother, Kathy Hilton, who “just crumpled into bed and stayed there.” Her father, Rick Hilton, was “red-faced and furious,” and did whatever he could to perform damage control.
“The world thinks of me as a sex symbol, and I’m here for that, because symbol literally means icon. But when people saw that sex tape, they didn’t say ‘icon, they said slut.’ They said ‘whore.’ And they weren’t shy about it,” the star writes.
Last month, Hilton opened up in a revealing interview with Glamour UK about the sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager. She shared about losing her virginity to an older man who she says drugged and raped her, as well as being groomed by one of her high school teachers.
“I was just such a young girl and I got manipulated by my teacher,” she explained. “He took advantage of a young girl and that was something I blocked out as well, I didn’t remember it until years later … he would call me on the phone all the time, just flirting with me, trying to put in my mind that I was this mature woman.”
Hilton has also spoken at length about her experience at Utah’s Provo Canyon School, where she faced emotional and physical abuse as a teen. She first opened up about the experience in her 2020 YouTube documentary, and has gone on to serve as an advocate to shut down similar school programs.
“It’s made such change and I’ve changed laws and now taking this to a federal level,” she shared last year during an appearance on the Australian news program The Project, Yahoo Entertainment previously reported. “So I just feel proud of the woman I am and what I’ve been through and how strong I am. I feel that this is now my legacy and something that is my mission in life and something that really has deep meaning and that I’m going to continue fighting until change is made.”