Paris Hilton is ready to reclaim her story, share her ups and downs

Paris Hilton is adding her voice to the chorus of women speaking out to reclaim their narrative from the media and the public.

This week she released “Paris: The Memoir,” sharing what it was like growing up as Hilton — she was sent to programs for troubled teens but found mental and physical abuse, a leaked sex tape, the creation of a party girl image. and high voice and co-stars in a reality show, “The Simple Life,” with Nicole Richie.

In 2020, Hilton released a YouTube documentary ‘This is Paris’ about her experiences at the schools. “That was the first time I got really vulnerable and real and shared my story and what I’ve been through,” Hilton said.

Today, Hilton is involved in advocacy and has welcomed a son with husband Carter Reum.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Hilton talks about speaking out, slowing down and how she feels about being called a socialite.

Answers may have been edited for brevity and clarity.


AP: You are one of the few women who have taken control of their story in recent years. Has there been anyone who has inspired you to do the same or consider doing it?

HILTON: I was at the premiere of Demi Lovato’s documentary a few years ago, and I was so blown away by her honesty and vulnerability and talking about so many private moments in her life. That really inspired me to be able to feel free and be open and be more honest about what I was going through, because especially in Hollywood, it can be really hard, especially on your mental health. A lot of people go through things, and we all try to project this perfect life, but life isn’t perfect.

AP: If you could map out how this book will be received, what would it look like?

HILTON: I’ve been misunderstood and underestimated for so long, and there’s a lot more to me than people think. It all really started with my documentary, “This Is Paris”. It was the first time I got really vulnerable and real and shared my story and what I went through.

AP: The public knows a lot about your ups and downs, but you shared things like sexual assault and abortion in your book. It was difficult;

HILTON: A lot of the things that I put in the book were very difficult to write, a lot of memories that I tried not to think about for so many years. But I think it was important to include them because they are part of my story. I just know there are many women out there who need to hear this story too.

AP: Despite your many hats of being an entrepreneur, a DJ, having 30 perfumes and a billion dollar business — you still qualify as a socialite. Does this annoy you?

HILTON: I don’t really enjoy the term socialite because I feel like there’s a lot more that I do, but I feel like people are finally recognizing me now and seeing me for the entrepreneur that I am.

AP: How is your advocacy going against programs that are supposed to reform so-called bad kids?

HILTON: In the last two years, we’ve had such an impact, and I’ve already changed laws in eight states and all the way to Ireland. I will be back in Washington, DC, in April to introduce a new bill, and we already have bipartisan support. Well, I just pray that everybody does the right thing because there are over 150,000 kids that are sent to these facilities every year. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry… I’m not going to stop fighting until change happens.

AP: You write about how it wasn’t easy to communicate with your parents about what happened to you. Did you actually manage to discuss it with them?

HILTON: My family and I have never been closer and had no idea what went on behind closed doors in these places. They have misleading marketing. My parents just thought I was going to a regular boarding school and all the brochures have these pictures of kids smiling with rainbows and riding horses. I totally understand now, especially as an adult, everything. My parents and I have talked about everything, and it’s been extremely healing for us. My mom is coming with me to Washington, DC, and is there to support me.

AP: You are a new mom! (Hilton’s son, Phoenix Baron Hilton Rheaume, was born via surrogate.) Do you ask for it for all your travel and business obligations?

HILTON: I say not much just because I want to be there for all the moments, so I try to do as much as possible from home, building my podcasting studio there, my recording studio for my music, a photography studio for photo shoots . I try to work from home as much as possible so I can be in and out of his room because I’m so obsessed with my little boy.

AP: You also write in your book about how you have ADHD and your husband researched it when you were dating to get a better understanding of you.

HILTON: He’s so supportive. And he talks to my ADHD doctor and he’s really done so much research. He basically knows more about it than I do and teaches me these things every day as well. So it was really awesome.

AP: Even sharing that you have ADHD will help people feel seen.

HILTON: When people can harness it in the right way, it can actually be a superpower. That’s why I think in my career I’ve always been ahead of my time and taking risks and being an innovator and someone who thinks outside the box. I really attribute it to my ADHD. People should watch the movie ‘The Disruptors’ to understand more.

AP: Last question. In your shared book you have five cell phones. One is dedicated to prank calls. Do you have them on you today?

HILTON: Yes. I only have two of them here. (Hilton holds three phones.) I like to prank call my mom.

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