Here's something I'm more than a little surprised to find myself typing: I feel sorry for Paris Hilton. I mean, don't get me wrong -- I still think she's vapid, immature, spoiled, foolish, homophobic, and an overall waste of food who stole from UB40 to make that irritating "Stars Are Blind" song. But now that she's opened up about the repercussions of her infamous sex tape, I find myself grudgingly sympathetic to her situation.
Hilton, as you may remember, was launched into celebrity status back in 2004 via the one-two punch of her reality show The Simple Life airing immediately after the release of her sex tape with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, 1 Night in Paris. Seemingly overnight, she went from a party fixture to a media obsession, and although she maintained that she never approved the public release of the tape, it was hard not to imagine that she enjoyed the fame that came with it.
Based on her recent interview about the topic, though, I'm inclined to believe otherwise.
Hilton sat down with The Daily Mirror for a discussion about how her life has changed in the last decade. When asked about the graphic sex tape which was recorded and then released to the world by Salomom, she said,
It was the most painful thing I ever went through in my life. This was not just some random person, it was my boyfriend who I was with for a few years and who I really loved and trusted. It was such a violation of everything. I was so hurt and so in shock and it’s been hard for me to ever really trust anyone again, especially guys, because it’s the most horrible thing you could do to a person.
You know, I think she's probably telling the truth about this. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I've actually seen the video, and -- what? Oh come on, like you were never curious. Anyway, from what I remember, it REALLY didn't seem like something intended for prime time. Unlike Farrah Abraham's anal-squirtapalooza or whatever, Hilton's video truly comes across as a private affair. Particularly when you consider it doesn't put Hilton in much of a flattering/sexy light at all -- I think she giggles and "EWWWW"s her way through the whole thing.
I imagine that it really was a major betrayal, and the two of them even went on to duke it out in court when Salomon sued her for defamation (after she publicly said she was "out of it" and didn't know what she was doing while the camera was rolling) and Hilton counter-sued for violation of privacy, illegal business practices, and infliction of emotional distress.
Hilton's porn-assisted ascension into the limelight may have been difficult at the time, but it's undeniable that the tape helped eventually pave her way to Forbes’ Most Over-Exposed list. Still, she says she can't understand the increasingly common starlet strategy of "leaking" a sex video:
It’s very bizarre to me to see girls purposely doing it to launch a career, and I think it’s kind of pathetic and disgusting.
Personally, I think I'd have chosen different words if I had my very own sex tape permanently floating around the Internet along with innumerable paparazzi crotch shots, but I get her meaning. Clearly Paris Hilton wishes she could take back that part of her own past, and it must be mind-boggling to see other people deliberately making a choice she so deeply regrets.
What do you think about this? Do you think Paris Hilton really did feel damaged by her sex tape, or do you think she secretly enjoyed the publicity?
Image via Eva Rinaldi/Flickr