Paris Whitney Hilton, born February 17, 1981, is a highly influential American media personality, entertainer, and businesswoman. Born in New York City, she was raised by her family, the American hotelier Hiltons, on both coasts of the United States, both in New York City and Beverly Hills. After she turned 16, she became the toast of New York City’s party scene.
Her first credited movie role came in Zoolander as herself in 2001, and since then she has been a consistent fixture in media, often playing herself or a parody version of herself. She has also had TV appearances, especially before her personal brand in television blew up to the point that it was no longer possible for her to appear as a character without reference to her party girl persona. Her most recent appearance as a character other than herself was in the 2010 TV movie The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation, as the voice of Bella.
Paris Hilton is an American entertainer who built up her brand through relentless media appearance and a carefully managed glamorous party-girl persona. In her early 40s now, she is a model and businesswoman with an annual salary of approximately $10 million. Her estimated net worth as of December 2022 is $300 million.
Her broken engagement to model/actor Chris Zylka, which involved a public dispute over an engagement ring worth $2 million, was a minor controversy at the time. Hilton married venture capitalist Carter Reum in 2021. Her husband has a net worth of an estimated $40 million, making Hilton by far the wealthier of the two.
Early in her career, Paris maintained a public persona of a ditzy and oblivious party girl, a popular career move among young female celebrities at the time as it would keep the public at arm’s distance and allow them a modicum of privacy. Primarily appearing in movies and television in roles that would support that persona, she built up string of film and television appearances including guest appearances on fantasy drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer and mystery series Veronica Mars.
Sex Tape and Lawsuit
In 2004, an adult film entitled 1 Night in Paris featuring her was released. Shot by Hilton’s ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon, it was released without her consent. Salomon sued Hilton for defamation for claiming that she did not know she was being taped, and she countersued over the release of the tape. The suit was settled out of court for an estimated $400,000.
The video was parodied by singer-songwriter Alecia (P!nk) Moore in her 2006 music video for the song “Stupid Girls” from her album I’m Not Dead. Hilton in 2021 addressed the video in a Vanity Fair interview, stating that it was something she regretted and would damage her reputation for the rest of her life.
The film resulted in tremendous controversy overshadowing what had until then been the extremely successful release of her reality TV show The Simple Life. Ultimately, Hilton and her career survived the injury of this setback, as did the series, running for 5 seasons in total from 2003 to 2007.
Although she isn’t as widely known for it as her television and film appearances, Hilton had a brief career as a singer, producing a single studio album in 2006, Paris. It received only mixed success commercially, scoring an average of 57/100 on review aggregator Metacritic. Despite this, the album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart. No single off the album charted, however, and the lack of any significant followup indicated that the album sold only due to the celebrity of the artist producing it.
This album was not the end of Hilton’s musical career, however, as she has had two stints as a party DJ. “Paris Hilton: Foam & Diamonds” lasted from 2013-2017 and its sibling show, “Harrah’s Atlantic City: The Pool After Dark” ran from 2014 to 2019. In 2021, Hilton began a podcast on iHeartRadio called This Is Paris, which is ongoing.
Hilton’s most powerful asset is her ability as a social influencer. Her fashion endorsements are worth up to $1.5 billion, and her fragrances are among the most popular celebrity fragrances on the market.
As an heiress of Conrad Hilton’s hotel chain, Hilton has some pull in the hospitality business and has helped design the Paris Beach Club for Century Properties, in the Philippines. With this experience, she did unveil plans for a luxury hotel chain of her own. However, these plans were revealed in 2016 and as of 2022, no work has gone forward into making these plans a reality.
Overall, Hilton’s business empire has thrived without marketing on her great-grandfather’s name to move into a part of the business world that she hasn’t held significant interest in during the past. Paris Hilton’s business empire is sufficiently secure without entering the hotel field.
All of Paris Hilton’s investments and business activities give her a healthy annual salary in excess of $10 million as of 2022. With the exception of the controversy mentioned above, Hilton has maintained a positive public image for most of her adult life, entering her early 40s she is well-positioned to continue to be an influential businesswoman and social media influencer for a long time to come, which bodes well for her earning potential in future years. Her salary and investments have combined to give her a net worth estimated around $300 million.
Charitable Giving and Advocacy
As a philanthropist, Hilton is an active supporter of animal welfare and children’s medicine. Her most active philanthropic concerns are Children’s Hospital LA, Make-a-Wish Foundation, American Foundation for AIDS Research, Starlight Children’s Foundation and the American Humane Society. Hilton also supports the arts through the Sevens Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting and elevating artists and art expositions. Hilton makes investments in the next generation of entrepreneurs as well, with funding opportunities in companies like Daily Harvest, R3SET, Genies Good Catch, and many others.
Paris Hilton’s career began with the image of an unengaged socialite and has continued to evolve through her engagement with film, television and music. She is one of the world’s top social media influencers, and a celebrity who uses her public image to do public good. Despite early career setbacks she has been consistently an influencer and celebrity mentor with an eye on her appearance before the public and on leaving the world a better place than she found it. Her net worth of $300 million is impressive, but not as impressive as her acting resume or her impressive impact as a humanitarian.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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