Paris Hilton says 'humiliating' sex tape 'will hurt me for the rest of my life'

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·3-min read
Paris Hilton attends the American Music Awards on November 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre /AMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)
Paris Hilton attends the American Music Awards on November 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre /AMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)

Paris Hilton still experiences trauma and humiliation as a result of the sex tape leaked online almost 20 years ago.

A three-minute video of her and partner Rick Salomon — filmed in 2001 — was released without the star's knowledge in 2003, with Salomon later selling the longer version of the tape himself.

Hilton, 40, told Vanity Fair in an interview reflecting on her life that the video remains "something that will hurt me for the rest of my life".

Read more: Hilton blames sex tape scandal on childhood trauma

She said she didn't want to leave her house when the tape surfaced and that she "felt like my life was over".

"Just the way that I was spoken about just on all the nightly talk-shows, and all the media, and just every day having to see things, and with my family was just heart-breaking, where I would be in tears every single day," said Hilton.

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Hilton said the whole situation was "humiliating" and that she still experiences post-traumatic stress disorder when she talks about the issue.

"That's a private experience between two people," she said. 

"You think that you love someone and you trust them, and to have your trust betrayed like that and for the whole world to be watching and laughing, and even more hurtful to me, for people to think that I did that on purpose, that just killed me."

Read more: Hilton says sex tape ruined chances of being loved like Princess Diana

Hilton said the subsequent trend for stars to deliberately release sex tapes heightened the impression that she had been responsible for organising the release of her own.

It was reported that Salomon paid Hilton $400,000 (£289,000) when he struck a deal with a porn company for the 45-minute version of the tape, but Hilton has claimed she never earned a dollar — with E! reporting she gave the cash to charity.

Paris Hilton pictured in New York City in 2003. (Credit: James Devaney/WireImage)
Paris Hilton pictured in New York City in 2003. (Credit: James Devaney/WireImage)

Hilton said the landscape around these leaks has changed since the early noughties and that things would be different if the tape had been released today.

She said: "I'm again happy that things have changed and that people are realising that is just, the woman in the situation who is the victim should not be treated like that or spoken about like that."

Read more: Hilton says she was treated like punchline by David Letterman

The sex tape scandal took place as Hilton was just breaking out as a star thanks to her pairing with fellow socialite Nicole Richie on reality TV series The Simple Life.

In her 2020 documentary This Is Paris, the star said she felt "electronically raped" by what Salomon had done with the video. 

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