Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American celebutante, businesswoman, model, actress and recording artist. She is an heiress to a share of both the Hilton Hotel fortune and the real estate fortune of her father Richard Hilton.
As an actress, she has appeared in several minor roles, most notably in the horror film House of Wax (2005). Some of her more recognizable screen work has been alongside friend Nicole Richie in the Simple Life. In 2006, she released her debut self-titled album Paris. Hilton has since garnered notoriety as a result of several legal incidents, the repercussions of which have caused Hilton to serve time in a correctional institution in 2007.
Born in New York City, New York, Hilton is the oldest of four children of Richard and Kathy Hilton. Paris has a younger sister, Nicky, and younger brothers Barron Hilton II, and Conrad Hilton III.
On the maternal side of her family, Paris is a niece of two child stars of the 1970s, Kim Richards and Kyle Richards. Paris was related by marriage to Nicole Richie's godmother, Nancy Davis, when Nancy's brother, Greg, was married to Kim Richards.
Paris' paternal grandparents are hotel chairman Barron Hilton, and his wife, the former Marilyn Hawley; Barron Hilton's parents were Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton and his first wife, Mary Barron. When Conrad Hilton died in 1979, he left nothing in his will to his children or other descendants. Barron Hilton contested his father's decision and prevailed in court in 1988. On her paternal side, Paris is related through marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor and Elizabeth Taylor.
Paris moved between several exclusive homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons. She attended Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California her freshman year of high school; Dwight School in New York for her sophomore and junior years; then a few months at Canterbury School in Newmilford, Connecticut before dropping out and eventually earned a GED.
The value of Paris' inheritance has been estimated at between $30 and $50 million.
Hilton, known for her love of small dogs, including a Yorkshire Terrier and a female Chihuahua named Tinkerbell, purchased a male Chihuahua July 25, 2007 from Pets of Bel Air in Los Angeles.
The leak of a three-year-old home-made sex video of Hilton with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon a week prior to the premiere of her Fox reality series The Simple Life attracted worldwide attention in late 2003. The release of the tape led to speculation that it was a deliberate publicity stunt, but Hilton has strongly denied such claims and stated she was "embarrassed" and "humiliated" by the publicity brought by the tape. The sex video, subsequently titled 1 Night in Paris in 2004, was later released on DVD and Hilton received directorial credit. The film earned three AVN Awards in 2005, including "Best Selling Title of the Year". Hilton originally sued Salomon over the release of the tape, but settled out of court in July 2005. Hilton was reportedly awarded up to $400,000 and planned to donate a percentage to charity, although in a 2006 interview with GQ magazine she stated that she never received money from the sale of the video.