Paris Hilton has never been the celebrity who shows vulnerability, but her 2004 sex tape, '1 Night in Paris' seems to have left her in a painful place. In a new Netflix documentary called 'The American Meme', the socialite opened up about the nightmare she went through when the sex tape was released.
"Literally overnight my entire life changed… everyone was making fun of it," Hilton said in tears. "I didn’t leave my house for, like months. I was so embarrassed. I felt like everyone on the street was laughing at me." She added, "It was like being raped. It felt like I’ve lost part of my soul and been talked about in such cruel and mean ways."
The video was released by her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon and Hilton has always maintained that it was never intended to be released. The timing of the release was just a couple of months after Hilton's TV show 'The Simple Life' came out in 2003. It brought Hilton and the show a lot of media attention. However, Hilton always said that she did not approve of its release.
Salomon even sued her for defamation to which Hilton countersued over the tape's release. They reached an out of court settlement in July 2005. She was reportedly awarded about $400,000 dollars. Since then, Paris has come far. From launching very successful clothing and accessories lines and creating bestselling perfumes and skin care products, along with a few hundred other things, Paris is a businesswoman with a fruitful career.
However, the documentary shows that Hilton may not be happy in her glitzy life, after all. "I’m a 21-year-old for the past two decades. It’s all part of an image and a brand and being a product."
She added, "I just lived in this bubble. The reality show world – that whole industry – you don't really grow up. You're almost stuck in this character. I (have been) a 21-year-old for the past two decades. … It's like 'Groundhog Day'. Everything I do is just the same, different day. I already do have a legacy, but once you start, that you just can't stop. A lot of people don't understand that you need to be sustainable forever."
She also reveals that she considers her fans her family, especially since she feels like her parents don't really get her. "I feel closer with them than I do with most people I know," she said. "They're really like my family. I'm constantly traveling… so it gets really lonely sometimes. I've been through so much in life and I don't really trust people. I've just grown accustomed to being (expletive) over. But with my fans, I don't feel like that at all. Not a day goes by when I'm not texting, FaceTiming or emailing with my Little Hiltons."
Directed by Bert Marcus, 'The American Meme' has in-depth interviews with stars like Paris, who are influencers of the era. Guest appearances include Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski and DJ Khaled.