Hilton began modeling as a child, appearing first in charity events. At 19, she signed with Donald Trump's
modeling agency, T Management. Hilton has worked with modeling agencies such as
Ford Models Management in New York, Models 1
Agency in London, Nous Model Management in Los
Angeles, and Premier Model Management in London. She has appeared
in numerous advertising campaigns, including Iceberg Vodka,
Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Marciano.
In 2001, Hilton began to develop a reputation as a 19-year-old socialite, being
identified as "New York's leading It
Girl" whose fame was beginning to "extend beyond the New York tabloids".
The reality seriesThe Simple
Life premiered on December 2,
2003, starring Hilton and Nicole Richie,
the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie, and it became a mid-season
success for the Fox Broadcasting Company . During the
course of the season, Hilton and Richie lived with a family on their farm in
rural Altus, Arkansas.
The show featured the two working at a variety of blue collar jobs, making out
with local men, and performing menial tasks associated with farm life. The
pair's resistance to appreciate and engage in the "simple life" was a
central theme on the series.
After the success of the first season, The Simple Life was followed
by two more seasons on Fox. The network then canceled the show after a falling
out between Hilton and Richie, but the show was consequently picked up by E! Entertainment Television for a fourth
season, and another season is scheduled to premiere in May 2007 on E!.
In August 2006, it was revealed that artists Banksy and Danger Mouse
replaced 500 copies of Hilton's debut album in various UK
record stores with their own parodyremixes and cover art. Along with completely reworked liner
notes that included topless photos of Hilton slathered with slogans like
"Every CD you buy puts me even further out of your league", Danger
Mouse has replaced Hilton's original songs with his own remixes.
Hilton is the founder of Heiress
Records, a sub-label of Warner Bros. Records, which she created in
2004. Heiress Records' only release as of yet has been Paris, though Hilton has said that she
plans to sign new artists in the future. According to June 2007
news reports, however, Hilton has been dropped by Warner Bros. Records, because
single and album sales did not meet expectations. Furthermore, a Warner
reprensentative was quoted saying, "We are not expecting any new Paris Hilton material in
the foreseeable future."
Hilton has helped design a collection of purses for Japanese label Samantha
Thavasa, and has also been involved in the design of a jewelry line for Amazon.com.
In 2004, Hilton was involved in the creation of a perfume line by Parlux
Fragrances. Originally set to be a small release, demand was high and
necessitated a wider release before Christmas of 2004. The launch was followed
by a 47% increase in sales for Parlux, which was predominantly due to sales of
the Hilton-branded perfume. After the success of Hilton's perfume, Parlux
Fragrances released several more perfumes with Hilton's name, including
fragrances lines for men.
Hilton lent her name to a chain of nightclubs
known as Club Paris in 2005. The first of which in Orlando,
Florida has been a success, and a second club located in Jacksonville, Florida opened in July 2006.
Hilton was fired in January 2007 by the owner of Club Paris, Fred
Khalilian, after she had failed to attend several scheduled promotional
According to Forbes Magazine, Hilton earned
approximately $2 million in 2003–2004, $6.5 million in 2004–2005, and $7
million in 2005–2006.
Hilton was engaged to fashion model Jason Shaw
to early 2003.
On May 29,
2005, she announced her
engagement to Paris Latsis, a Greek shipping
heir; the engagement was called off five months later. Thereafter, she began
dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, but in May 2006,
Hilton publicist Elliot Mintz informed the press Paris and
Stavros had broken up. In an attempt to rediscover herself, Hilton imposed a
ban on sexual activity for one year starting in July 2006. She told Regis and Kelly: "One-night stands
are not for me. I think it's gross when you just give it up. Guys want you
more, if you don't just hand it to them on a platter."
In July 2006, Hilton was photographed kissing her best male friend Brandon
Davis, the man who "ranted against" Lindsay Lohan
on national television, five days later.
In January 2007, Hilton's private life again created headlines with the
launch of ParisExposed.com, a website that featured images of personal
and medical documents, video, and other private material, allegedly obtained
when the contents of a storage locker rented by Hilton were auctioned off due to
lack of payment. CNN's
Anderson Cooper 360 discussed footage obtained
from the website which features Hilton using several ethnic slurs. On February 3,
2007 Hilton obtained a
temporary injunction against ParisExposed.com, closing down the website.
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 Foxreality seriesThe 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.