Paris Hilton has opened up about being “vilified” over her leaked sex tape and recalled how she was “made to look like the bad one”.
During a cover interview with Glamour UK, Hilton, 42, spoke candidly about the way she was treated after the 2003 leak of the intimate tape she’d filmed with her then-boyfriend, Rick Salomon. The tape was filmed when she was 19 and Salomon went on to sell a longer version of the tape in 2004.
Hilton said she was the one who became the target of public harassment and scrutiny, despite the fact that Salomon, now 54, was more than a decade her senior.
“I was vilified when it came out. I was made to look like I was the bad one and no one was looking and seeing this grown man [Salomon],” she said.
Two decades after the release of the tape, Hilton said she is still haunted by the video and the idea that she will be “judged” for the rest of her life on “one night” with someone she loved.
“It’s always in the back of my mind when I walk into a room and I see people,” she said. “Because of one night, I am going to be judged for the rest of my life, for someone who I was in love with. And then people think that I am bad or I’m a slut because of something I did with someone who I was with and that was never meant to be public.”
Hilton also reflected on the impact the experience had on her future romantic relationships, revealing that the tape made it harder for her to trust her partners.
“I already had severe trust issues,” she recalled. “But people assumed that I was [a certain way] because of the tape and because of the way I portrayed myself…”
Hilton said she actually considered herself “asexual” for a long time because she didn’t have interest in pursuing sexual relationships with any of the men she dated.
“My nickname was Kissing Bandit or Mrs Blue Baller, because I would only like to kiss and make out,” she said. “And if they tried to do anything else, I’d be so scared. And obviously a lot of relationships wouldn’t really work for that long… the guy’s going to go out and cheat.”
Hilton previously opened up about her belief that she was asexual during an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. In that interview, she said her sexual perspective changed in 2019 when she met her now-husband Carter Reum.
Elsewhere in her chat with Glamour, Hilton also said that, in an effort to protect herself, she’d leaned into the “dumb blonde” persona when she was younger.
“The character was a trauma response, it was actually more comforting to put on this mask just to deal with everything I’d been through in life,” she said.
Hilton’s talked about the trauma component to her sex tape before, telling Vanity Fair in 2021 that she has post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the “humiliating” experience.
“It’s always there in the back of my mind. When it happened, people were so mean about it to me. The way that I was spoken about on nightly talk shows and the media, to see things with my family was just heartbreaking,” she said, adding: “I would be in tears every single day, I didn’t want to leave my house, I felt like my life was over.”