Socialite Paris Hilton has opened up for the first time on her infamous sex tape One Night In Paris, saying that she “wanted to die” after she found out that her former boyfriend Rick Salomon had leaked their private video to a porn site in 2004.
Hilton features in the documentary The American Meme, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, and documents the rise of social media stars. In it, she speaks candidly about her rapid ascension to fame, and the fallout of the tape.
Looking back on the experience now, Hilton says:
“It was like being raped. It felt like I’d lost part of my soul and been talked about in such cruel and mean ways. I literally wanted to die at some points. I was like, ‘I just don’t want to live,’ because I thought everything was taken away from me. I didn’t want to be known as that.”
Though Salomon is said to have made “millions” from the release of the video, Hilton maintains that she has never “made a dime” from it.
At a Q&A session after the screening, Paris Hilton spoke about how the ditzy version of her that fans fell in love with on The Simple Life was in part the creation of producers, when the medium of reality TV was still in its infancy. She told the audience:
“I felt like the world was introduced to me through The Simple Life. There was no reality television back then, so it was very new. There was no social media, so I basically created this character that was basically what I thought the audience wanted, like, ‘Oh, she’s rich, so she needs to be a spoiled airhead’ – basically what the producers told me to do.”
You can watch a clip of Paris promoting The American Meme below.