Paris Hilton first became a huge sensation following the release of her sex tape which subsequently went viral. While speaking in a new Netflix documentary, The American Meme, the 37-year-old socialite opened up and got real candid about what it was like for her x-rated tape to leak into the public.
While fighting strong emotions, Paris explained the embarrassment and humiliation she endured when her tape with ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon was distributed online. The tape became the subject of much parody, additional renditions, and cultural references.
Paris, while holding back tears, admitted that her entire life changed for the worse overnight, “everyone was making fun of it,” and she didn’t leave her house for months. It was a ubiquitous public-shaming.
The Hilton heiress remarked that it felt as though the entire world was laughing at her. “It was like being raped,” the starlet explained and added that it felt as though a part of her soul had been taken against her will.
Later in the documentary, Paris described her new public persona, stating that it’s as if she has been a 21-year-old for the last twenty years. It’s all part of branding, products, advertising, and an overall image.
Paris has certainly been negatively criticized over the years by many people, however, her talents as an entrepreneur and marketer sometimes go unrecognized by the general public. Similar to the Kardashian family, Paris has non-obvious talents and skills that have made her one of the most iconic celebrities of all time.
Regarding her explicit tape, the same thing happened to Kim Kardashian back in the late 2000s, when she suddenly became one of the biggest celebrities in the United States and eventually, the world.
In February of 2007, a tape of her and her ex-boyfriend, Ray J, leaked. Kim actually filed a suit against Vivid, the adult film company, for selling it online with the title, Kim K Superstar. But they inevitably settled out of court.
Later that same year in October, she and her family had a television show picked up by E! News called, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The production became a significant hit for E!, who has released several subsequent spin-offs.