Join one plus to listen to even the rich ad free in the Wonder app, download the Wonder app in your Apple or Google Play Mobile App Store today. In this episode, we're going to be swearing like an orisha in L.A. traffic.
I mean, just go the speed limit. It's June 3rd, 2007, and Paris Hilton has traded in her Dior dresses and Louboutins for an orange jumpsuit and plastic slip on sandals. She paces back and forth, but she can't pace far. The room is only eight by 12. In jail, she's no longer Paris Hilton. She's inmate number nine eight one eight seven eight three. Gone is her King-Size feather bed and her marble walled bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub.
All she has in her cell are a metal bunk bed, a toilet with a sink and a little desk. It's pretty bleak. She doesn't even have a roommate because the sheriff thought it wouldn't be safe for her.
The last time she was alone behind a locked door was in Provo Canyon. So it's like a flashback to the worst time of her life.
She doesn't sleep. She can't eat, in part because her stomach is in knots all the time, but also because the food is totally gross. Lunch is a baloney sandwich referred to as mystery meat. It's slashed between two pieces of white bread and some mayonnaise. She's scared shitless.
I mean, I would actually eat that. Am I crazy? Yes, you're crazy. OK, but I mean, it's more than the food. She feels like the room is closing in on her. She's claustrophobic. It feels like she's right back in Provo and it's messing with her head. She can see the guards looking at her through a glass See-Through door. She feels naked again, stripped of her privacy, but at least she's allowed to see her shrink.
His name is Dr. Charles Sophy. And fun fact, one of his clients was Melby. Oh, my God, Horatio.
That fact is fun. Thank you. I agree.
Anyway, Sophie takes one look at Paris and is like, we need to get you out of here immediately. Within days. He petitions the L.A. County sheriff for Paris's release, citing medical issues. And after serving just three days and two hours in jail, Paris walks out a free woman, well, almost free. She has some new jewelry, an ankle bracelet on house arrest. I'm trying to picture her laying by the pool with an ankle bracelet. I mean, it's a whole new problem.
Will I get electrocuted if I jump in? Wait, what? She. I don't think so. I mean, it's not a toaster anyway. When the judge gets wind of her cushy arrangement, he's like, hell no. Paris Hilton is going to serve her time in jail just like everyone else.
So back she goes. She's been home just thirty six hours. Damn, that judge is tough. Yeah. The good news is her attorney got the sentence reduced to twenty three days if she remains on good behavior. But still, I mean twenty three days is a long freakin time alone in a cell. But she's strong. She made it through Provo so she can make it through this. So what does she do. Well she meditates and writes in her journal and she reads fan mail, sacks of it, thousands of letters from around the world, all of them saying how much they love her.
Apparently, one fan even tried to send a care package with a dozen red roses and a fruit basket because nothing says hope your jail time passes fast like a bunch of shit that's going to rot and die.
He also sent a note that said, Don't feel bad. You're Paris Hilton. True. All the letters she gets help her feel less alone. She cries as she goes through them, and then she answers as many as she can hear. I want to read one of her replies.
I do, but I won't be doing the voice. So sorry to disappoint the one reviewer who likes us.
The fact that you took time out of your day to write me truly means the world, especially at such a difficult and scary time in my life.
But I'm being strong in trying to make the best out of the situation. And the letters I'm receiving really do put a smile on my face as I sit here in my cell.
Sad and alone love always. Paris Hilton Zo my God is Paris Hilton Gossip Girl.
I've been wondering the same thing, but all this time, sad and alone and away from the craziness in the paps gives Paris time to think. Remember in Provo how she resolved to become famous so no one could control her again? Yes. What she realizes in the pokey is that she's lost her way. What she says is, even though it's been horrible and really hard, I think that God makes everything happen for a reason. And this is my time to figure out what my purpose is in life.
What she's starting to realize is that her prison goes much deeper than this cell. She's imprisoned inside a character she created not to let anyone in. And it will take a lot longer than 23 days for her to learn how to break out. Or, you know, those days when you hop online and you see posts about productivity, you know, like hashtag hustla hashtag, work hard, play hard and you just immediately feel like you're failing.
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You can be anyone. Some people use that power to become who they wish they were. But what happens when they're little lies harm other people. MTV and one represent Catfish, the podcast hosted by award winning filmmaker Neeve Schulman Catfish. The podcast exposes the truth and lies of online dating. Subscribe on Apple podcast Spotify or wherever you're listening now. From thundery, I'm Irish, Skidmore Williams and I'm Brooks Efron, and this is even the Rich in our last episode.
Paris was on top of the world. Her brand was blowing up. Her hit reality show got picked up by a new network. She'd been let through heartbreak and managed to land on her feet. Life was good and then it wasn't. Her first album didn't sell as well as she'd hoped. And then she got a DUI which landed her in jail. But now she's getting out and she's ready to make some changes.
But change is never easy, especially when it means changing who you are. This is the final episode of our four part series.
We'll always have Paris Shapleigh. It's 12, 15 a.m. on June 26, 200 paparazzi have gathered outside of Lynwood jail, along with dozens of fans. They stand behind yellow tape that lines a walkway to the door. Security guards mill through the crowd and suddenly the door opens.
It's Paris. She looks like the girl next door with skinny jeans and alongside braid. She smiles and the crowd goes wild. As she walks to the car, the paps follow behind. One fan is damn near losing his mind. Did he say our princess is free? He sure did. She's free, but what's amazing about this clip to me, I mean, other than that guy is Paris. How fresh and young she looks. No cuter, no fancy phone and no board expression.
She's beaming. I'm sure she's overjoyed to finally be free after 23 days in the tank. But I also think it must feel good to get this kind of support. Watching hops into the back of the car, she grabs on to her mom. She's a lifeline. Both her parents are there.
The driver inches forward and finally breaks free of the paps and they're gone later that night as she pulls down her mask and pulls back her silk sheets, I imagine she's thinking about how much she has to do. First up is an interview tomorrow with Larry King, and she's going to use it to set the record straight.
The next day, Paris arrives at the CNN studios looking fresh and well rested. Today, she's chosen a beige silk dress with a little bit of lace. It's a classic look.
Her only accessory is a pair of gold earrings, the kind of outfit that sends a message. She's changed. Paris enters a studio and sits down in front of the colored lights. Larry King sits across from her. She smiles at him brightly, but inside she's a ball of nerves. I'm sure his bright purple shirt isn't making it any easier to calm down. I love how Larry blends classic and bold all at the same time. Not just anyone can do that.
Preach what makes it all the more nervous making is the whole thing is live.
There will be no cutting out the boring stuff for the flubs. It's just Paris as herself. When she starts to speak, she doesn't even sound the same.
The baby voice is gone and a sincere, poised woman is in her place. Larry jumps right in while.
Are you doing this interview? I'll consider you an icon and I really respect you.
And it's an honor for me to be here today as the interview progresses. Larry is nice. Like he's really gentle. He asks her why do any interview at all? Why come out and talk? I mean, she just got out of jail. She sort of fidgets around and finally says she wants people to know what she went through. She says it was a traumatic experience that she's grown from. He's seen the footage of the crush of perps waiting at the jail the night before.
And he asked her what it's like to have photographers lurking around every corner.
You don't call him up and say, I'm going down to Third Street tomorrow, be there. No, actually, from the moment I wake up to the moment I got to sleep, they're outside my house following me all day long.
And then he gets down to the meat of the interview. What Paris wants to talk about. He asks her what she's learned.
The purpose of jail, prison, jail, confinement is to teach a lesson. Yes. At least that's a big part. Did it work with you? It's tough. It was a very traumatic experience. But I feel like God does make everything happen for a reason. And they gave me, you know, a time out and left to really find out what is important and what I want to do, figure out who I am. She sounds like she means it.
I know. I think she does. But then towards the end of the interview, Larry lobs a softball. If you've ever watched Larry King, he's one of those brilliant guys who knows something about everything. But this question is pretty tame. Paris mentions that she read the Bible a lot in prison. So we asked her what her favorite passages and that's when it all goes to shit. She stumbles and hesitates and then looks at her notes. Finally, she says, I don't have a favorite.
In other words, she can't come up with a single passage. And with this one small gath, everyone at home who's watching decides that this new Paris, not the old Paris, is the act. The next morning, Gawker writes, The articulate, multitalented businesswoman appeared contrite, well prepared. And I. Who are we kidding? It's Paris Hilton. Larry King nailed her on a Bible question. The Philadelphia Enquirer is even more brutal. The critics byline has taken the fun out of Paris.
He calls her a garden variety Dumbo and writes, is one of our premier court jesters fading like a ghost? Please don't do that. Paris, at least have the decency to leave us memories of some tragic downfall. Wow, what an ass bag. Totally.
But here's the problem Paris is facing. How can you change if nobody wants you to when people prefer you as their punch line and it's only going to get harder because they're ditzy. Rich persona is still on the air every week on simple life season five. Oh, my God. I completely forgot about the simple life with all the jail drama. OK, catch us up because I really did love that show. Well, I have a lot to catch you up on.
Remember how season four got abysmal ratings?
Kind of know it.
OK, well, it got only one point three million viewers compared to the premiere, which had thirteen mil. But here's the thing. One point three million is abysmal for Fox, but season four is on E and on E. Those ratings are huge, the best they've ever had. So they order a season five, which is good because they left season four on a cliffhanger. OK, now that I remember Nicole and Paris. Finally come face to face, Nicole says to Paris, we need to talk.
Yep, so do they. They do. In fact, it turns out idea for the fifth season is what gets them back together in real life. They wanted to put them on a deserted island with a bunch of survivalists. Apparently, the two hated the concept so much that they actually make a date to discuss it over Caesar salad at a West Hollywood restaurant.
One diner would later say they look like best friends to me. They chatted non-stop. Then they pay the check and leave the restaurant and surprise, surprise, the paps are there to capture it all for the official friends.
And your friends are going to call you guys friends.
Oh, my God. Can I just say these clips really make me reconsider my dreams of stardom.
They can't even move. I know. It's terrible. And then the next day they're splashed across the tabloids. But this time the public is thrilled. Lucy and Ethel are back together again. Five months later, they board the bus to Malibu and arrive at Camp Shawnee to start production, a cliffhanger with a Real-Life happy ending while Paris goes to jail right around the time the second episode airs and the ratings for Season five are crap, down 20 percent.
And then Nicole gets a DUI and spends four days in jail.
It's not a great look, not even for E! So on July 30th, 2007, they announced The Simple Life is Done. Now, Season six, The Daily News quote, someone on staff saying, We felt like the real life drama of their lives overshadowed anything happening on the show. Crazy when your real life becomes juicier than your fake one. Yeah, talk about even the rich publicly. Paris acts like she's relieved. She tells the press it's been a great five years and we had so much fun.
I'm happy to end it at that. It's all part of the ice cool persona. But you've got to imagine it hurts. I mean, it's the show that made her a superstar.
Plus, is anyone ever really happy about their show being canceled? I mean, actors just have to say that shit to look like good sports. Oh, 100 percent. The last episode airs on August 7th, and Paris says goodbye to the simple life forever. Paris may not have a TV show anymore, but there's always the movies.
And what better place to show the world she can play more than just an entitled heiress than the big screen.
And now we're at the part you've been waiting for, for The Hottie and the Nottie. OK, let me guess.
Paris plays the hot girl.
Yup, totally against typewrite. Yeah, but she has depth. She plays the sweet and caring friend with a heart of gold who cares deeply about her. Not so good looking best friend, a.k.a. the Ngati. OK, so here's the plot. A guy asked her on a date and the only way she'll go out with him is if he gets a date for her best friend too. So yeah, but with a lot of gross out humor, they make the best friend look sort of like a corpse, except she's supposed to be human.
It doesn't really make sense, but there's still this great message at the end. This is Paris on a press junket explaining it.
Just don't judge a book by its cover and don't treat people rudely just based on the outside appearance because you never know you're going to get OK.
So that's promising. Yeah, except it bombs like really bombs. It gets six percent on Rotten Tomatoes and earns the IMDB title is one of the bottom 100 films of all time. And because it's Paris, critics are only too happy to tear it apart. One reviewer says she delivers lines as if she's heavily sedated. And there's absolutely nothing going on behind those bright blue contact lenses. One of the nicer reviews asks, how did this even get made? It's the start of a very bad streak.
Her next bomb is called Repo, the genetic opera. OK, good title, albeit wildly confusing. Yeah, but not as confusing as the plot. An evil, futuristic company that specializes in human organs employs a repo man to take what they need. Oh OK. Yeah. Paris plays a woman addicted to surgery and drugs. She gets the drugs by having sex with a grave robber and she wears this Jet-Black wig and dark goth makeup. OK, this is getting better.
And then what happens while the movie is released and it takes it gets two stars on Rotten Tomatoes out of 60 votes total.
So no one saw it. Not many, but enough that Paris gets nominated for a Razzie, otherwise known as the Golden Raspberries. It's like the opposite of the Oscars. They give out awards for the worst movies and performances of the year. And in 2009, Paris sweeps them. She gets worst actress and worst couple for the hottie the. And then she also gets worst supporting actress for Repo the genetic opera.
What is her acceptance speech like? Well, Paris doesn't attend the ceremony. Most recipients of the Razzies don't. But shit, it has to suck. I mean, here she's trying to stretch herself professionally, show the world she can do more than play this entitled airhead character she invented. But again, she's derided. It's like no matter what she does, build a brand, release an album, put herself out there and movies. People can't see her is anything other than a dumb blonde heiress.
I mean, what would you do? I would one hundred percent show up to those Razzies and give a speech that blows them away.
But that's just me. I would love to hear that speech.
Well, Paris does as she falls back on what she knows and this time she doubles down. Erica, what's one TV show you feel like everyone has seen or everyone was definitely watching when it first came out? Oh, the office, 100 percent. 100 percent. I mean, it's a classic. Yes. And some things are literally just instant classics. And you know what? When you see them, you know what else is an instant classic? Best finds the top rated mobile puzzle adventure.
Yes, best fiend is free to download. And it has a world full of lovable characters, thousands of levels and more content that gets added all the time. I've been playing for a while and I'm already checking my phone for the latest update. So my favorite thing about blasphemes is obviously the characters. They're so adorable. I know I keep saying this, but they really are. They're just super cute. And I love that they change the theme all the time.
It's a really good D stresser. Yeah. Like just at night when I'm like unwinding. I love to just play through the levels.
It's so fun. And with over 100 million downloads, this five star rated mobile puzzle game is truly a must play. Seriously, once you download blasphemes, boredom won't stand a chance.
Download breastfeeds free today on the Apple App Store or Google Play. That's friends without the R best fiends. La, la, la, la, la. Paris may have expanded her range on the big screen, but that hasn't carried over to her real life. Maybe she's thinking if people love this character so much, why not give them more at the start of 2010?
She goes on the party circuit hopping from club to club across the globe.
It's just like the old times have snapped photos of her with NFL star Reggie Bush at a Vegas club holding a champagne bottle up in the air, dancing wildly in Madrid. PopSugar speculate she's meeting with her ex, Cristiano Ronaldo, in Cannes at the film festival she poses on the red carpet in a boho jungle. Maxi and the press wonder where her date is. Paris actually has a bunch of business meetings in Europe, too, but the papers don't care about that.
They want to know what she's wearing, who she's seeing and how much she's had to drink. And then in July, things take a turn.
Paris attends the FIFA World Cup in South Africa with a friend. And when they're on their way out after the game, the police catch a whiff of pot.
But weed isn't legal here. Her friend takes the fall and the court lets them off with a fine. But it's not the kind of publicity Paris wants. But still, I mean, it's not that bad, right? Her friends smoke some weed and she was there. So what? But then two weeks later, she stopped again at an airport in Corsica with less than a gram of pot in her purse. Again, she's released. She tries to make light of it, tweeting the story, saying, I've been arrested are completely false.
I'm having the best vacation of my life.
OK, so I know it's just a little ganja, but it's got to be a wake up call, right?
I mean, the last time she thought she was above the law, it did not go well. Unfortunately, it's not.
A month later, on August twenty seventh at 11:00 p.m., Paris is sitting in the passenger seat of a Cadillac Escalade as her boyfriend Cy Waits maneuvers down the Vegas Strip. Cy is a wealthy entrepreneur who manages a bunch of the hottest nightclubs here. Paris has been dating him for a little over a year. They've got the windows rolled down when they pass a cop. He's on a motorcycle and he smells of vapor trail wafting out of the car. He's like, Huh, what's that?
And then he turns on his lights.
Paris is like, oh, shit. Oh, shit, not this again. When the cop pulls over the car, a crowd starts to gather on the street. Paris asks if they can go to the nearby Wynn Casino for some privacy. And once there, she starts to panic. She opens her purse and pulls out a tube of lip balm and a small envelope of cocaine falls out. But she does say it's not hers. The Chanel bag she's carrying belongs to a friend, so she borrowed the bag and all of the contents.
The officers don't buy it either. They arrest her on the spot along with her boyfriend. Say the two are handcuffed and taken down to the Clark County jail where they're fingerprinted and photographed. And then Paris is released at 3:00 in the morning. Three weeks later, she pleads guilty to two misdemeanors and is sentenced to 200 hours of community service, a two thousand dollar fine, a drug abuse treatment program and a year of probation. After reading the sentence, the judge warns her that if she does not abide by the terms, she will also serve one year in jail.
OK, if this isn't a wake up call, then I don't know what is.
Well, she's about to get another one on the other side of the world.
It's September 20th, 2010, two days after Paris pleads guilty. Now she's on a private jet headed for Tokyo. This will be the first stop on her Asian tour for her fashion and fragrance lines.
At this point, she is more than a dozen handbag and accessory stores all over the world and is opening even more. But when she gets off the plane, she's stopped by immigration. Japan is tough on drugs and they decide Paris isn't welcome there.
Paris figure she'll just go on to the next stop of the tour, Malaysia and Indonesia. But same story. Turns out they have strict drug laws, too. So she won't be able to do any press in this part of the world, which isn't exactly great for business, nor is this kind of for us. But when it comes time to leave and the paps follow her into the airport, she's as breezy, cool as ever, like everything's just fine.
Take a listen.
Why are you leaving my home? I look forward to going back to Japan, the future. And I love everyone. Sounds like she's seriously acting like nothing just happened. She is she gives the press the same. I don't give a fuck attitude. She's used a million times before. The one that says, say what you want about me. I don't give a damn. But this isn't her only problem.
It's 2011 and Paris is now being outshined. She's still running her multimillion dollar business, but the tabloids are giving more and more column inches to Paris's old friend and ex personal assistant, Kim.
Oh, I wondered when Kim was going to enter the story.
Also, Shameless Plug will be doing a deeper dive into Kim and the Kardashians in our next series.
I know. I can't wait. Anyway, Paris hired Kim back in 2006. The two of them have actually been friends for years.
They go all the way back to nursery school days with Nicole. Now, Kim is trying to make a career out of organizing closets for the rich and famous. Paris is at the peak of her career with a simple life so she doesn't have time to make her closets look pretty. So it seems like a good fit. Pretty soon the two friends are photographed everywhere together, shopping, clubbing for Meer's Petey's White Party. They even take a girls trip to Ibiza together.
Paris is the bigger name, but the camera loves Kim too, and it doesn't take long for Kim to figure out she loves the spotlight. And in 2007, she gets her own reality show along with her family. And it's called, Well, we all know what it's called, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
But critics panicked. But viewers like you and me love it. I imagine Paris is happy for her friend. Or maybe she's jealous, who knows? But as time goes by, there's this shift. Now, when the two are together, the tabs are more interested in Kim. By 2011, it's like Paris is suddenly in her shadow and I can't imagine she likes it. I mean, Paris laid the groundwork for being famous, for being famous, and Kim has taken the torch and run with it.
People are connecting with the Kardashians in a way they never have with Paris. BuzzFeed put it best they wrote, where Hilton was aloof and artificial.
The Kardashians seem to completely open, performing a kind of emotional nudity.
They happily cataloged nearly every moment of their lives, from divorces to family rifts to gagging over dog poop duty. That can't feel good for Paris, you know, probably not, but I can't imagine why she would even want to be vulnerable on camera. I mean, it's like no matter what she does the tab spin it some other way.
They just want to see her fail. And up until now, she's taken every failure with a grain of salt show canceled. It's cool. Jail.
I'm good. I learned my lesson rejected from a foreign country. No biggie. Love to you all.
But now it looks like people want more than everything's great. The world is changing. They want to be let in on the ups and downs and the dirty, messy parts of your real life. It's how people connect and they're quick to sniff out inauthenticity. Well, to be fair, the press is pretty much cataloged every dirty, messy part of her life since she was like eighteen. Yeah, so true. But she had these Teflon I don't give a shit walls.
Now she plans to give them the real Paris in her new reality show called The World, according to Paris. Here's what she says about the series.
That's a show like I've never done before. I'm really letting cameras into my real life and it's just really all access pass and what goes on.
OK, I'm down, right. It premieres on June 1st, 2011 on the Oxygen Network. The intro has all these fabulous photos of Paris through the years and over them. Paris voice tees up the premise. She says, I'm turning 30 this year and it's made me think that it's time to say goodbye to Paris, the party girl, and hello to Paris, the grown up. In other words, she wants to show the world who she really is and she really does let the public in.
In the first episode, Paris moves in with her sister, Nicky, after a knife wielding stalker tries to break into her house. She also reports for her court mandated community service from the drug bust in Vegas. OK, so that's brave.
Yeah, but oh, God, why is there always a but there's always a but when it comes to rich people anyway, as they're driving through one of L. A. S low income neighborhoods, Paris turns to her assistant and asks, am I going to be working with, like convicts and like prison or people? Which sounds well like the Paris everyone has come to expect. And then she wears Louboutin heels while painting over graffiti and complains about it the whole time.
Later in the episode, she has an argument with her boyfriend, Cy, after he catches her texting with an ex. OK, so not exactly a grown up, a reboot of the Paris persona. Exactly. And no one is interested in this Paris anymore. It's the least watched series on oxygen that year. And to make matters worse, the reviews are brutal.
Entertainment Weekly gives the series a D for Paris. I imagine the worst part is they compare her show with Keeping Up with the Kardashians. They say unlike Kim's show, it fails to deliver any frothy fun and the star comes across as completely unlikable. Damn, Paris can't catch a break. Nope. The New York Times sums it up this way. As a reality heroine, Paris seems a little passé a. Sony Walkman in an iPod era, a Friendster in the age of Facebook, Miss Hilton was a genius itself invention.
But in the world, according to Paris, at least, she shows no flair for reinvention. The Times is just making an observation, but it's got to sting. Paris is the OG when it comes to building a brand out of nothing but a name and image and her smarts, she pretty much invented it. And now the world is moving on to someone newer who's taking a page from her book. But Paris puts on a brave smile and pushes forward like she always does and decides to do an interview with ABC News.
It's July 20th, 2011, and Paris is living room has been overrun with cameramen and gaffer's. They're turning her house into an interview set for Blue Velvet SOFA with cheetah pillows is the backdrop. The interviewer is Dan Harris. He's a seasoned journalist who always appears calm and cool. The producer pulls to accent chairs close together to allow for a more intimate conversation about Paris's life and her new show, Paris, has done these kinds of interviews hundreds of times by now.
And this one's for Good Morning America, which is a friendly morning show. So this should be a cakewalk and starts with topics like the baby voice. Paris is glad to finally set the record straight.
It's the character that I developed for The Simple Life. They wanted someone who is an airhead and kind of had the baby voice. So that's a character that I had to do and continue to do for five seasons, she says.
Sometimes when she's on camera, she reverts back to it because she did it for so long and then he turns the convo to her businesses. Dan says, Why do you work so hard? She says she likes being able to do whatever she wants and buy what she wants. But then Dan moves to the hard hitting questions.
Do you worry at times that the people who have followed in your footsteps like Kim Kardashian are overshadowing you? No, not at all. There's been some talk about the ratings on the show being low. Has that upset?
You know, hold on. That's kind of a bullshit question. I mean, who wouldn't be bothered by their show not doing well? Yeah, and he's not letting up. And the more he goes on, the more stony faced Paris gets. She clearly wasn't expecting this. Ever worry about your moment having passed? We want to wrap up Paris looks off screen to her publicist like, is this really happening? What should I do? And of course, the PR person is probably panicking.
And then there's a cut to Paris's credit. She pulls herself together and finishes the interview. While she sort of finishes it. She tells Dan the truth. She doesn't want all that being used on the show. She tells him she's been in the business for 15 years and it's important to reinvent herself and take on new projects. And then she walks Dan through her mansion and shows him the mini mansion she built for her dogs. Oh, God. Mixed messages again.
I know. She tells him the mini mansion is a perfect replica of her own mansion. It's a 300 square foot, two story Spanish style villa. And the furniture is all Philippe Stark. There's even a chandelier and air conditioning. It costs three hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. OK, while I let my dog live in my apartment and it's bigger than three hundred square feet.
So you are so generous.
The interview airs on the morning of the finale episode. Three weeks later, Oxygen Network cancels her show. Everyone has highs and lows in life.
But when I think Paris to me this is her rock bottom. She keeps trying these new things right, but she tries them while still hanging on to these old vestiges of who she once was and who she thinks she's supposed to be. It's like she's too scared to step out into the unknown, but that's what she needs to do. It reminds me of this quote that I'm going to paraphrase When you're about to step off into the darkness, Faith is believing one of two things will happen.
There will be something solid to stand on or you'll learn how to fly.
So Paris needs to find something solid to stand on or she's got to learn how to fly. Now, Richard, you know, I absolutely love my treadmill.
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She's been putting all of her energy into working her businesses, which are still raking in the big bucks. And she started to think about a new endeavor, something that would make her happy. She remembers how much fun she used to have at clubs. She's been going to them since she was 16 and she loves to dance, especially to electronic dance music. The only thing I know about EDM is that there's a lot of ecstasy involved.
Yeah, that's all I know, too. So Paris starts going to EDM festivals and shows with her new boyfriend, Afrojack, in 2012. Afrojack is one of the best DJs out there. He headlines festivals like Ultra and Miami Beach and Tomorrowland in Belgium, and he takes Paris with him right into the DJ booth where she watches what he does every night and she's having a blast which gets her thinking, maybe I can do this. There's only one problem.
Well, actually, there's more than one problem. First, back in 2012, deejaying is a male dominated world. There was literally only one female on the top ranked list, and it's actually a duo. And then two, she's never done it before. But she wants to try the crowds, the energy, the music. This is her happy place. So she figures what the hell? It's not like she hasn't been panned before.
It's Saturday, June twenty third, 2012. People have traveled from all over the world to attend the pop music festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Paris is there, too. But tonight she isn't here to just dance. She's here to spin her first set. She's wearing a black rhinestone bodysuit with matching gloves and diamond encrusted headphones. I mean, after all, it is Paris, but she's probably less concerned with how she looks and more concerned with calming her nerves.
She's following Jaylo, who I would not want to follow Jenny from the block. No, not at all. So Jaylo finishes the song Dance Again and struts off the stage. The stadium is buzzing and now it's Paris's turn. But she's ready. She's been studying the mixing board, learning terms like game level, phase reversal and phantom power. She takes the stage alone in front of 30000 people. Paris knows half of them are probably waiting to see her fail.
And then she launches into her set.
She's dancing and feeling the techno music, but things start going sideways. During her set, a mystery hand reaches up from under the table to tweak the levels on her mixer. OK, awkward. It gets worse when she steps up to play her single produced by Afrojack Rihanna's We Found Love starts up at the same time. It's kind of a mess. I mean, I would have assumed it was just some new mash up, but I'm sure she was embarrassed.
Maybe, or maybe not everyone can see her face on a giant LCD screen right behind her and she just smiles and winks of the crowd. She could be faking it. But to me, she looks happy. She's in her element and people are dancing. It must be the best feeling in the world. I'm feeling it, too.
The reviews are tepid at best, of course, but she actually gets offered another gig, this one at a club in Cannes.
And it's big. Deejays like Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa have spun there. Most people have to be at the top of the game to get these kinds of offers. But Paris is Paris and the EDM crowd loves her. She figures she can learn as she goes and she draws huge paychecks.
She does residencies at some of the top clubs in the world. A fortnight gig in Ibiza earns her two point seven million dollars, which is like three hundred and forty seven thousand dollars an hour. Wow. OK, she's found her thing. It seems like it, right? Although not everyone is excited to welcome her into the elite world of top DJs, Dead Mouse goes on his social media and calls Paris a phony. And then he does this racing metaphor that I can't make sense of, even though I've read it three times.
You want to try it?
Sure. OK, personally, I would pay about as much to see her perform as fans would pay to watch me struggle to get out of first gear in twenty feet off the starting grid in an Indy 500 race without ending up in a wreck. OK, he's wrong. I would pay to watch him do anything in that giant mouse head.
Yeah, it's a really good point. What's kind of amazing is that Paris just lets his comments roll off her back. She tweets back, sorry that I'm hashtag killing it while doing what I love and live for. Yes, love a good clap back.
But where she goes, hi, dead mouse goes low, like really low. If I wanted attention, I'd put out a sex tape, fuck a dentist and charge a million for root canals. OK, he really should refrain from metaphors. They're not good. Yeah, they're complete trash. But some people agree with him. Google Paris and and you'll find a bunch of haters. But there are a ton more that love her by the end of 2000.
14 Paris is awarded best breakthrough that same year, she puts out a story on her Instagram, just 10 words on a white background. It says, You are the artist of your own life. Make it beautiful. Love it. Over the next few years, Paris continues to rake in the dough, money for appearances, money for her business ventures. By twenty eighteen, she has twenty five fragrances and eighteen product lines sold in over 60 countries. She writes and produces music and she becomes the highest paid female DJ in the world.
She's in control and in 2019 she's finally ready to let down her walls for real. Haven't I heard this before? It sounds like it, right?
But this time she's making a documentary. Production companies have approached her about a doc over the years and she wasn't ready. But then she sees a film on the brilliant actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr. It was directed by a woman named Alexandra Dean. And Paris reaches out and asks her she'll do a film on her. She says, I don't think anyone sees me for who I am. And she thinks Alexandra just might. She gives the documentary crew full access to her life.
They interview her family, including her parents, and she gives them old footage of her as a kid. Little Paris opening presents at Christmas, going to the zoo with her family, playing dress up with her mom's clothes. And then as Paris is deciding just how deep and revealing she's willing to go, she gets a call from an old classmate, someone from Provo Canyon.
She asked Paris if she remembers what happened. Remember, Paris has never spoken about her experience to anyone. And now here's someone wanting to talk, someone who experienced it, too. So they make a plan to get together and decide to invite more survivors. She has no idea what's going to happen in the meeting. She stuff the whole experience so far down, she doesn't even know how she will react. But she decides to let the cameras roll. On the day of the shoot, Paris wear sweats, but is anything but comfortable.
She's angry and sad and anxious as she and four friends from Provo's share. Their experiences in Paris is living room one by one.
Each woman talks about the horrific things that happened to them at Provo, the physical abuse, the mental abuse being locked in solitary confinement, being stripped of their dignity. Then they create these homemade posters that read Provo Canyon School, except the word school is crossed off. Instead, each of the women write words about their experience at Provo.
When it's Paris's turn, she writes, verbally, physically and emotionally abused, eventually writes down the effects, trust issues, fear and anxiety, the wounds that Provo left behind. And then each of the women puts duct tape over their mouths and pose with their handmade signs while Paris films them with her phone.
This is all in the documentary and outside the documentary. Paris is becoming one of the leaders of a movement. She uses her massive social media presence to launch a campaign called Hashtag Breaking Code Silence to expose all the so-called emotional growth schools like Provo.
I should say here that the Provo Canyon School was sold back in 2000 and is under entirely different management. Yes. Disclaimer yeah, but before it shut down, there were other students who were allegedly mistreated in the year since Paris left and similar schools exist throughout the country. God, I mean, that takes a lot for her to unpack that in a documentary. Like that's really brave. Yeah, I know there's a scene after she films with the women.
She's just standing in her giant closet by herself, tears streaming down her face. It's so raw and so honest and real.
Listen, I sometimes I feel like so many things, but sometimes like this robot and this character that I didn't and that talking with like I try to remember who it was before.
I just I don't know. It makes me sad. They took that away.
And then she looks around at all her clothes and her shoes and she says this.
And I look around my life like it's like a cartoon I like. I've created this fantasy world cartoon. But the thing is, I don't even give a fuck about any of these things.
I mean, you guys have to see this documentary. It's so good. Yeah. You know, I got to think there's got to be some catharsis for Paris and all of this.
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I really do. Even though it's not like you confess all this pain in the world and suddenly your better life doesn't work like that, obviously. But in the final scene of the doc, she stands on a balcony and tells the director she feels like she's at a good place in her life. She doesn't feel so alone anymore. And because of that, she can make a change. She can make a difference.
I don't know. The whole scene makes me want to cry. She's pretty amazing. I agree. On October 9th, twenty twenty Paris spearheads a protest rally outside of the provocation in school and helps launch a petition to get Provo Canyon shut down. To date, they've gathered almost two hundred thousand signatures, and that's pretty much the end of the story. Except no one story's ever really over, right, especially Peress, she's done more in 39 years than most people do in their whole lives.
Yeah, people definitely don't give her enough credit. Yeah, her brandes grossed over three billion dollars, and she's the social media influencer. She carved out that niche before social media even existed.
She now has over 50 million followers across all of her platforms. She's even developing her own platform based in a virtual reality. Of course she is. I'm tired just thinking about doing this much work the same. I think her willingness to take risks and reinvent is what keeps her on top. People recognize her face around the world and buy her stuff. Love Paris or hate her. She's an icon. And one thing's for sure, she deserves our respect.
And that's what.
This is episode four of our four part series, Paris Hilton. If you enjoyed it, please subscribe an Apple podcast, Spotify, Google, Wandering, Dotcom, or wherever you're listening right now. If you're listening on a smartphone, TAPPER swipe over the cover art of this podcast where you'll find some offers from our sponsors by supporting them. You help us offer you the show for free. If you like what you're hearing, we'd love you to give us a five star rating and leave a review.
We'd love to know your thoughts. Another way to support us is to answer a short survey at wondering dotcom slash survey. Want to listen to even the rich ad free had over 200 dotcoms. Tell us. We use many sources when researching our stories like the Hiltons by. Randy Taraborrelli. But we especially recommend the amazing documentary. This is Paris, directed by Alexandra de Irisa, Skidmore, Williams. And I'm Brooke Efron. Adam Prince wrote this episode, editing by Alison Rimer.
Our producer is Natalie Sheesha. Our associate producer is Kate Young. Our audio engineer is Sergio Henriquez. Sound Design is by James Morgan. Our executive producers are Stephanie Gen's, Marcia Lui and Hernan Lopez for wondering. On the Internet, people can hide their true identity and become anyone they want to be. But what happens when those lies go too far? MTV and Wonder represent Cavefish, the podcast hosted by award winning filmmaker Neil Schulman Catfish. The podcast exposes the truths and lies of online dating.
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