It’s been more than 14 years since Paris Hilton‘s sex tape was first leaked and in a new documentary, the heiress and socialite opens up about how violated she felt by its distribution.
The home video of her having sex with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon in 2001, when she was 19, was first posted on the Internet in late 2003 and made her famous, weeks before she made her debut in what would become the hit reality show The Simple Life.
“It was like being raped,” Hilton, now 37, says in the film, titled The American Meme, according to USA Today. “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.”
The American Meme premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival this weekend. Hilton made her comments at a post-screening Q&A.
Hilton told Piers Morgan in a CNN interview in 2011 that she felt “so betrayed” when the sex tape leaked.
“When I was a little girl, I looked up to people like Princess Diana and these women and I feel like he took that away from me,” she said. “This is not what I planned. I didn’t want to be known as that. Now when people look at me, they think that I’m something I’m not, just because of one incident one night, with someone who I was in love with, people assume, ‘Oh, she’s a slut,’ just because of one thing that happened to me.”
“It’s hard because I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life and explain it to my children,” she said. “It’s something that just changed my life forever and I’ll never be able to erase it.”
Hilton made similar comments in a 2017 Marie Claire interview, saying, “It’s really hurtful, because my whole life I really looked up to Princess Diana, all these elegant, amazing women, and I feel like [Salomon] just took that all away from me. I could have been like that, but because of that tape, I will always be judged and thought of as whatever they say about me because of a private moment between my boyfriend and me.”
“”I wish I had never met him,” she continued. That is actually the one regret in my life. I wish that I had never met that guy. I could not leave my house for months. I was so depressed, humiliated. I didn’t want to be seen in public.”