Not Past It - The Paris Hilton Sex Tape

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At a Los Angeles, Grammy Awards party in 2004, photographers gathered around the red carpet hungry for the it girl to arrive.

And when she finally did, they erupted and shouts to get her attention.

It was Paris, Hilton socialite, and heiress to the Hilton Hotel.


Fortune on this day.

She was all smiles and her pink ruffle dress and matching headband, but she declined to talk to the photographers.


We just want to look at you.

We don’t want to talk.

Wow, cool guy.

A few weeks after this Grammys party even more fuel was added to the Paris, Paparazzi fire because on June 15 2004 17 years ago this week.


Eek the sex tape, One Night in Paris featuring Paris Hilton and her, then boyfriend was released commercially by an adult film distributor.

Everyone’s talking about the Paris, Hilton sex tape.

That’s what really it was just a film and have for parents.


Can you imagine how they must?

The felt that she did a porno film and a Marriott Hotel.

I mean it is From gimlet media.


This is not passed in a show about the stories.

We can’t quite leave behind every episode.

We take a moment from that very same week in history and tell you the story of how it shaped our world.

I’m Simone polenin today on the show.


We’re revisiting Paris, Hilton Scandal her public humiliation, the cultural Carnage at left behind and the beginning of intimate.

Moments gone public and so much has changed since then, the nature of Fame, the way we talk about young women, their bodies their agency.


So let’s reckon after the break.

We’re time traveling to Y2K.

So get in biatch.


Let me take you back to the early 2000s.

It was a time of Juicy sweatsuits, low-rise jeans and massive sunglasses.

With tiny rhinestones.

Our TVs were stacked with Extreme Makeover, shows and movie screens lit up with titles like School of Rock and Mona Lisa smile and Paris Hilton.


Well, she was everywhere but we didn’t really know why famous for being famous, famous being famous.

That’s whatever it was constantly saying.

Oh she like she basically is the Then we use that term.

That’s Bobby finger co-host of the celebrity news podcast who weekly we were so used to people becoming famous through very specific Avenues and she came in a completely different Avenue and like steamrolled her way through and I think that was shocking and it was disorienting Paris made her name by simply being and the cameras, followed her wherever she went shopping at Fred Segal, hitting the red carpet posing with the hottest.


Latest jewel-encrusted flip phone, people were definitely intrigued and then two things happened simultaneously that turns that Intrigue into Obsession first, she hopped on the then new and growing Trend called reality television, Paris Hilton the tabloids to the 360 million dollar Hilton Fortune.


This is the intro from the very first episode of the simple life.

It premiered on Fox and December, 2003, and starred Paris, Hilton and her best friend, and fellow heiress Nicole.


The premise to Rich and spoiled girls from Beverly Hills move to the country and get working class jobs doing manual labor, like working a dairy farm challenge themselves to live the simple life lesson.


Everyone thinks Nicole and I are these two girls with never wanted a man.

Life and that we can’t do anything and we’re doing this to prove everyone wrong and she’ll, we can do anything.

It was a compelling show.

That’s Lindsay, Weber the other co-host of the who weekly podcast.


They both.

Had these like very specific characters.

They did a great job of whether these were real personas or not.

Like yes, I know they were playing themselves, but they clearly were playing up characters.


I’m getting paid in like two hours.

Okay, but I just wanted to get my boss to gift because it’s nails are so sick looking.


So can I just have an advance and I’ll pay for this issue hours?

The show was an instant head, the first episode, Drew an audience of a whopping 13 million.

It wasn’t exactly critically acclaimed, but audiences loved watching Paris and Nicole act did see and Charming.


He also had a really compelling friendship that I ended up thinking was really sweet.

And now when I watch it back, I still think the Friendship is quite sweet.

But at the same time, the Paris that starred in the simple life was being overshadowed by another version of Paris.

The much more salacious one because just as her star was Rising her Infamous sex tape started popping up online.


It had been shot a couple of years back in 2001 and featured Paris and her boyfriend at the time.

The leak of the tape happened in a few stages first.

A three-minute clip emerged online.

This happened just months before the simple life premiered.


The Tabloid speculated that this was some sort of splashy promo for the show and many like Bobby finger believed it.

I definitely thought it was Paris as idea.

Like that was a pervasive opinion in this Liberty, press especially as celebrity blogs that she did this to herself to become famous.


That was sort of the narrative that was being pushed Paris and her ex-boyfriend both insisted.

They had nothing to do with the leak.

Then a few months later, the exchanged his tune.

He set up a website called trust fund

Where he offered up the full 39 minute version of the tape $50 for five showings.


He then brokered a deal with a pornographic film distributor to release the video on DVD.

They called it One Night in Paris and they released it on June 15 2004.

When I think about the sex tape, I just remember it being everywhere.

Bobby says, swirling around all of this was an absolute media Feeding Frenzy.


It was talked about for months and months and months.

It’s and months and months.

Like if this was it was the story.

I go.

People are talking about this Paris, Hilton sex tape, and everyone knows the tape is out there.

But what they want to know, is when they’ll actually be able to see it.


I saw a little bit of that Paris Hilton tape today, and now, this new tape coming out.

It’s a sex tape of me off to the Paris, Hilton table, Hilton, who’s actually famous for just being famous.

Says, the tape was meant for personal use, only unfortunately, for her, lots of Internet users.


Watch this.

For their own personal use to.

I think this is like an audition tape.

I think of clean to put to the point in the face and tell you what it is.

It’s her doing exactly what she should be doing in Show Business.


When all of this was happening, I was around 11 or 12, just fully in the thick of puberty and watching the media takedown, women like Paris Hilton, put the fear of God in Me.

I was absorbing these toxic messages about my body and what I was and was not allowed to do with it.


One thing that stood out to me and all of this was just how comfortable everyone was being so vicious Paris made for an easy punchline.

And no one was pushing back on.

She was being discussed.

So in my pre teen brain, I wanted to fill in the blanks because she must have done something to deserve this.



Was it the sex part the taping at part?

Was it the lack of Shame?

Why was this?

Okay, this 2004 clip from the TV show.

South Park begins to answer that question.

Hello, everyone.

The guests clothing company is pleased to have as its new spokesperson Model A woman.


Oh you young ones can look up to this.

Paris Hilton.

I don’t get it.

What does she do?

She’s super rich, but what does she do?

She’s totally filing snobby.

What does she do?

She’s a whore.


For my 12 year old mind embedded in the news coverage in the jokes, and the fixation around a young woman, having sex on tape was a message, your life is not your own, the choices you make about what you wear, how you have sex, how you live.


We all get a say in that.

And if you make a choice, we don’t like we get to humiliate you and call you all kinds of sluts and whores.

But here’s the thing, this Mandate of don’t be a slut or else it comes with a threat, but it doesn’t come with any rules.


Just a vague sense of good and bad behavior, an unwinnable situation, witnessing all of this while.

Also beginning to explore my own sexuality, was I think clinicians, call it a mindfuck and I was far from the only one wrestling with this anxiety.


I called up my friend.

Amber who I’ve known since we were about that age.

We attended the same all-girl school and we were reminiscing about this time and just how confusing it all was.

And the way some of us even came up in class.

I don’t know if you remember are at like we took like an art history class with Miss Frazer and she introduced us to the Virgin whore complex.



I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

Yeah, it like made everything makes so much sense.

The Madonna whore complex.

That’s a concept that came from Freud, but is now used to describe how women are limited to basically, to archetypes, sexless Madonna’s who are meant for loving or, you know, sexy whores who are meant for boning for Amber, the struggle to maintain a perfect balance between the two felt impossible.


And I remember feeling like, for example, like Britney Spears, like very sexy and like, Like feeling like kind of jealous and like thing, like I want to be like that but also like a disdain like I want to be both not being too sexy, but also like not.


Not being a baby or not being too frumpy back at our Middle School.

We were trying to parse this all out the Paris of it.

All the Britney of it all.

What were the Boundaries of this desirability game.

There was this weird sense that like, you don’t have too much attention from the boys because that’s bad.


Like, you should be getting attention, but you shouldn’t be getting attention is all very murky.

All very, very unclear.

A lot of angst regarding that I’m gonna be wearing the, the skirt with the jeans underneath because that is both sexy.


But modest it’s like the best of both worlds.

I’ll be called a slut or before Stu wear jeans under a skirt.

That’s a lose-lose.

If I’ve ever heard one.

The messages embedded in scandals, like paris’s.


They stick around and they end up shaping so many of us, but what about Paris?

How did this all affect her at the time?

She didn’t really make any public statements.

She let her lawyers.

Do the talking instead.

She sued the internet company that initially distributed the tape for 30 million dollars.


In Damages for violation of privacy, a judge tossed out, the case for reasons the public never found out.

Out the records are still sealed Paris settled for a portion of the profit from the distribution of the tape.

She asked that the some be donated to charity.

And then, in 2011, she finally broke her silence event to the Lions Den a bit tonight.


Little bit why I always get nervous in their areas, especially being a CNN.

Why why CNN?

Because it’s just, you know, very serious.

And you make me nervous.

After the break Paris in her own words about the Fallout from being exposed to the world.


Welcome back before the break.

We traveled to the early 2000s.

When Paris Hilton’s leaked sex tape was late nights.

Favorite punchline Paris.

Waited nearly a decade before.

Speaking about the Scandal that rocked her career in 2011.

She granted CNN’s Piers Morgan and interview.



I know who thought, ah, a celebrity interview about sexual, trauma.

This calls for the delicate hand of noted woman supporter Piers Morgan, but Then this particular interview he is uncharacteristically.

Gentle their conversation was a rare peek behind Paris the character and into Paris the person timing bands who I want labor.


The point on this, but tell me about the moment.

You knew this was all going to go public.

How did you actually feel?

I was in shock.

I had no idea.

We’re in Australia.

When I heard the news that someone had been sent a clip, one of the entertainment shows and I didn’t believe it at first and then when I landed back in Allah as when I saw what happened.


It was the most embarrassing humiliating thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.

Watching this interview.

It’s almost jarring how different Paris is from the bubbly party girl.

I had come to know her as she’s soft-spoken and contained and vulnerable.


How do you even begin to tell your mother’s another?

I just call you.

Do you remember Kathy Paris?

His mom, Kathy Hilton was right beside her for the entire interview.

You know, I don’t, it’s all like a fog right now and it was a very difficult time.


Although to keep her home for like three months straight was, you know, it had been very embarrassing.

Paris Hilton was 20 when her private video was filmed and 22.


When it leaked.

She just turned 40 this year.

In that time.

She’s made herself into quite the businesswoman.

She has perfume shoes.

She’s also done TV and movies and she’s one of the highest-paid DJs in the world.


She’s made it clear Paris, Hilton.

The character has moved on, but for Paris Hilton, the person an experience like that doesn’t just go away with time.

In a 20/20 documentary about her life titled, this is Paris.

She gives maybe her most raw take on that time in her life.


That was a private moment with a teenage girl not in the right head space but everyone was watching it and laughing like it’s something funny.

I was just so when she talks about it the pain still there, but it sounds like she spent a lot of time thinking about all of this like she’s developed a new sense of clarity.


It was like being electronically raped.

They made me the bad person.

I did something bad.

If that happened today.

It would not be the same story at all.


This is really difficult to listen to look.

I’m not saying Paris is perfect.

She’s definitely done things that I believe deserve criticism.

But hearing this tape, that’s the first time I even thought to put myself in her shoes and it’s heartbreaking and to her final point.


I think Paris is right if that story happened today.

It probably wouldn’t have played out the same way we’ve started.

To name and challenge that brand of misogyny terms like slut-shaming.

And rape culture are increasingly mainstream.


They refer to the systemic ways.

Women’s bodies are policed and the dominant culture that ignores consent.



We probably wouldn’t call it a sex tape, because we have a term for sharing intimate content of someone without their consent.


Revenge porn.

And it’s now a felony in some states, but if you do want to share your new, Ed’s you can platforms.

Like only fans allow people to monetize their own erotic content.

In general.

It just feels like women have more agency and control over the space.


They occupy and the gays they can command.

Social media has certainly helped their to giving people the power to write their own public narratives.

That’s worth noting famous for being famous, isn’t even a punch line anymore.

It’s a career a really lucrative one.


It’s called being An influencer.

Celebrity will never be perfect.

It is by its nature.

A machine that takes people and compresses their humanity and to digestible and profitable chunks, but it’s been exceptionally cruel to young women, and we’re only just now starting to reckon with that.


We’ve got a long way to go, but we are starting to chip away at this deep-seated culture that punishes women for existing as they are.

And that’s hot.

Not past.


It is a Spotify original produced by gimlet and zsp media.

Next week.

We’re throwing our hat in the viral Tick, Tock challenge rang, and taking you on a historical, domino effect Journey from an obscure Nazi battle to a Blockbuster movie musical.


All right.

Any questions so far?

I didn’t know this was a tick, tock thing.

This is thrilling.

This episode was produced by Kinsey Clark and Sarah Craig.

Our associate producers are Julie, Carly and Jake.

Nyah are low.

The supervising producer is Erica, Morrison editing, by Andrea, be Scott.


Zach, Stewart Ponte Lydia Pole Green and Abbie.

Ruzicka fact-checking by Jane, Ackerman sound design and mixing by bhoomi.

He Dhaka and Bobby, Lord, and Welcome to our intern.

Laura Newcomb, original music by sacks.



Stav, Willie Green, Jay blasts and Bobby Lord.

Our theme song as Toko Liana by Coco, Co with music supervision by Liz Fulton, technical Direction by Zach Schmidt show art by Elysee Harvin.

And Talia Rahman, the executive producer at zsp.


Media is Zach Stewart Ponte, the executive producer from gimlet is Abbie.

Ruzicka special.

Thanks to leave via Moynihan and Joanna, and driessen Tayo, Amos, Kalina gissler.

Lauren ma Lydia, Pole Green, Dan Behar and Clara Sankey Emily wiedemann list Styles and Nabil.


Cholan pot.

Follow, not past it now to listen for free exclusively on Spotify and follow me on Twitter at Simone, polenin.

Thanks for Hangin.

We’ll see you next week.