Paris Hilton is standing next to me wearing a black Alice + Olivia pleated mini skirt and top with an embroidered collar, Louboutin boots with pearl studded heels, black Prada bucket hat, sunglasses and phone case around her neck, leaving voice notes for her Uber driver. He's mistakenly arrived at The Beverly Hilton hotel to collect her, as opposed to the Waldorf Astoria, where we’ve just spent the afternoon together. As far as I can tell, the Uber driver has no clue that the passenger issuing him directions is, in fact, the most famous member of the Hilton hotel dynasty. It’s the voice; several octanes deeper when off-duty, compared to Paris Hilton’s ‘on duty’ soft, coquettish, baby voice. It’s quite extraordinary to witness this vocal dichotomy IRL.
I tell Paris I’m surprised that there’s no chauffeur waiting, delivering one of her fleet of supercars (including a Barbie pink Bentley and an iridescent holographic BMW i8 Roadster with butterfly wings.) “Oh, I don’t drive those very often,” she replies (in the deep voice). “Getting an Uber is much easier.”
Paris’s low-key mode of transport is a surprise, for sure. But it is just one of the many, much more significant and startling things that I discover during my two hours with the 42-year-old world-famous icon of pop culture. Afterwards, I think how incredibly unbridled and honest Paris was, opening up for the first time about many dark elements of her past. But then the following week, I discover – along with the rest of the world – that she was keeping a massive, life-changing secret, more on which later.
Many of us grew up with Paris on our screens, but for those who think they know Paris Hilton, the forthcoming publication of Paris The Memoir on March 14 is about to blow everything out the water. It’s one of the best celebrity biographies I’ve ever read; the revelations within it are shocking, moving and deeply personal.
Paris opens up for the first time about her experiences of sexual assault and abuse, including being groomed by one of her teachers and a narrow escape from an aggressive encounter with Harvey Weinstein. It really does offer a different context to her life and past behaviours.