More than 15 years ago, Paris Hilton's sex tape was leaked — a personal violation of her privacy that left her family "devastated."
"When your niece Paris' tape was leaked, did you initially think it would ruin her career or help catapult her star power?" host Andy Cohen asked Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Richards.
"Ruin," said Richards, 51, whose sister Kathy Hilton is Paris' mom. "We were devastated. Like my whole — it was horrible."
In 2001, Paris, 39, and ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon filmed the sex tape, which was leaked a few years later. She went on to sue, but a Los Angeles judge tossed out The Simple Life star’s $30 million invasion of privacy lawsuit against an Internet company that distributed the video, Reuters reported in 2004.
The suit against Panama City, Florida-based Kahatani Ltd. was dismissed for reasons that were not explained in court documents. In taking her original legal action, Paris said that the 45-minute videotape had been “intended only for personal use.”
The New York Daily News reported that the suit was settled, with Paris agreeing to accept a cut of the profits from the distribution of the tape. Red Light District Video, a suburban Los Angeles adult-film production company, reportedly snapped up distribution rights from Salomon, and the company released the film under the title One Night in Paris.
Tibrina Hobson/WireImage Paris Hilton
Salomon’s lawyer, Martin Singer, confirmed the settlement to the Daily News at the time but declined to discuss “the terms of the arrangement.”
In 2018, Paris opened up about the sex tape scandal in the documentary The American Meme.
“It was like being raped,” she said in the film, 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,” she continued. “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.”