In late 2003, Paris Hilton‘s ascent to “it girl” meta-fame was reaching its zenith. Her primetime reality series The Simple Life was about to premiere on Fox, but it was an unexpected Internet debut that ended up getting all the attention.
Less than a week before The Simple Life’s premiere, former boyfriend Rick Salomon leaked excerpts from a four year old sex tape he’d filmed with Paris Hilton onto the web. Fox almost immediately said it had no intentions of canceling or pre-empting the premiere of The Simple Life, but things were only heating between Salomon and Hilton.
First, Salomon sued Hilton for defamation after she claimed that the tape was made when she was “out of it” and not aware of what she was doing during the taping. Later, Hilton sued Salomon over the official release of the tape and was awarded $400,000. In 2006 she told GQ that she “never received a dime.”
1 Night in Paris features graphic shots of unsafe oral and vaginal sex, and each scene is introduced by Salomon, who points out, “All of this is very legal, and consensual, over 18 years old … barely! And, uh, you know, you can’t hide cameras on people. That’s illegal.”
Despite its notoriety, the most memorable part of the tape is when Paris stops to answer her cell phone. A full one-third of the tape – nearly 20 minutes – features Salomon going down on Paris, with only moderate success.
The tape from Red Light District Video is also dedicated “in memory of 9/11/01.”
The Simple Life went on to run for three seasons on Fox and another two on E! — Tony Carbone