LOS ANGELES — Paris Hilton’s infamous sex tape-turned-career-launcher “1 Night in Paris” has turned ten. And, despite critics’ guffaws, its impact remains firm.
When then-teenaged-Hilton’s boyfriend Rick Solomon released hardcore footage of the bleach headed heiress in 2004, it stormed pop culture and went viral — even before “going viral” was a term embedded in modern parlance.
According to Hilton, now 33, the video had lasting effects on her psyche. “It was devastating because that was someone I was with for a few years. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully trust any man again after that,” she recently told the Telegraph. “It was just the most hurtful and awful thing that anyone could do to a little girl. I was very young, it wasn't my fault."
Regardless of her culpability or lack thereof, Hilton managed to parlay her incidental hardcore fame into business opportunities galore. Besides helming brands that encompass perfume, clothing, dog clothing lines, shoes, eyelashes and more, Hilton has most recently reinvented herself as an international DJ. Ok, being a multi-millionaire to begin with may have helped a bit.
The tape also left an important imprint on the adult industry. Perhaps capitalized on best by Vivid Entertainment, a true celeb sex tape can still mean big bucks for adult producers in a world of waning or elusive profits — though probably not as much as they did in the Hilton days.
“Celebs,” or those looking to finding a semblance of celebrity, also found in Paris a model, a narrative, that they too could follow step-by-step into the limelight, with varying degrees of success. Just look at Kim Kardashian, also 33, who rode her XXX co-star Ray J all the way to pop’s top consciousness and is now reigning reality royalty and prime tabloid fodder.
Just last year Farrah Abraham followed suit, rising from “Teen Mom” semi-celebrity to national newsmaker as James Deen’s backdoor playmate in Vivid’s “Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom” — just when Sydney Leather's semi-flop had haters ready to declare the celeb sex tape DOA. Abraham has since launched an adult toy line, penned and published several erotic vignettes, and is even making strides as a restaurateur.
So, happy birthday “1 Night in Paris,” at the tender age of ten you’ve already changed the world for better or worse. They grow up so fast…