Paris Hilton is turning 40! Yep, the iconic heiress, reality TV star and DJ celebrates the big 4-0 on Feb. 17, 2021. In honor of her big day, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at her life in pictures. Keep reading to relive Paris’s biggest moments…
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Businessman Rick Hilton, the grandson of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, and actress-socialite Kathy Hilton welcomed their first child, daughter Paris Hilton, in New York City on Feb. 17, 1981. Two years later, they expanded their brood with a second little girl, Nicky Hilton. The family of four posed together at the Young Musician’s Foundation Seventh Annual Celebrity Mother/Daughter Fashion Luncheon Benefit in Los Angeles on March 24, 1988. (The following year, Paris’s first brother, Barron Hilton II, arrived. Younger brother Conrad Hilton III was born in 1994.)
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A 15-year-old Paris Hilton posed with her parents, Kathy Hilton and Rick Hilton, for a portrait in 1996. The family’s bicoastal lifestyle proved difficult for the teen beauty, who attended several high schools, including a Connecticut boarding school (from which she was expelled), before ultimately dropping out.
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Paris Hilton and sister Nicky Hilton attended a boutique opening in New York City on Sept. 15, 1999. Around that time, that duo became fixtures on the party scenes in NYC, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
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Edward Furlong and Paris Hilton, whom the rumor mill briefly linked to Leonardo DiCaprio, posed for photographers outside the Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood on Sept. 28, 2000. The celebutante’s relationship with the “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” star proved to be short-lived.
Burgeoning model Paris Hilton strutted her stuff in an Ilona Rich design during a Size 6 fashion show in New York City on March 28, 2001. Around that time, she signed with T Management, Donald Trump’s modeling agency.
Paris Hilton cozied up to male model Jason Shaw during a party for Diddy’s “The Saga Continues…” album in New York City on Sept. 5, 2001. The duo dated for about three years and were even briefly engaged before calling it quits in 2003.
After briefly portraying a version of herself in 2001’s “Zoolander,” Paris Hilton made her acting debut in 2002, headlining two thrillers: the never released social satire “Sweetie Pie” — a “modern day morality tale about kids who have had too much, too soon,” according to IMDb — and “Nine Lives” (pictured), a straight-to-video horror flick about a vengeful spirit hell-bent on killing off a bunch of college-age kids. Small roles and cameos followed in films like “Wonderland,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Raising Helen” and “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!”
Paris Hilton and Deryck Whibley shared a ride following the Kerrang! Awards in London on Aug. 21, 2003. The cozy-looking duo stepped out together several times that year, but the Sum 41 frontman wasn’t the only bold-faced name to whom the celebutante was linked around that time. She also reportedly dated actor Tom Sizemore (which she denied), Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, actor-musician Vincent Gallo (he wrote an instrumental track for her), Mark McGrath (which he later denied), fellow reality TV star Jack Osbourne, MTV VJ Simon Rex, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy, Sting’s son Jake Sumner, skateboarder Chad Muska and model-actor Lucas Babin, who later starred in her “Stars Are Blind” music video.
“The Simple Life,” a reality TV show starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, debuted on FOX on Dec. 2, 2003. The series, which was inspired by “Green Acres,” became a huge hit and made household names of the two young stars, who memorably feuded during the middle of its run. After three seasons on FOX, the show moved to E! for the final two seasons, which concluded in August 2007.
Paris Hilton has owned dozens of pets in her lifetime but the most famous, perhaps, was her pet Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, who’s seen here with the reality star at a Miami Beach hotel on March 11, 2004, ahead of filming “The Simple Life.” Tinkerbell died 11 years later. “My heart is broken. I am so sad & devastated. After 14 amazing years together my baby Tinkerbell has passed away of old age. I feel like I’ve lost a member of my family,” Paris wrote on Instagram. “She was such a special & incredible soul. We went through so much together. I can’t believe she’s gone. I will miss her & think about her for the rest of my life. I love you Tinky, you are a Legend & will never be forgotten.”
In June 2004 — the same month she hit the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards (seen here) — Paris Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, Rick Salomon, released “1 Night in Paris,” an amateur adult video comprised of intimate footage of the duo they filmed when they dated in 2001. The video’s release launched a legal battle between the former couple: He sued her for defamation after she said that he released the tape without her consent. She then countersued him. They reportedly settled out of court in July 2005, with Paris awarded a reported $400K.
Nick Carter and Paris Hilton kept close at a launch party for JAY-Z’s shoe collection in Bridgehampton, New York, on July 3, 2004, just weeks before they called it quits after about seven months as a couple. (Two years later, he accused her of cheating on him with Chad Michael Murray, who was married to Sophia Bush at the time.)
Paris Hilton made her major Hollywood debut in the 2005 horror film “House of Wax.” She’d appear in two more major movies — the 2006 sorority comedy “Pledge This!” and the 2008 rom-com “The Hottie & the Nottie” — before mostly abandoning her career as an actress.
Paris Hilton sat on the lap of Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis during a party in St-Tropez, France, on July 23, 2005, two months after he popped the question following an eight-month courtship. But it wasn’t meant to be: They parted ways just two months later in September 2005.
Paris Hilton rebounded almost immediately with another Greek shipping heir: Stavros Niarchos III, who previously dated her pal Mary-Kate Olsen. (The relationship ended their friendship.) The duo were photographed packing on the PDA at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on April 2, 2006. Paris and Paris dated off and on from mid-May 2005 to March 2007. Around that time, she was also linked to Val Kilmer, Travis Barker, Criss Angel, Andy Roddick, model James Neate, Kid Rock (which she denied), Josh Henderson, Australian surfer Tyler Atkins, James Blunt, football player Matt Leinart, Adrian Grenier (which he later denied), the late DJ AM (who dated Nicole Richie first), model Alex Vaggo, Brody Jenner, 50 Cent, model Julian Feitsma, Brandon Davis and Jared Leto.
Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian West attended a Prada event together in Los Angeles on July 14, 2006, around the time that Kim worked for Paris arranging her closet, sorting her clothes and selling them on eBay. (Kim actually made her television debut on “The Simple Life” in 2003.) The duo feuded off and on for years after Kim stepped into the spotlight.
Paris Hilton posed with a copy of her debut album, “Paris,” in Tokyo on Aug. 22, 2006, the day it came out. Lead single “Stars Are Blind” charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned gold certification in the United States. She’s released several singles since then but has yet to put out her sophomore album.
Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton were photographed partying together in West Hollywood on Nov. 27, 2006, during the height of their fame. The trio of “it” girls — whom the media dubbed the “Holy Trinity” — fell apart not long after. The following year, Britney suffered a mental health crisis that led to her conservatorship, and Paris and Lindsay started feuding over the “Mean Girls” star’s relationship with the celebutante’s ex, Stavros Niarchos III.
Paris Hilton’s troubles with the law kicked off on Sept. 7, 2006, when a traffic cop pulled her over for driving erratically on her way to a fast-food restaurant in Hollywood and arrested her for DUI after she failed a Breathalyzer test. Though she initially pleaded not guilty, claiming that she’d simply had one margarita after working all day on a music video, she ultimately accepted a deal, pleading no contest to a lesser charge of reckless driving, and was placed on probation for 36 months — which she broke by getting busted for driving with a suspended license on three separate occasions. In May 2007, a judge sentenced her to jail time for violating the terms of her probation. Paris posed for a mug shot after she turned herself in to begin her time behind bars at a Los Angeles jail on June 3, 2007, just hours after she walked the red carpet during the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.
Police escorted Paris Hilton out of Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California, on June 26, 2007, after she served a reduced sentence of 23 days behind bars for good behavior.
Paris Hilton returned to reality TV in 2008 with MTV’s “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF.” She attended a press conference for the second season of the show — which was so popular that it spawned versions in the U.K. and the U.A.E. — in Los Angeles on May 15, 2009.
Paris Hilton walked the red carpet with Benji Madden before the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. The duo enjoyed a brief but high-profile romance of less than a year that ended in November 2008.
Paris Hilton kept close to Doug Reinhardt during the T-Mobile Sidekick LX Launch Party in Los Angeles on May 14, 2009. The duo dated for about six months (between mid-2009 and early 2010) following her brief fling with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Paris Hilton posed for yet another mug shot at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas after police arrested her for cocaine possession on Aug. 28, 2010. The trouble started when cops pulled over a car being driven by her then-boyfriend, Cy Waits, for a traffic violation. The officer smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle and decided to search Paris, who had cocaine in her purse, and the former nightclub mogul, who was arrested for DUI. Ultimately, Paris — seen here outside the federal courthouse in Las Vegas nearly a month later — pleaded guilty to possession, paid a fine, attended drug counseling sessions, performed community service and made it through her probation without issue.
Nightclub mogul Cy Waits joined Paris Hilton at the premiere of the Oxygen docuseries “The World According to Paris” — her final foray into reality TV before leaving the medium behind — in Hollywood on May 17, 2011. They called it quits after about a year of coupledom the following month.
After brief flings with “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips and DJ Afrojack, Paris Hilton found love with model River Viiperi in 2012. The following year, he accompanied her to the 2013 People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles.
Paris Hilton made her debut as a DJ at the Pop Music Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 23, 2012. Since then, she’s enjoyed an incredibly lucrative and successful career as a DJ mostly outside of the United States.
Paris Hilton attended the premiere of “The Bling Ring” in Los Angeles on June 4, 2013. Sofia Coppola wrote and directed the biopic, which centers around a string of burglaries that shook Hollywood between 2008 and 2009. (Eight teens and young adults burglarized around $3M in cash, jewelry, handbags and other good from the homes of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Paris, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel Bilson.) Emma Watson starred in the drama, which was partially shot in Paris’s real home.
Paris Hilton signaled that she and River Viiperi had called it quits when she strolled on a Malibu beach with model Josh Upshaw on July 27, 2014. (They were also seen making out.) In January 2015, Paris cozied up to Australian model Jordan Barrett in Italy (seen here).
Paris Hilton kissed millionaire businessman Thomas Gross aboard a yacht in Formentera, Spain, on June 9, 2015. They dated for about a year before parting ways in April 2016.
Paris Hilton and “The Leftovers” actor Chris Zylka were first photographed together at LAX Airport in Los Angeles on March 15, 2017, not long after he started to become a fixture on her Instagram page. Shortly after, they started traveling the world together. They’re seen here in Mexico City that April.
Paris Hilton launched her 23rd fragrance, Rose Rush, in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 30, 2017. In addition to fragrances, the celebutante has launched countless boutiques, clothing collections, accessory lines and more!
Paris Hilton showed off her $2M engagement ring while canoodling with fiancé Chris Zylka during Amazon’s Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills on Jan. 7, 2018, a week after he popped the question in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve while vacationing in Aspen, Colorado. But it wasn’t meant to be. After her dream wedding date — 11-11-18 — came and went, it was clear there was trouble in paradise for Paris and the actor. In December 2018, it was confirmed that their engagement was over.
Paris Hilton went public with a new squeeze, Carter Reum, at a 2020 Golden Globes afterparty. She was vocal about her love for the entrepreneur on Instagram later that year, writing in July, “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person. And we’re finally home.”
In September 2020, Paris Hilton released the documentary “This Is Paris” on YouTube. The film gave fans a real peek behind the curtain of the heiress and DJ’s life and focused in part on a topic she’d previously never opened up about — the abuse she said faced while at a Utah boarding school she attended as a teen. She led a protest against the institution in Provo, Utah, on Oct. 9, 2020.
Paris Hilton spoke in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February 2021 about the abuse she experienced while at a boarding school she attended as a teen that’s located in the state. The star broke down in tears as she testified in front of state lawmakers who were weighing new regulations for the industry.
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