She regularly appears on red carpets, hits the hottest celebrity clubs and is featured on the covers of celebrity and women’s magazines, but why is Paris Hilton famous? Perhaps it was all part of her mom, Kathy Hilton’s, master plan.
In part three of our “Celebrity Moms” series, Access Investigates Kathy Hilton.
Paris was groomed for fame and fortune, just as Kathy once was by her own mother.
“The best thing about being a Hilton? There is the upside and the downside. The upside are the perks,” Kathy once told Access.
“Like getting to shop whenever you want?” Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson asked at the time.
“Well, I have a very generous husband,” Kathy replied.
According to Vanity Fair’s exposÃ©, “Moms Gone Wild,” Kathy’s mom taught her that “marrying rich wasn’t a goal; it was the goal.”
Having achieved this dream by marrying hotel heir Rick Hilton at age 19, Kathy set her sights even higher for her first born.
“She and her mother started calling Paris ‘Star’ and they really did think to themselves this is going to be someone bigger than Monroe, bigger than Princess Di,” Vanity Fair’s Judith Newman told Access.
Kathy and her husband began hosting parties in New York in their daughters’ names and thus, the beautiful marriage between Paris and the paparazzi was born.
“They’re always wonderful and sweet with us. I believe they are doing their job,” Kathy once told Access of the paparazzi.
In addition to being the mom of Paris and Nicky Hilton, Kathy said she is a friend to her daughters.
“You know what? We are very, very close. We are on the phone, but I am their mother you know. There is that fine line,” Kathy said.
That fine line though was blurred in the aftermath of the sex tape scandal.
“Fame is its own end,” Newman told Access. “However you achieve it is not necessarily a bad thing. I really think that Kathy Hilton believed that about the porn tapes.”
Kathy dealt with the scandal quickly.
“Were you mad at all or embarrassed at all or was that not a factor?” Billy Bush asked Kathy previously.
“It was almost like, ‘Kathy, let go! This happened and deal with it,‘” she said. “It is unfortunate. We are a family. We love and support each other and we move on.”
Some would argue that is a little too understandingof her daughter’s infamous sex tape with Rick Salomon. That scandal, however, propelled Paris to the fame mom dreamed of.
Kathy capitalized on the fame too, hosting the reality show “I Want To Be A Hilton” in 2005.
“This show — I don’t like to think of it as reality,” she told Access. “I like to think of it as unscripted drama. This is gonna be real.”
Things got much more real for Kathy in 2007, when Paris was sent to jail.
“She is cold, she has her hands tucked,” Kathy told the media at the time. “I thought she broke her arm.”
After the initial sentencing, Kathy spoke up for her daughter, telling reporters, “This is pathetic and disgusting.”
It was a familiar stance for Kathy who had to answer for her daughter’s behavior before.
“You never know,” she said. “You never know with Paris!”