Paris Hilton: ‘Nicole and I definitely started the whole reality TV thing’

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Paris Hilton has a new interview with InTouch this week. We haven’t heard much from Paris, especially in comparison to some of her contemporaries, but she’s still making bank. Paris has a lucrative career as a celebrity DJ, for which she commands over six figures an hour. She’s not on television anymore, her last foray into reality TV, “The World According To Paris,” failed miserably and was canceled after one season in 2011. In Paris’s mind, she’s the original reality TV star and she started reality TV, though. She also claims she’s not jealous of her former BFF Kim Kardashians at all. Sure she’s not.

Paris tells ‘In Touch’ in a new interview, “I think Nicole and I definitely started the whole reality TV thing.”

With the Kardashians and the Real Housewives dominating the media recently, ‘In Touch’ asked Paris what she thinks of today’s shows. “It seems like the shows are more about drama now than having fun.” Paris responds, “Nicole and I were just having a lot of fun.”

When it comes to real-life drama Paris denies rumors about her and Kim Kardashian being at odds. “That’s never been true,” Pairs tells In Touch. “I’m happy for her and her beautiful family – and very proud. She’s killin’ it.”

The original Queen of Reality TV goes on to say she would be open to doing a reunion of ‘The Simple Life.’ “You know, I order the show on my Apple TV all the time, and I watch it and laugh. There are so many crazy memories. So yeah, I would definitely be into a reunion.” Paris admits.

A lot has changed since The Simple Life – Paris reveals her global brand is now her focus, not reality TV. “I’ve grown as a woman and learned a lot. And I’ve never been happier in my life.” Paris tells ‘In Touch’: “Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to build an empire” and “Reality TV was a huge platform to start it.”

[From In Touch]

In Touch has more in their print edition out this week. Paris isn’t wrong about how the new crop of reality shows are about drama, but from what I remember “The Simple Life” was just as fake with dumb, obviously staged moments. Of course Paris is wrong about starting “the whole reality TV thing.” If we’re talking about reality TV in general, MTV’s “Real World” popularized the genre and that first aired back in 1992. If we’re considering “celebrity” reality shows, “The Osbournes” predates “Simple Life” by over a year, having premiered in March, 2002 vs. December, 2003. Paris and Nicole were in the early crop of celebrity reality shows, but they didn’t launch the genre.

Paris has been touchy in the past when questioned about her waning fame, but she seems to have come up with a way to handle it now. She’s the original and all the new reality shows suck in comparison to what she started. She’s up for a reunion though. I doubt that will happen. Nicole Richie has moved on. Paris is kind of a timeless reminder of 2006. Only her hair extensions and pets change.

Header image is from February, 2015. Other image dates as noted. Credit: and Getty Images

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96 Responses to “Paris Hilton: ‘Nicole and I definitely started the whole reality TV thing’”

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  1. MonicaQ says:

    Well to be fair, I’m not jealous of Kim either because who da fck would want to be married to Kanye? Yeesh.

    And “Cops” was the first dose of reality TV. When there was the writer’s strike in the early 90s, “Cops” came into being because it was cheap. “Cops” has it’s own host of problems though.

    • Seapharris7 says:

      My father is a huge COPS fan! It’s hard to remember when “reality” shows started because now they’re EVERYWHERE. But Real World & Cops have to be the major firsts

      • Ash says:

        PBS’ “An American Family” back in the 70’s probably qualifies as the first (or one of the first) reality shows.

        Although it was more of a documentary.

    • Josephine says:

      I think she meant the type of garbage we have on today – “reality” shows that are in fact heavily scripted – all of the housewife garbage, the Hills, the sick dating shows, the weird cults people like to follow, the K-trash — you know, the shows that people watch about complete losers to feel better about themselves.

      I think Cops, the singing and dancing competitions, the cooking competitions, the house shows, are all in a different category.

    • OriginalTessa says:

      I always say that! Cops was first! It was reality TV before anyone even knew what that meant.

    • Imo says:

      Cops was first but even barring that Paris’ crappy show was still far below The Real World in mass pop culture appeal. Have a seat, Hilton.

      • ISO says:

        PUCK from the real world comes to mind when I think about “reality shows”. When i think of Paris i associate her as inventing the humanoid called a ” frenemy”. What an accolade- famous for having been the original mean girl.

    • mytbean says:

      I wonder if anyone here will remember DotComGuy (aka Mitch Maddox)? It was a live stream online (not television) but it was following a man who’d decided to live in his home for a year and attempt to survive on services provided only by the internet. You could check in any time and see him doing a variety of boring things we all do in our houses every day. Granted, it was in 2000 but it was following one person and his daily grind. I think THAT was the original reality TV. Cops was more about the police force and felt more like a live documentary about that experience and not so much about particular people.

    • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

      I loved Michael Moore’s take on Cops in Bowling for Columbine.

    • TeaAndSympathy says:

      We in Australia had our first taste of reality TV in March, 1992 when the first episode of “Sylvania Waters” aired. It focused on the Donaher family, whom no one had ever heard of. They were an upper middle class family living in Sydney waterside suburb of Sylvania Waters over a six-month period, emphasising the couple’s newfound wealth (built through a labour hire company) and luxurious lifestyle as well as interpersonal conflicts. The show polarised viewers, who were either Team Noelene (the brusque mum) or Team Laurie (her husband, and stepfather to her 3 or 4 kids, the youngest being about 16). People still talk about it.

      Looking at the second pic above, it’s hard to believe what KK has done to herself.

      • Lozface says:

        I was thinking of Sylvania Waters too! However this was true reality, fly on the wall stuff. Would love to watch it again, as I was only 10 when it first aired.

        Also, the Big Brother shows were on before the Simple Life and are certainly what I would consider reality TV!!!

        Paris has to be happy with a cameo on her aunts’ show, RHOBH these days.

      • TeaAndSympathy says:

        You’re absolutely correct, Lozface – it really was “fly on the wall” stuff. I know they did a follow-up piece several years ago, too. I’m going to You Tube it and see if anything comes up!

  2. Seapharris7 says:

    At least Paris still looks like Paris from 10 years ago, you wouldn’t even believe Kim is the same person from that photo

    • Lalala says:

      That’s what was thinking too. It’s better to be real than Kim Kardashian and Ko. PAris and Nicole’s dumb Bs was also real. Paris shouldn’t be jealous of Kim and Ko.

  3. Jazz says:

    It must burn her that her aunts get more TV air time than she does.

    • Bridget says:

      It also must really burn her that Nicole Richie won’t have anything to do with her anymore.

  4. Kitten says:

    SO. MUCH. WONK. in that first pic.

    I remember when she was a “DJ”. LOL

    I feel like poor Paris will forever be trapped in 2005.

    • MonicaQ says:

      I remember the verbal bitch-slap fight she got into with Deadmau5 because they released some list about the highest paid DJs. That killed me. (And I like mau5 but yeeesh is he a troll that makes poor decisions).

    • Bridget says:

      Paris Hilton is totally a DJ now you guys. She has her own headphones and laptop to prob it!

      • Veritas says:

        Paris is no DJ. All the real DJs laughing at her. Just because you have a headphone and a laptop does not make you a DJ. Having DJ skill like knowing how to mix and producing ur own music makes you a DJ. Anyone can buy headphone and a laptop but it doesn’t mean ur a DJ. These “celebrity DJs” make me laugh. They just pressing the play button and cheating the rest. Now tiesto thats a real DJ.

      • Bridget says:

        It was a joke.

    • Shaz says:


    • Shaz says:

      Yeah, Wonk-Eye Bolt-ons says that like it’s a good thing

  5. Brin says:

    Umm, no you didn’t but I’m sure you started some new STDs. Credit where credit is due.

  6. runCMC says:

    Wasn’t Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s show older than theirs too? I feel like that’s when a lot of people really started loving the celebreality genre.

  7. JM says:

    Paris Hilton is the Norma Desmond of her generation. Contrary to her delusions, The Real World is considered the birth of reality TV. It premiered in 1992. The Osbournes premiered in 2002 and then the afterbirth began in 2003 with The Simple Life.

    • Josephine says:

      Were those Real World people famous though? Did anyone care about them? Is that the format still used today, or is it closer to what she created with Nicole? She did get people to know who she was and who Nicole was, however stupid the show may have been. I remember seeing her on tons of talk shows and knew about the show even if I never saw it. And there was some stupid slogan she used to say, too.

      Maybe she is part of the “famous for absolutely nothing” movement, and made entertainment out of acting like an idiot so that other people can laugh at you. That’s the genre today.

      • Bridget says:

        Even then, she didn’t create the format with Nicole. The first of the celeb-reality was The Osbornes. The Simple Life came in the wave following, trying to capitalize on the new celeb-reality genre.

    • Mintessence (the original Minty) says:

      You’re right about that. Paris oozes delusion out of her pores. I’m not surprised she thinks she’s the pioneer of reality tv crap. She once said:

      “There’s nobody in the world like me. I think every decade has an iconic blonde, like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana and, right now, I’m that icon.”

      Always rolling my eyes whenever she opens her Valtrex-laced piehole.

      She may be making bank, but she’s no businesswoman. What happens is, if a person is widely famous/notorious, savvy businesspeople, managers, & marketing geniuses make deals with that celebrity in ways which profit everyone involved. The fact she’s paid millions as a DJ when she has no real skills is further proof that if you are famous you can make money on that, provided you surround yourself with people who are creative and who’ll do all the hard thinking.

  8. maeliz says:

    No Paris. You were just one of lots, but nothing like the Kardashians. Wear shades to cover that wonk eye, it drives me crazy

  9. Jen43 says:

    Both she and Kim look so much better in that old photo. Her eye situation just confuses me, though. Can’t she get it fixed?

    • maeliz says:

      I head read over the years that Paris wears colored contact lenses. She has brown but wears blue. That must be a little harder to get into the wonk eye

      • Catherine says:

        Apparently she has brown eyes and wears coloured contacts. Wearing contacts for long periods is thought to be one of the causes of Ptosis of the eyelids. What an idiot.

    • Sofia says:

      Maybe she doesn’t want to get it ‘fixed’? I don’t get why small flaws are considered now a huge problem.
      Personally I prefer looking at different faces, rather than the Franken-women KK has become.

      • Catherine says:

        Considering how much work she’s rumoured to have done I doubt it. Pics of her as a teen show she has brown hair and eyes and looks like a different person. Also she may have had surgery on her eye, either to correct or a lift and that’s made the condition worse (that’s from an article on this site).

    • AlmondJoy says:

      My brother has a lazy eye, and he’s never wanted to get it fixed. My parents told him he was handsome just the way he is 😊 Of course, we don’t have Hilton money, nor do we have access to plastic surgeons they way they do. But like Sofia says, not everyone wants to fix their physical flaws.

      • Bridget says:

        But really, is Paris Hilton going to be in that camp?

      • Ennie says:

        Reading nasty comments about her eye bother me. I have a amblyopia and my eye is “wonky”. I guess I bother people when they look at me.

    • Bridget says:

      I would imagine that it’s made a lot worse by her colored contacts and now her use of Botox (her eye has gotten wonkier).

  10. Kiddo says:

    This isn’t exactly something to be proud of. It’s like saying, “I started a herpes outbreak of epic proportions! And now it won’t go away”.

  11. Bridget says:

    Paris Hilton: the worst since 2003. Nice to know some things nerve change.

  12. Jayna says:

    Her fame is overseas. She is dead in the water in the U.S. and has been for a long time. There’s no interest in her here. She has to go overseas . She is still as vapid as ever. I can’t imagine not gaining any depth by your mid 30s, but she hasn’t.

  13. Sullivan says:

    Well, if she’s willing to take the blame, then a pox on her for the scourge that is reality tv.

    • Kiddo says:

      Yep. + a million.

    • Nicolette says:

      Yes Paris, thanks so much for that. Though honestly I remember Anna Nicole being one of the first with a reality show, if not the first. And didn’t the Osbourne’s follow soon after? Well now we get to scroll through our guides to see reality show after stupid reality show and we get to pay a hefty monthly cable bill to boot. Good times.

  14. Nayru says:

    Surprisingly I don’t hate on Paris too much. She isn’t constantly in your face with idiocy these days, she does her little career of djaying or whatever. She has done cosmetic work but she hasn’t continued to transform herself every 5 years. I think she owns what she is and is comfortable mostly which is respectable in its own way.

  15. suzanne says:

    Ugh. What a sad existence- to never grow or mature past age 20. Paris is doing the same vapid crap she did in 2004, and still trying to make it sound like she learned how to split the atom. Same My Little Pony hair and tacky dresses.

    And, I wish her the worst for releasing the Kardashians on us. 🙁

    • FingerBinger says:

      Paris deserves some blame for the Kardashians ,but this really goes back to the O.J. Simpson trial. I don’t want to speak ill of the dead ,but Robert Kardashian is the real culprit.

  16. Sally Tomato says:

    I would lay down my life for anyone who remembers “Cops” before “Real World”… I may be proving that I’m 40 but did anyone else watch “An American Family” many moons ago? That was a sad documentary of a privileged family way before Paris thought she was somebody…

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      As others pointed out, Anna Nicole Smith and Ozzy beat Paris to the screen, if we’re talking vapid faux celebrity type of show. I agree there were other “reality” shows before Paris and Nicole. The Real World is considered the first reality TV show, shows like Cops and An American Family are considered to be documentary or drama-documentary. It’s kind of arbitrary but certainly the Real World would never have happened if An American Family hadn’t successfully paved the way.

  17. Amber Q says:

    There`s no way it isn`t killing her to see Kim Kardashian`s fame eclipse her own.

  18. Mean Hannah says:

    I just came here to post that she seems to have gotten breast implants – and her turn sideways pose is to cover her wonk eye and her crooked nose. And wonder why anyone ever thought she was hot.

  19. Cecada says:

    I’m not sure I would claim ‘credit’ for reality tv, not something to brag about

  20. Dawn says:

    I think a little something called the Real World started the whole reality thing. But sure they started it on E! the NOT so entertaining network.

  21. Ohlala says:

    I follow The Simple Life before. They were naughty girls, very scripted, dumb but funny. She got huge investments in Asia for real estates, commercial and residentials now. and I think this DJ thing is just for her to stay relevant and an excuse to party.

  22. Sarah says:

    What is going on with Kim’s hip in that picture? There’s a bulge there that looks like her hip’s melting or her prosthetic butt got shifted around. Can’t unsee it.

  23. Miran says:

    Except you didn’t, so…

  24. lucy2 says:

    Have to laugh at her attempt at being nice about the K’s. Everyone knows she’s a nasty one, and you know she must HATE how much more attention Kim & co. get. Even Nicole went onto to a better career and fame than Paris.

  25. MrsBPitt says:

    She says “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to build an empire”….wasn’t she BORN into an empire?? I’m pretty sure, if her name had been Paris Smith, she wouldn’t have had a reality show, or anything else!

    • Mintessence (the original Minty) says:

      Exactly. Having the Hilton name greatly helped her. Being a partygirl attention-whoring socialite got her in the gossip pages. When she really became famous, she turned into a publicly recognized name – a very marketable commodity – which meant that smart business people and creative types collaborated with her to make her into a profitable brand. She has a lot of help. She’s the image fronting her current “empire”, not the brains behind it.

      • ISO says:

        I’m just happy she’s not releasing albums. Does anyone remember her pop star incarnation? Yeeesh. Wealthy people love to pretend to work at anything for a day or two.

  26. word says:

    No they didn’t. The Real World on MTV was the first reality show on MTV in America. I think other countries started “reality tv” before that though.

    I don’t think she’s jealous of Kim at all. Do you think Kim is really happy? Paris seems much happier if you ask me. She didn’t get married just to get pr. She’s free to do her thing and seems to be enjoying life.

  27. Tigriski says:

    Paris needs to grow up, get out of the clubs and get a life.

    • Mintessence (the original Minty) says:

      Didn’t George Clooney say that celebrities stop maturing at the age they became famous? I think Paris is a good example of that. The same old party lifestyle. The typical hopping from boyfriend to boyfriend. Aside from her family, does she cultivate long-lasting relationships with anyone?

  28. Sam says:

    I can actually picture her sitting alone watching The Simple Life over and over again and congratulating herself on how hilarious and cool she is. It’s so sad. Paris, it’s 2015. Grow up, admit that you’re 30-something and start attempting to create a somewhat fulfilling life for yourself instead of just trying to be a cool 21-year old for the rest of your life.

  29. A says:

    Didn’t she and Nicole pioneer the famous for being famous type of reality shows, though? The Osbornes and Nick and Jessica were already public figures for music, and as far as I know the Real World didn’t launch any celebs. I don’t watch much reality tv though so I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the whole Laguna Beach, real housewives, Kardashians type of show is a variation of what Paris did (whether or not it was intentional).

  30. Kelly says:

    Paris doesn’t bother me that much. Definitely prefer her over Nicole Richie or any Kardashian. Any really how has Nicole moved on? Wasn’t she just in a reality show?

  31. nikko says:

    I think “The Real World” MTV show was the 1st reality show.

  32. Lauren says:

    People keep saying that COP’s and The Real World were the first reality shows but this is wrong. The first reality show was actually something called ‘An American Family’ and it aired in 1971. Anything that is old can be new again and looking at this shows format proves that reality t.v. wasn’t something so completely new.

    • BW says:

      Lauren, you beat me to it. I agree, An American Family was the very first reality show.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      An American Family was a documentary more than a reality show, it wasn’t scripted and staged in the way modern reality TV is produced.

  33. Deb says:

    It could be argued that the first “reality show” was a program called An American Family that aired on PBS in 1973: Paris Hilton wasn’t even alive then, was she?

    • Lahdidahbaby says:

      Ahahaha, that’s right! I just came here to say that. The Loud family blew apart because of the stresses of being so exposed on show, and the parents got divorced – but one of the sons, Lance Loud, came our as gay which was really really brave in those days. Lance was funny, flambuoyant, and cute.

  34. Amy says:

    Are she and Nicole still friends? I feel once Nicole got pregnant, she turned her life around in a big way since she knew she was going to become a mother. I can’t remember the last time I saw them together. They had a falling out at some point but pretended to reconcile or something.

  35. BW says:

    The first reality show was “An American Family,” which aired on PBS in 1973. It followed the Loud family for half a year in 1971. It pretty much destroyed their family, and PBS never did it again.

  36. Cala says:

    …. And we will never forgive you.

  37. msw says:

    She isn’t aging well.

  38. ilovesunnydaze says:

    Well she’s looking worse for wear. Kim K looks really pretty in that photo. Much more so than lately.

  39. Anon says:

    Wrong Paris. You wish. It was a cute show but your not even close

    Osbournes 2002 late to 2005

    Newlyweds. 2003 – 2005

    These two shows were the beginnings of reality TV

  40. Li lu says:

    Paris was first in my opinion. The Simple Life was the first kind of scripted, fun, reality show. They made showing your lifestyle off on Tv seem cool, and gave everyone else the idea.

  41. Rylan says:

    How about People’s Court in the 80s withJudge Wopner?

  42. stanhope says:

    Well perhaps she didn’t exactly start reality tv but I’d have to give her that she and Nicole took it mainstream. The Real World technically was the first but it was still sort of niche back then.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I never watched Paris or Ozzy but I did watch Anna Nicole Smith and Being Bobbie Brown sometimes. They were “guilty pleasure” TV. I also watched The Real World when it was new, it was “must see” back in the day but only for a couple seasons.

  43. Frosty says:

    She’s got it wrong, but then I have to remember that Paris isn’t aware of much outside herself.