Hilton is a promotion machine
MIAMI: Paris Hilton may seem like the ultimate party girl, but she and her handlers swear she's really a globe-trotting workaholic who relentlessly plugs her projects and products.
Defending herself against a lawsuit claiming she didn't do enough to promote the 2006 bomb "Pledge This," Hilton insists in a deposition in Miami federal court that she went the extra mile for the movie.
"Any chance I got, any red carpet, any press, if I was doing something for another product ... I would just bring it up, 'Oh, my new sorority film, it's going to be sexy, it's going to be really hot girls' — like I really, you know, did my best," said Hilton, 28.
The deposition offers several other glimpses into Hilton's life, including her preference for David Letterman because Jay Leno asks questions she doesn't like. She also acknowledges she'd never seen her own cell phone bills until attorneys showed her one in an attempt to figure out who she was calling.
Asked who gets her bills, she replied, "I don't know. I'm assuming, like, whoever pays my bills. I never ask about that stuff."
The lawsuit was filed by the court-appointed receiver for a failed Miami investor in the film, Worldwide Entertainment Group. Receiver Michael Goldberg claims Hilton's failure to plug the movie's DVD release cost the investor more than $8.3 million — the amount of damages he seeks. A trial is scheduled to begin by June 8.
In the movie, a National Lampoon vehicle billed as a raunchy college comedy, Hilton plays Victoria English, president of the exclusive Gamma Gamma Gamma Sorority at fictional South Beach University. She wants to win a major men's magazine's "America's Hottest Sorority" contest, but the rules say the winning chapter needs diversity. Misfits are recruited and hilarity ensues, although audiences apparently didn't think so. The movie only made it to 25 theaters and lost money.
The hotel heiress and her company, Paris Hilton Entertainment Inc., contend she honored her deal to promote the limited theatrical release of "Pledge This!" and never agreed to do as much for the DVD. They also contend the investors made unreasonable and last-minute demands for publicity events when her overflowing schedule was fully booked.
"She's the single busiest person on the planet," Hilton attorney Michael Weinstein said Tuesday at a hearing on pretrial motions.
In her March deposition, Hilton describes doing "a huge blowout" with press at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 in hopes of drumming up interest.
"We made a huge splash out there, and I just continued talking about how great it was and how fun it was," she said.
Hilton was one of eight executive producers for the movie, though she acknowledged she was a bit shaky on what that meant.
"I'm not sure what a producer does, but — I don't know, help get cool people in the cast," she said.
Hilton's manager and schedule overseer, Jason Moore, said in a deposition that she hasn't taken a day off "in years," with workdays often beginning at 6 a.m. or earlier for hair and makeup.
Changing a single item on that schedule is like "controlling chaos," so last-minute adjustments sought by movie investors weren't possible, Moore said. He cited long-scheduled business trips to places like Japan, Ireland and Australia, along with Hilton's work on "The Simple Life" reality TV show, which often left her without reliable access to phone service while she worked 18-hour days.
Court documents in the case show what was keeping her busy, documenting that she earned more than $22 million in 2006 and 2007 from contracts that included heavy promotional work, including Motorola cell phones in Japan, her Parlux line of fragrances, cosmetics and accessories, and promotional nightclub appearances.
At one point, the "Pledge This!" producers suggested that Hilton could appear on Leno's "Tonight Show," but Moore said that was a nonstarter.
Moore said Hilton vastly prefers Letterman, though she said she once got angry with him because he made fun of the 2007 incident in which she spent 23 days in jail for violating probation on alcohol-related reckless driving charges.
"I told his people that I would never do the show again, but then he apologized and called me and sent me flowers and was very sweet, and he was on the air a lot at nighttime like asking me to come back on the show, and we made up," Hilton said.
Moore said Hilton doesn't do Leno because he is Letterman's competition and because during a previous appearance he "didn't follow particular guidelines with regard to why we were there and promoting. We would never do Leno."