In this On Purpose episode, Jay Shetty welcomes Paris Hilton, who recently released a memoir called “Paris the Memoir.”
He discusses Hilton’s various achievements and roles in the entertainment industry, highlighting her success as an entrepreneur.
Healing Through Sharing Her Trauma
While it was uneasy and brought up traumatic experiences, writing her book proved therapeutic for Hilton. Some parts of the process made her feel like she needed a break, especially when narrating the audiobook in a room with unfamiliar people. However, she emphasizes the importance of sharing her story in her own voice.
Hilton reflects on her journey and growth. She told Jay Shetty that everything she has experienced has shaped her into the strong woman she is today. However, she regrets letting certain people with bad intentions into her life.
After going through trauma, Paris Hilton built walls around her heart and struggled to trust anyone. Yet meeting her husband was a turning point, as he helped her break down those emotional barriers and let someone into her life.
Learning Your Self-Worth
Hilton’s self-esteem was deeply affected by the abuse she endured during her teenage years. Yet, she credits her documentary and the process of writing her book for igniting a journey of self-discovery. It allowed her to confront and share her untold stories. She also attributes her growth to her marriage, which has brought significant positive changes in her life.
Furthermore, Paris Hilton expresses her gratitude to her documentary’s director, recognizing the documentary’s profound impact on her life. It has enabled her to transform her pain into a purpose and make a difference in the lives of others. She told Jay Shetty she now feels that people now understand her in ways they hadn’t before, bringing her a sense of fulfillment and validation.
Paris Hilton believes that opening up about difficult experiences is essential. She shares with Jay Shetty her experience of being manipulated and groomed by her teacher at 14. She recently talked to her family about it.
Hilton’s family never discussed difficult things, making it hard for her to open up. However, she believes her story is important and wishes she had a book like hers as a teenager.
Paris Hilton told Jay Shetty that her mother felt guilty when learning about her abuse. Yet she firmly believes that the shame should not be on the person who experienced harm but rather on the one who caused it. Therefore, she thinks it is crucial for others who have gone through similar experiences to understand this as well.
Little Girl in Need of Protection
Hilton uses the word “pedophile” in her book. She initially hesitated to use the term because she didn’t want to see herself as a victim manipulated by her abuser. However, as an adult, she realizes the gravity of the situation and the anger she would feel if something similar happened to her daughter.
Hilton acknowledges the importance of sharing her story, as such incidents occur regularly and must be addressed. In this sense, Jay Shetty encourages parents to keep communication lines open with their children, avoiding judgment and maintaining understanding.
Paris Hilton’s mother’s generation didn’t often discuss feelings or mental health, leading to difficulties in their conversations. However, since her mother read her book and watched her documentary, their relationship has grown stronger, offering healing for both of them. Finding the courage to open up and build trust, even in adulthood, can positively transform the parent-child relationship.
The Boarding School Nightmare
Paris Hilton opened up to Jay Shetty about her experience of being sent to boarding schools. Despite being portrayed as a troubled kid needing fixing, Hilton always believed that she didn’t deserve to be there and that nothing was wrong with her. However, her parents, unaware of the true nature of these facilities, sent her there based on a therapist’s recommendation.
Being taken to these schools was traumatic, with men entering her room in the middle of the night, sometimes accompanied by handcuffs. Paris experienced severe nightmares for two decades as a result. It wasn’t until her documentary and advocacy work that the nightmares finally subsided.
Despite the challenging environment and constant messaging that she was broken, Hilton held onto her belief that she was a good person who didn’t deserve to be there. Her sense of self and vision of who she wanted to become after leaving the facilities gave her strength and motivation.
Attention Deficit Disorder
Moreover, Paris Hilton revealed that she also had attention deficit disorder (ADD), which went undiagnosed because it wasn’t discussed back then. It contributed to her difficulty focusing in school and getting bad grades, with others assuming she was intentionally not paying attention.
However, she views her ADD as a superpower, contributing to her success in business and other ventures. Her ability to think differently, be future-oriented, take risks, and innovate sets her apart, she explained to Jay Shetty. Being impulsive and making intuitive decisions has worked in her favor in business. In contrast, these qualities were not valued in school.
Speaking Up About Abuse
In her book, Hilton also describes an episode of being taken advantage of by older boys. She was offered roofied drinks at a party. She had never had alcohol before and therefore lost consciousness for some time. When she woke up, the boys had already taken advantage of her vulnerable state, telling her it was all a dream.
Paris Hilton told Jay Shetty that holding onto shame and embarrassment feels isolating, creating a sense of loneliness. However, she found the courage to write about her experiences in her book, realizing that many others have faced similar situations. Her response from readers has been overwhelmingly positive. People expressed gratitude for helping them feel less alone and encouraging them to speak out against their perpetrators.
Paris Hilton expresses her appreciation for the support and love she has received since sharing her story. Previously known for playing a character, she believes opening up in her book has allowed people to see her more profound and authentic side.
Today, Hilton can experience a sense of fulfillment and contentment in her life. She credits her husband and the presence of her baby boy for creating a feeling of safety. She expresses pride in her accomplishments and identifies herself as a survivor, emphasizing her strength and resilience.
Highly Mediatized Friendships
Jay Shetty highlights the challenges Paris Hilton and her close friend Britney Spears have had, as they have been targeted by the media and subjected to tabloid scrutiny. Hilton attributes their friendship to their understanding of each other’s experiences. Moreover, she emphasizes the importance of women supporting one another, especially in an industry that often pits them against each other.
Having friends who can relate to and provide support is crucial in overcoming loneliness. Paris Hilton experienced the media disseminating false information and rumors about her. Yet her resilience and determination to be true to herself have prevented her from closing off and hiding.
Making a Real Impact
Paris Hilton opened up to Jay Shetty about reconnecting with some of the people she was in school with and the impact of sharing their stories. The experience has been empowering and has allowed them to amplify their voices for the greater good. It had positive outcomes, such as changing laws in nine states and planning to introduce new federal legislation in Washington, D.C., to protect children.
Paris Hilton explains to Jay Shetty that advocating for change is a daily commitment. The troubled teen industry is a multi-billion dollar business with numerous schools, some of which have been associated with child deaths and reports of abuse.
Hilton and her team face resistance from those who profit from the industry. Still, she believes face-to-face meetings with lawmakers, where they hear the survivors’ stories, significantly raise awareness and generate support for change.
Dealing With Rumors
Paris Hilton told Jay Shetty that being a good friend means creating a safe space for survivors to share their experiences without judgment. She emphasizes the importance of letting survivors know that it is not their fault and being there for them however they need.
Furthermore, Hilton highlights the presence of trusted individuals who respect confidentiality and do not spread rumors or betray her trust. She used to test people by sharing fake stories to see if they would end up in the media. Unfortunately, many failed that test. However, she now has people around her whom she can fully trust, and trust and loyalty hold immense value.
The media portrayed Paris Hilton as promiscuous. She explains that she felt fearful and guarded despite her reputation, which affected her relationships. Many didn’t work because she wanted to keep things innocent, while others desired more.
Hilton shares that she tried not to pay attention to rumors and felt targeted by the media.
Re-Learning to Trust
Paris Hilton opens up to Jay Shetty about her journey to finding a healthy relationship after facing abuse, mistreatment, and exploitation. She admits that letting anyone in for a long time was extremely difficult.
Hilton describes meeting Carter, her current husband, in 2019, during a Thanksgiving lunch. Carter’s genuine kindness and different qualities stood out to her, and she felt an immediate connection. They became inseparable and eventually moved in together, which was further solidified when the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paris Hilton reflects on how the unusual circumstances allowed them to spend quality time together, unlike her previously busy lifestyle. She confessed to Jay Shetty she feels a strong sense of destiny in their relationship.
She had just finished filming her documentary when Hilton and her now husband started dating. She showed the documentary to him, leading to deep conversations about her experiences. He asked her questions and became emotional, which made her trust him more.
A New Life
Hilton decided to keep her pregnancy private and hidden from the public. She explains that she wanted to protect her baby and have a personal, sacred experience without outside opinions and online trolls.
While she loves making others happy and feeling the energy of being in the media spotlight, the joy Hilton experiences with her baby is different. She describes her profound love when her baby is lying on her chest, gazing at her with innocent eyes. She considers it authentic, genuine love compared to the attention she received in the past, being in the public eye.
Paris Hilton explains to Jay Shetty that she used to be lost and busy to avoid thinking about the harrowing experiences she went through. However, now that she has taken the time to know herself, she can truly love and appreciate every part of herself.
Moreover, she has learned that her parents may never apologize or be accountable for their past actions. After doing research, she understands the manipulative nature of the industry she was sent to as a teenager, and she can’t be angry at her parents because they were also misled.
As a mother today, Hilton expresses her understanding of her parents’ fear and the need to protect children. She hopes to create an environment where her child feels safe enough to share anything without hiding. Open communication and non-judgmental parenting are paramount in creating a trusting bond.
During her time in a school facility and throughout her 20s, Hilton felt sad and depressed. She started creating a vision of the life she wanted and the person she could become to escape the pain. She believes the power of manifestation turned her pain into something positive.
Paris Hilton shares with Jay Shetty that she always had big dreams but never expected to reach the level of success she had attained. She mentions that she dreamed of having one perfume but has now released 30 fragrances. She now feels that everything she has set her mind to has come true.
Paris Hilton’s private tape was leaked in the past, and the whole world judged and criticized her. It was one of her most painful experiences, feeling betrayed and mortified. She stayed in her house for months and canceled press tours.
Paris Hilton opened up to Jay Shetty about her disappointment. The incident took away something from her and made the world assume things about her based on one night with someone she trusted. It took her a while to feel brave enough to go out again, but her first step was appearing on “Saturday Night Live” with Jimmy Fallon. She felt that by doing so, she was taking control of her narrative and how it was portrayed.
An Honest Paris Hilton
Jay Shetty reflects on Hilton’s resilience and determination. Her book offers a unique perspective of someone going through challenging experiences. He encourages readers to consider how it feels when others perceive them differently or when their narrative is taken away.
Jay Shetty emphasizes the importance of recognizing nuance, hidden truths, and the subtleties of people’s stories, urging listeners to give others the benefit of the doubt and apply that to themselves. It is crucial to take control of your narrative, understand the complexities of people’s stories, and avoid snap judgments based on appearances.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Paris Hilton ON: How To Stop Shame Controlling Your Life & Turning Pain Into Purpose” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.