Paris Hilton sues website over sex video. The ''Simple Life'' socialite sues for $30 million over unauthorized distribution of the full-length video

By Gary Susman
Updated February 07, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Paris Hilton, The Simple Life
Credit: Paris Hilton: Sam Jones

The three-minute excerpt of Paris Hilton’s notorious sex tape has been widely circulated, but not the full 45-minute version that she and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon shot three years ago — and if Hilton has her way, you won’t be seeing the full-length version anytime soon. On Friday, Reuters reports, she filed a $30 million lawsuit against Panama-based Kahatani Ltd., claiming the Internet company had illegally obtained and distributed the video, causing the 22-year-old heiress ”severe economic, emotional, and other irreparable injury.” According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, ”Hilton intended the videotape only for personal use and never intended or consented that it be shown to anyone else or distributed to the public.”

When the video surfaced a few months ago, shortly before the debut of her Fox reality series, ”The Simple Life,” Seattle-based Internet firm Marvad Corp. backed off from plans to webcast the full tape after learning that it had been leaked to the company without Hilton’s permission. Salomon filed a $10 million slander suit against Hilton and her family for allegedly claiming that he’d taken advantage of the then-19-year-old during the filming and had provided the tape to Marvad. Last month, Hilton’s lawyer claimed in court papers obtained by the Smoking Gun that Salomon had offered to drop his suit if she let him license pay-per-view rights to the video, but Salomon’s lawyer disputed that claim.

If Hilton has suffered ”severe economic? injury,” she’s hiding it well. Her notoriety helped make ”Simple Life” a hit, to which Fox is now planning a follow-up series that would send Hilton and pal Nicole Richie to a new fish-out-of-water setting. Family friend Donald Trump says he’s talking to her about hosting his Miss USA pageant in April. And she’s shopping a book proposal, called, ”Tongue-in-Chic: Paris Hilton’s Confessions of an Heiress.” In the proposal, which has been posted at the Smoking Gun Hilton offers advice on how to emulate her (sample tips: ”Be born into the right family. Choose your chromosomes wisely,” and ”Never drink Diet Coke. Diet Coke is for fat people”). She also writes, ”The sex tape has made me change my life. I used to have fun and dress up — and that was my life. But now I’m moving on, I’ve grown up a lot.”