Paris Hilton is certainly no stranger to the limelight, with the media having tracked the ups and downs of the socialite’s life ever since she found fame in the early 2000s. And, naturally, she has been photographed a lot in all that time, too. However, there’s one snap featuring Hilton that’s more famous than most: a 2006 shot of her in a car with Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. And when the reality TV personality finally chose to open up about that photo, she made a surprising claim.
Born in 1981 in New York City, the Simple Life star is the oldest of Kathy and Richard Hilton’s four children. And yes, her great-grandfather was Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, making her one of the heirs to the family’s fortune. The future star’s childhood was fairly peripatetic, however, as Hilton and her family relocated a lot while she was young.
Eventually, though, the clan settled for a while in Beverly Hills, California, during which time Hilton was a student at Marywood-Palm Valley School. Then the Hiltons moved again in 1996 – this time to New York.
After she had completed high school, however, Hilton’s life started to change, as she slowly moved into the public spotlight. Alongside her younger sister, Nicky, the New York native became a regular at celebrity parties, fashion shows and other social gatherings. And the pair’s fame would reach yet another level in 2000.
After having gained some modeling experience as a young child, Hilton returned to that world by appearing in a Vanity Fair photoshoot with her sister. And from there, the socialite became a fixture in various ad campaigns, posing for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Christian Dior.
With Hilton’s reputation on the rise, 2001 proved to be another interesting year for the heiress. During that period, in fact, she made her big-screen debut with a cameo in the cult comedy Zoolander as herself. That wouldn’t be her last movie role, either.
Yes, Hilton went on to star in two more films the following year – one of them being the thriller Sweetie Pie. The socialite also took on one of the lead roles in the horror movie Nine Lives before appearing in a flurry of releases in 2003.
In that year, Hilton was seen once again playing herself in the comedy Pauly Shore Is Dead, although she took on other characters in The Cat in the Hat and Wonderland. The aspiring actress starred, too, in a short film named L.A. Knights. Her life would ultimately change forever, though, in November 2003.
That month, a sex tape featuring Hilton and her boyfriend at the time, Rick Salomon, appeared on the internet. Titled “One Night in Paris,” the video unfortunately coincided with the upcoming debut of her new reality television series, The Simple Life, in which she would appear alongside friend Nicole Richie. The socialite’s show was set to air, you see, just a few weeks after the tape had leaked online.
Despite some concerns about timing, however, the sex-tape scandal didn’t appear to have a negative impact on The Simple Life. The show proved to be a big hit, in fact, and it led Hilton on to even bigger things as a result.
Hilton kept herself busy, too, by appearing in TV shows such as The O.C., Las Vegas and Veronica Mars in 2004. The New Yorker also featured in three film releases that year: Raising Helen, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and The Hillz.
And Hilton also pursued a number of other interests away from television and film. The socialite’s first book came out in 2004, for example, while she also set up her own record label that year. However, the business ventures didn’t end there.
You see, along with working on the second season of The Simple Life, Hilton opened a nightclub and launched her own line of perfume. The aspiring actress managed to score one of her best-known film roles, too, in 2005’s House of Wax – for which she was subsequently nominated for two MTV Movie Awards.
Plus, Hilton tried her hand at becoming a pop star with the release of her first album under her label in 2006. And the self-titled record proved somewhat successful, reaching number six on the Billboard 200 chart. Then, of course, Hilton was snapped in a car with two more young celebrities.
At the time that they were pictured alongside Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears had already enjoyed incredible careers. Lohan had made her screen debut back in 1995 by featuring in two episodes of Sesame Street. After that, she bagged a role in the TV show Another World before making it to the movies in 1998.
Playing a pair of twins, Lohan established her acting chops in The Parent Trap alongside Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid. And the much-loved film marked out the child star as one to watch. From there, she went on to feature in two other television shows before returning to the big screen in 2003.
And Lohan’s career continued to thrive following the release of Freaky Friday and 2004’s Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. The New York native became a superstar, however, after Mean Girls hit movie theaters.
After that, Lohan appeared on both That ’70s Show and King of the Hill before returning to films. In 2005 she appeared on screen as the lead in Herbie Fully Loaded – a reboot of the classic Love Bug franchise that also starred Justin Long and Michael Keaton.
As for Britney Spears, her big break in the music industry had come back in 1998. Following a spell on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club show a few years earlier, she released the hit single “…Baby One More Time” to chart-topping success. And from there, Spears’ career skyrocketed to incredible heights thanks to a slew of best-selling tracks and albums.
It should be said, though, that neither Spears nor Lohan were able to shy away from controversy. Spears’ turbulent love life was often a subject of speculation, for one – not least regarding her very short-lived marriage to friend Jason Alexander. Lohan made headlines, meanwhile, for everything from her partying to the apparent turmoil within her family.
Then, of course, Hilton, Lohan and Spears’ respective lives collided in 2006, with the trio being pictured together in a car. And due to the women’s rather dishevelled appearances at the time, the photo quickly became notorious. Not long after that shot was taken, however, all three stars faced some major issues.
Hilton was arrested in September 2006, for example, for driving while drunk. The socialite was ultimately sent to prison for 45 days the following May – although the sentence was later cut to just under half of that total. And, in fact, Hilton spent just three days behind bars before being released for unidentified health issues.
Initially, the reality star had been ordered to spend the rest of her sentence under house arrest; a judge had other ideas, though, and sent Hilton back to prison instead. Then in June 2007 she finally returned home after 22 days at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Los Angeles.
Lohan also had problems with the law during that period. In May 2007, for instance, she was arrested after a vehicular accident in Beverly Hills. She was apprehended the following month, too, after allegedly pursuing another woman in her car.
To make matters even worse, Lohan was caught with cocaine in her possession on both occasions. Luckily for the actress, though, there wasn’t enough of the illegal drug for her to be slapped with a felony charge. Following all that drama, Lohan spent just under 90 minutes in prison, with the rest of her sentence coming in the form of community service.
Meanwhile, Spears faced issues of a very different kind to her two famous acquaintances. First, she split from estranged husband Kevin Federline in November 2006 – just eight weeks after having giving birth to their second son. From there, she threw herself into the nightclub scene and, it’s reported, spent spells in rehab.
However, Spears’ behavior truly began to raise concern when she was pictured shaving her head in early 2007. “My mom is going to freak,” she reportedly told the owner of the beauty shop at which she cut off her locks. The singer subsequently checked into a rehab facility in California amid worries for her mental health.
It could be said, then, that the shot of Hilton, Lohan and Spears together was captured just before the trio began to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. As for the night itself, though? Well, some 12 years after the snap was taken, Hilton finally revealed a little of what had happened prior to getting into that car.
In December 2018 the heiress was a guest of Andy Cohen on the Sirius XM radio station when the subject of the photo came up. As the host started to ask about the three women’s evening, however, Hilton cut him off to clarify something. “Well, Britney and I went out for the night,” she said.
Seemingly intrigued, Cohen then asked if Lohan “crashed” Hilton and Spears’ night out. “Yeah, she totally party crashed,” the reality star responded. “We were all at The Beverly Hills Hotel at the bungalows, and we were at an after-party. And then Britney and I wanted to leave to go home.”
“Then [Lohan] started chasing us,” Hilton continued. “[She] squeezed in the car. It was literally a two-seater SLR sports car, so she just squeezed in.” After that, the socialite went on to explain why she hadn’t asked Lohan to get out of the vehicle.
“I didn’t want to humiliate [Lohan] in front of all the paparazzi and be like, ‘Get out of my car,’” Hilton told Cohen. From there, the host probed for more details of that night. “When you pulled away [from the paparazzi], did you drop [Lohan] off at the end of the driveway at The Beverly Hills Hotel?” he jokingly asked.
After laughing off that suggestion, Hilton explained, “We went back to my house, and then Britney and I just went to sleep. Then, I dunno, Lindsay probably [went home]. There was no Uber back then, so she probably called a cab. I have no idea.”
Hilton also revealed that she and Spears are still friends after all this time, although they don’t see each other often. But when Cohen asked the star about her relationship with Lohan, it drew an interesting response. “No, [I don’t ever see Lohan],” the New York native replied.
“Back in the day, we were friends,” Hilton continued. “But [Lohan’s] just like one of those people that I don’t really trust. I only like to be around positive energy and good people. Good vibes only!” Then, a few weeks later, Lohan was a guest of Cohen’s at the station, and the host hoped to get her response to the comments from her former buddy.
However, Lohan appeared to be incredibly reluctant to talk about the situation. “I haven’t even seen [Hilton] in years,” she said. “I haven’t seen her in years, but that’s not the story, so let’s pass on. I’m not here to talk about Paris!” But regardless of his guest’s request, Cohen refused to stray from the subject.
Instead, Cohen informed Lohan that Hilton had had no idea how the movie star had got home after she and Britney had gone to bed. “Maybe she doesn’t remember it,” the actress responded. “End of story.” Seemingly taking the hint, the host then eased off before things became more awkward.
And since that night in 2006, Hilton, Lohan and Spears’ respective careers have all gone in interesting directions. The heiress has continued to dabble in music by becoming a DJ and working on her second album. And while the record itself remains unreleased, a number of subsequent singles have hit the charts.
Meanwhile, Lohan hasn’t given up on her acting career, despite all her past problems. She’s since appeared in the films Machete, Just My Luck and Scary Movie 5 before shooting her last movie role to date for 2013’s The Canyons. Lohan continues to work in television, though – most notably starring in British series Sick Note in 2018.
And Spears embarked upon a brand new tour in 2018, with the singer traveling across North America and Europe. The music superstar was also scheduled to perform in Las Vegas from February 2019; she has since postponed those dates, however, in order to be with family after her dad experienced health issues.