A Look at Paris Hilton's Legal Woes

A Look at Paris Hilton's Legal Woes

by Monica Sanders, December 2009

Quick! Someone get Merriam Webster on the phone. Apparently, they don't know the new definition of trouble is Paris Hilton. And if she isn't trouble incarnate, then she certainly has a hard time staying out of it. It seems that when she isn't trading one Greek heir for another, the 24 year-old is logging beaucoup billable hours for her very happy attorneys.

"If you can't say nothin' nice..."

Apparently, Paris has never seen "Bambi," when Thumper says "if you can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." The heiress' mouth recently got the rest of her slapped with a restraining order.

Hollywood events producer Brian Quintana met Hilton while working for her boyfriend Stavros Niarchos. Hilton claims Quintana followed the couple everywhere and made her look bad to Niarchos' family. Quintana says Hilton and he had a confrontation - she pushed him in the chest and threatened him, he started to receive anonymous phone calls calling him a "dead man." Quintana says after Hilton bad mouthed him to other people he lost clients. The commissioner granted Quintana a restraining order. Quintana filed police reports, hoping they will lead to criminal charges.

Paris' sharp tongue got her into another legal scrape this year... a $10 million lawsuit. During the summer, the hotel heiress and diamond heiress Zeta Graff had it out at a London nightclub. Paris allegedly hurled such insults as "you're old" at her ex-fiancé Paris Latsis' ex-girlfriend. It didn't stop there; Graff accused Paris of planting false stories in the tabloids and filed a defamation suit against her. The case is due back in court March 2nd.

Since one or both of these cases could lead to criminal charges, Paris could be in serious trouble.

And Now for the Near Misses

This is not her first or even second brush with the law. She's had some very near misses.

In November of last year, she was subpoenaed as a witness in a case against the man accused of trying to rob, carjack, and kidnap "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis. Later in 2005, Hilton allegedly offered some Maryland teenagers marijuana to "loosen them up" during a taping of "The Simple Life: Interns," but was cleared of all charges. Finally, in April of 2004, she settled a lawsuit with New York jeweler Kwiat, who alleged Hilton borrowed four pieces of jewelry worth $159,800 for the Oscars, but never returned them. Hilton's lawyers say the clasp was defective and a bracelet fell off her wrist.

Video Vixen

Paris Hilton doesn't spend all her time in court. She sometimes appears in video and TV.

In 2003, a sex video featuring Paris and then boyfriend Rick Salomon leaked onto the Internet. Salomon sued the Hiltons, saying they tried to spin the story and suggest that Paris was forced into the acts depicted in the video. The next year, Salomon released "1 Night in Paris" on DVD. Hilton sued Salomon for releasing the DVD, although they later settled.

In May of 2005, Hilton's somewhat clothed appearance in a Carl's Jr. commercial kicked up its share of controversy. The commercial showed Paris wearing a swimsuit, eating a hamburger and washing a car. Watchdog group Parents Television Council called the commercial "soft porn" and not suitable for young audiences. While no lawsuit was filed, only an edited version of the commercial aired in very select markets. The hamburger chain created a separate website www.spicyparis.com, to show the full length commercial.

Misfortune Finds Her

In her defense, Paris isn't always causing trouble. Sometimes it finds her.

A few months ago, the contents of the heiress' storage locker somehow ended up in the hands of celebrity porn broker David Hans Schmidt, including computers, clothes and furniture, a number of risqué photos of Hilton and about 18 personal diaries. Schmidt put the items up for sale for $20 million. Her lawyers are in talks to recover the items.

Paris and sister Nicky were burglary victims in 2004. That time, thieves took a laptop, cash and more than $100,000 in jewelry. Police say the burglars got in by cutting a window screen on the side of the house. The theives were never caught.

In February of 2005, Paris' misfortune nearly turned Hollywood upside down. A 17-year old hacker broke into her Sidekick and posted contact info for her celebrity friends on the Internet. Those exposed included Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg and Eminem. About 35 digital pictures also hit the Internet, including one of a topless Hilton kissing MTV VJ Eglantina Zingg. The hacker pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eleven months in a juvenile detention center.

It is rather poetic, isn't it? People getting famous for taking advantage of someone who's famous for being famous - and for being in trouble.