As news broke that former film producer Harvey Weinstein gained an additional 16-year sentence for rape on top of the already 23 years he’s been ordered to spend in prison, Paris Hilton was telling another horror story to Glamour UK. In the magazine’s February cover story, Hilton opened up about the time when she was 19 and looking to get into acting, and Weinstein followed her into the bathroom to scream at her until he had to be forcibly removed by security.

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Because it was the year 2000 and he was so powerful that nobody yet had the courage to stand up to him, nothing was done about this behavior, and Hilton kept quiet about it for decades.

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Hilton was at a gala for The Foundation for AIDS Research when Weinstein, who had heard that the 19-year-old wanted to be in movies, approached her while she was at a table with a friend.

“I was at lunch with my girlfriend and he came up to the table and was like, ‘Oh, you want to be an actress?’” Hilton reported. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I really want to be in a movie.’ I was a teenager, so I was impressed by him. I was like, ‘Oh my god, Harvey Weinstein is so cool!’ and he said, ‘Well, we should have a meeting. You can come up to my room and read scripts.'”

She says that she never ended up meeting him in his room because she simply didn’t feel like it, and that instinct may have saved her from something extremely terrible. However, Weinstein, known for not taking it well when people don’t do what he wants, took it out on her the next day. Hilton recalls that the producer followed her into the women’s bathroom while screaming “Ya wanna be a star?”

“I went into the bathroom and then he followed me. He tried to open the door, he was hammering on the door, banging on it. And I wouldn’t open it, because I was like, ‘I’m in a stall, why do you want to come in here?’ And I just wouldn’t open it. And security came and literally carried him away and he was like [shouting], ‘This is my party,’ going nuts. It scared me and freaked me out.”

Hilton went on to explain that she kept quiet about what happened because she had heard the rumors about Weinstein and knew that it was dangerous to do anything to mess with him. Everyone else turned a blind eye to his behavior due to his massive power in Hollywood.

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Since then, 87 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of acts ranging from sexual harassment to rape. The former producer has filed an appeal for the original case in New York that ended with a 23-year sentence, but the motion to appeal this latest case was denied. At age 70, the man will likely die in prison.

Weinstein has denied all allegations, but nobody who isn’t likely an aspiring Weinstein themselves believes him.

Hilton says that she is now trying to get herself beyond her past and rise above all the things people believed about her, finding her true self and retaking control of how she’s defined.

“I’m not a dumb blonde, I’m just very good at pretending to be one,” she said. “The real me is someone who is strong and resilient, brave, smart and fun.”

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*First Published: February 24, 2023, 11:13 am