Paris Hilton Says She Was 'Trapped' Playing a Dumb Blonde for 5 Years

Paris Hilton reveals how her ditzy reputation helped her launch a $2 billion empire

Paris Hilton is a name that signifies glitz, money, blonde jokes and, now, a $2 billion empire.

That’s right, Hilton reveals to Access Hollywood that she doesn’t want to be known as a ditz anymore. With 17 product lines and 70 overseas stores, she’s built a business empire and is ready for people to recognize it.

“I am a very hardworking businesswoman and entrepreneur, and that’s what I want to be known as now,” shares the hotel heiress.

The 35-year-old credits the producers of her breakout reality show The Simple Life with her frivolous persona, explaining, “They said ‘Nicole you play the trouble maker, Paris you play the ditzy airhead.’ We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into or what a huge success it would be and that I’d have to continue playing this character for five years.”

“You kind of just get trapped in that character when you have to continue doing it on a TV show,” she says.

Despite Hilton’s honest musings around the dumb blond persona, she admits she’s benefited because she “was in on the joke.”

“I don’t mind because I feel like I really parlayed it into a huge business and it was a lot of fun,” she says. “I think if I was my serious self on the show it wouldn’t have been such a huge success.”

The show may be gone and she may be past her hard-partying socialite days, but Hilton is still still holds court in the style arena, with fashionistas like Kate Middleton spotted wearing the same dresses she’s donned.

Earlier this month Hilton was shocked to see Kendall Jenner wear the same skin-baring diamond dress at her 21st birthday party that Hilton sported at her big 2-1.

“I recognized the dress right away and I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ [Kendall] said, ‘I saw photos of it and I was obsessed with it, so I sent it to this designer and he created it.’ ”

Hilton rewards herself for her hard work with a sparkling rock on her figure, which she dubs her “good luck diamond.”

She says, “I feel like I’ve worked really hard so I like to treat myself.”

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