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Column

Forget Paris, she still has, like, fame

By SUE CARLTON
Published December 29, 2007


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Really, I hate to do this. I know we have serious issues to talk about for the coming new year - property taxes and political races and the precarious state of our world. I promise I will try not to write these words again. But right now I can't help it:

How 'bout that latest on Paris Hilton?

Wait, don't go! We're talking about the potential for some real-life celebrity justice here!

I admit my bias in this. The famous blond heirhead, as the tabloids like to call her, is everything I don't get about fake-celebrity worship.

Sure, most of us listen at least a little to gossip-dressed-as-news about famous people dating, marrying, procreating, adopting, cheating, divorcing, drugging, drinking, rehabbing, backsliding, getting arrested, going to jail, not going to jail.

But doesn't our interest make sense only when it's people we know because they're famous actors or politicians, because they scored amazing business or legal deals or changed the world, because they played really well at sports or wrote books, because they made movies somebody would actually want to see or performed songs someone could actually stand to hear? You know, someone who actually accomplished something before they went around getting into the aforementioned scandals du jour?

Because besides being blessed with big bucks, standing around perfecting her pretty smirk, wearing tiny designer dogs as accessories, providing a really bad example for little girls and appearing on TV, including that dreadful "reality" show that should have been called Snotty Rich Girls Traveling America to Mock People, can someone please tell me what Paris Hilton has actually done?

Okay, she has gotten stopped by the cops. And she has been sentenced to jail. And, like, she didn't really like it, you know, it was like so gross, and she got out kind of early, right? Until they made her go back, and man, the justice system can be so rude.

And now comes the news that Paris may have gotten dissed.

At least that's how the snarkier celebrity news outlets were playing it, as a slap at her and the dubious mark she has made on the Hilton name. More sober news stories report that her 80-year-old, gazillionaire grandpa (okay, really just billionaire) bequeathed 97 percent of his net worth to a charity foundation created by his father. That charity has traditionally given money to causes including helping the blind and the homeless, preventing substance abuse and working to get safe water for people in Mexico and Africa.

Which seems a huge, fitting and even a lovely act, one that is slightly more meaningful than funding oodles of Jimmy Choo pumps and Hermes Birkin bags. Now, if your heart is kinder toward Paris than my own, do not fret.

She and the other heirs will reportedly get to divvy up what's left, which should give her a least a couple mil, or your average low-end Lotto prize. Not gazillions, but not chump change, either. Plus, she's still got that psuedo-celebrity thing to cash in on.

But jeez, even Leona Helmsley's dog got $12-million. That's gotta smart. Or be a valuable lesson. Or not.

Still, it's probably best she's not destitute, forced to, you know, get a real job.

Though that would be a real reality show to watch.

[Last modified December 28, 2007, 22:56:40]


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