In an interview published by Marie Claire on Monday, Paris Hilton defended Donald Trump against his sexual accusers, in addition to playing off his "grab them by the p*ssy" comments as something that shouldn't be taken seriously. A writer for the magazine, Irin Carmon, tweeted a screengrab of Hilton's extended remarks that she said were too long to fit in the print story showing that she does not believe the sexual assault allegations women have made against him. Hilton has not commented on the story; Bustle has reached out to a rep for Hilton for additional comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
UPDATE: Hilton released the following statement via her rep. Bustle reached out to Marie Claire regarding Hilton saying that her comments were "misapplied."
I want to apologize for my comments from an interview I did last year. They were part of a much larger story and I am regretful that they were not delivered in the way I had intended.
I was speaking about my own experiences in life and the role of media and fame in our society and it was never my intention for my comments to be misapplied almost a year later. I always believe in helping women have their voices heard and helping create an environment where women feel empowered and believe in themselves.
I am deeply hurt by how this has played out and also deeply sorry. Moving forward I will continue to do what I can to be an advocate for girls and women with the hopes of providing a louder voice for those who may desperately need it.
EARLIER: Before even discussing Trump, who has been a longtime family friend and someone she's known since she was a little girl, Hilton declared that she is a feminist. "I just feel it’s about women’s empowerment and girl power, and I’m very into that," she told the magazine.
Then, she said the following about the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault,
"I think that they are just trying to get attention and fame. I feel like, a lot of people, when something happens all these opportunists will come out. They want to get money or get paid to not say anything or get a settlement when nothing really happened."
"So I don’t believe any of that. And I’m sure they were trying to be with him too. Because a lot of women, I’ve seen, like him because he’s wealthy and he’s charming and good-looking so I feel like a lot of these girls just made the story up. I didn’t really pay attention to it. I heard a couple things about it. I don’t believe it."
In response to the sexual assault and harassment allegations, Trump said last October, "As you have seen, I am a victim of one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country. They are coming after me to try and destroy what is considered by even them the greatest movement in the history of our country." He also denied the allegations that he kissed and groped several women without their consent.
For Hilton to dismiss these women's claims extremely harmful. It is hard enough for women to be taken seriously when they come forward with sexual assault allegations. According to RAINN, (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), 13 percent of sexual assault victims didn't report their sexual violence crime to police (from 2005-2010) because they didn't think authorities would do anything to help. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, (NSVRC), rape is the most under-reported crime. As stated in a 2012 NSVRC report,
The prevalence of false reporting cases of sexual violence is low, yet when survivors come forward, many face scrutiny or encounter barriers. For example, when an assault is reported, survivors may feel that their victimization has been redefined and even distorted by those who investigate, process, and categorize cases.
To have a public figure, like Hilton (who could actually be using her voice for good in regards to sexual assault), to claim the accusers just want "attention" is dangerous. The more people who don't take those claiming sexual assault seriously, the more difficult it is going to be for those who are victims to receive justice and to feel like they are living a world that will actually do something to help them.
Hilton also provided her opinion on the "p*ssy" remark Trump made to former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005. "I've heard guys say some pretty crazy things. Like, worse than that," she said. "I think it was kind of just one of those things where you're with someone — I've heard guys say the craziest things ever 'cuz I'm always around guys and I listen to them speak," she said. "So I definitely don't think he would just say that."
When people try to justify Trump's comment as "locker room talk" or that it's just "boys being boys," it's basically saying talk like this is OK — and it's not. This way of thinking needs to stop. As for Trump, he apologized in October 2016 for his Access Hollywood comments and said, "I said it, I was wrong and I apologize." He added, "I've said some foolish things, but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary [Clinton] has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims."
It's unfortunate that Hilton has made such remarks and disregarded those who are accusing something as serious as assault — something that is it never OK make light of.