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Paris Hilton opens up about the 'pain' of being a 'punchline' for years

After years of being the “punchline,” Paris Hilton is happy to have the last laugh.
Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 presented by Amazon Prime Vide - Step and Repeat
Paris Hilton attends Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California and broadcast on Oct. 2, 2020.Jerritt Clark / Getty Images for Savage X Fenty
/ Source: TODAY

After years of being the “punchline,” Paris Hilton is happy to have the last laugh.

The original influencer sat down with Sean Evans of the YouTube series “Hot Ones,” and during an interview, while she was eating progressively hotter wings, talked about everything from her pets to outsmarting the paparazzi.

She also took a moment to reflect on recent documentaries about herself and other starlets like Britney Spears that have forced those in power to reconsider the way they’ve treated women in the spotlight.

“People (are) reflecting on the mistakes they’ve made or things they’ve said and just realizing that you know, myself (and) Britney, we're all just human beings and words hurt,” Hilton said.

“Ever since I got into this industry as a teenager, I just felt so much pain for a long time. Just feeling like a punchline to so many jokes for people,” she explained. “Now, to finally hear people seeing how wrong it is and apologizing is just an amazing feeling.”

“I’m happy that people realize that it was just really messed up that they were doing that.”

In recent weeks, people like comedian Sarah Silverman have apologized for their past behavior towards Hilton.

Silverman made Hilton the butt of her monologue jokes at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. At the time, Hilton was about to head to jail for a short stint related to an alcohol driving offense and was in the audience.

"Paris Hilton is going to jail," Silverman said at the time to the audience’s delight. She continued with some crude comments about how Hilton might be made comfortable behind bars.

Earlier this month, after Hilton mentioned on her podcast how “cruel” she felt the comments were and two days later, Silverman apologized. She said she’d written her in 2007 but “never heard back.”

"So here I am 14 years later, telling you, Paris, that I am really sorry. I was then and I am much more completely, and with more understanding, I think, now. I can't imagine what you were going through at that time,” Silverman said.

She noted that her "understanding of humanity through the lens of my work as a comedian had not yet merged" at that time.

"Comedy is not evergreen," Silverman said. "We can't change the past so what's crucial is that we change with the times... Paris, I hope that you accept my apology and I hope that you feel my remorse. I felt it the second I saw your face that night. It feels terrible to know that you have hurt someone and it's important to make it right so I hope this does that."

Hilton accepted her apology, despite never getting the initial letter, and said she was “pleasantly surprised.”

"We've all said things in our past that, you know, we felt bad about, we later regretted," Hilton said at the time. "And, just, I don't know, I think everyone is guilty of doing that.”

In the interview shared on Thursday, Hilton added that all her difficult experiences helped make her who she is today.

“Whether it (was) being publicly humiliated by people and just being f---ed over by people a lot, it’s been a hard journey,” she said. “Maybe I had to go through it in order for others to not have to go through it. And it’s only made me stronger.”