Paris Hilton backtracked on her controversial statement about the women who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault in the lead-up to the November 2016 election Thursday, asserting that her comments were “misapplied.”
“I want to apologize for my comments from an interview I did last year,” she said in a statement. “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,” she continued. “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 louder voice for those who may desperately need it.”
Earlier in the week, Marie Claire published a feature on Hilton, drawing largely on an interview that took place two days after the November 8th election. The writer of the piece, Irin Carmon, tweeted a sampling of the unedited transcript Tuesday, along with a link to the full article.
— Irin Carmon (@irin) August 15, 2017
In the exchange, Carmon asks Hilton a number of questions about Trump, who is a longtime family friend of the Hiltons. When she asks the socialite/celebrity about disparaging comments Trump made about her when she was just 12 years old, Hilton chalks the incident up to “people say[ing] things that they normally wouldn’t say” on the Howard Stern Show. She insisted that the comment “wasn’t creepy at all.”
Carmon also asked about Trump’s now-infamous Access Hollywood conversation with Billy Bush, during which he tells the talk show host that it’s fine to “grab [women] by the pussy” when you’re rich and famous.
“I’ve heard guys say some pretty crazy things,” Hilton seemingly defended Trump. “Like, worse than that. So I think that when someone doesn’t realize they’re being filmed or recorded, they say things. Especially with a guy.”
But it was her response to Carmon’s question about the many women who had accused Trump of sexual harassment that caused an outcry on Twitter that later led to her apology.
“I think that they are just trying to get attention and fame,” she said. “I feel like, a lot of people, when something happens all these opportunities 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.”
The former reality star previously claimed that she voted for Trump in the presidential election, but in the Marie Claire interview, which took place two days after the November election, she said she hadn’t voted at all.