Paris Hilton says she knew what she was doing long before anyone else, and now her wallet is reaping the benefits.
The bombshell was often portrayed as a ditz while filming "The Simple Life" and for being "famous for being famous," as was often said in the mid 2000s. While she was called many unflattering names, she is calling herself shrewd.
"When I moved to New York as a teenager I would just party all the time, but now people think I am actually smart because I have parlayed that into a very lucrative business," she said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "With partying, no one had ever been paid to go to a party. I was the first one to kind of invent that in Las Vegas at 20 years old. Back in the day, a DJ would maybe get $200 and they would be hidden in a DJ booth. Now they are headliners, making millions of dollars—the whole attraction is them."
She declares proudly, "I saw that coming before it was actually happening."
Over the years, Paris has certainly rebuilt her image and is now a hugely successful DJ. She's also a hugely successful businesswoman with an estimated worth of about $100 million.
"I want to be known as a businesswoman. I don't want to be known as a reality TV star; I don't like the way that sounds," she said.
Once known as a party girl, something she admits she was, she said, "I have really grown past that. Now I mostly focus on my empire and my brand, rather than everything else that comes with the reality star kind of life."
Paris' focus now seems incredibly and admirably honed in.
"For a long time I didn't know what I wanted. I just felt like this kid who was never going to grow up, but now I feel like I have," she says. "I have had so many adversities against me and people who have not wanted me to succeed in certain areas, but I am proving people wrong all the time. I want to be a role model for young women who want to be an entrepreneur like me."
Don't laugh, either. Paris has over 50 boutique stores with her name, although nearly all of them are overseas. She's also designing hotels that have nothing to do with her family's namesake. And, over the summer, she released her 20th fragrance since 2004. She's reportedly sold $1.5 billion in her perfumes alone.
"Yes, I feel very lucky to have come from a privileged family, but I have done it all on my own," she added."For beautiful women, people don't look past that to see they are actually intelligent as well. I love proving people wrong. It's my favorite thing. They always say, 'Wow—I really had no clue.'"