Miami investor wants to sue Paris Hilton for millions for failing to promote Pledge This!
Written by the Associated Press. Edited by PHS.
Paris Hilton may seem like the ultimate party girl, but she and her handlers swear she’s really a globe-trotting workaholic who relentlessly plugs her projects and products.
Defending herself against a lawsuit claiming she didn’t do enough to promote the 2006 bomb “Pledge This,” Hilton insists in a deposition in Miami federal court that she went the extra mile for the movie.
“Any chance I got, any red carpet, any press, if I was doing something for another product … I would just bring it up, ‘Oh, my new sorority film, it’s going to be sexy, it’s going to be really hot girls’ — like I really, you know, did my best,” said Hilton, 28.
The deposition offers several other glimpses into Hilton’s life, including her preference for David Letterman because Jay Leno asks questions she doesn’t like. She also acknowledges she’d never seen her own cell phone bills until attorneys showed her one in an attempt to figure out who she was calling.
Asked who gets her bills, she replied, “I don’t know. I’m assuming, like, whoever pays my bills. I never ask about that stuff.”
The lawsuit was filed by the court-appointed receiver for a failed Miami investor in the film, Worldwide Entertainment Group. Receiver Michael Goldberg claims Hilton’s failure to plug the movie’s DVD release cost the investor more than $8.3 million — the amount of damages he seeks. A trial is scheduled to begin by June 8.
The movie only made it to 25 theaters and lost money.
hotel heiress Repo! actress and her company, Paris Hilton Entertainment Inc., contend she honored her deal to promote the limited theatrical release of “Pledge This!” and never agreed to do as much for the DVD. They also contend the investors made unreasonable and last-minute demands for publicity events when her overflowing schedule was fully booked.
“She’s the single busiest person on the planet,” Hilton attorney Michael Weinstein said Tuesday at a hearing on pretrial motions.
In her March deposition, Hilton describes doing “a huge blowout” with press at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 in hopes of drumming up interest.
“We made a huge splash out there, and I just continued talking about how great it was and how fun it was,” she said.
Hilton was one of eight executive producers for the movie, though she acknowledged she was a bit shaky on what that meant.
“I’m not sure what a producer does, but — I don’t know, help get cool people in the cast,” she said.
Hilton’s manager and schedule overseer, Jason Moore, said in a deposition that she hasn’t taken a day off “in years,” with workdays often beginning at 6 a.m. or earlier for hair and makeup.
Changing a single item on that schedule is like “controlling chaos,” so last-minute adjustments sought by movie investors weren’t possible, Moore said. He cited long-scheduled business trips to places like Japan, Ireland and Australia, along with Hilton’s work on “The Simple Life” reality TV show, which often left her without reliable access to phone service while she worked 18-hour days.
Court documents in the case show what was keeping her busy, documenting that she earned more than $22 million in 2006 and 2007 from contracts that included heavy promotional work, including Motorola cell phones in Japan, her Parlux line of fragrances,
cosmetics and accessories, and promotional nightclub appearances.
At one point, the “Pledge This!” producers suggested that Hilton could appear on Leno’s “Tonight Show,” but Moore said that was a nonstarter.
Moore said Hilton vastly prefers Letterman, though she said she once got angry with him because he made fun of the 2007 incident in which she spent 23 days in jail for violating probation on alcohol-related reckless driving charges.
“I told his people that I would never do the show again, but then he apologized and called me and sent me flowers and was very sweet, and he was on the air a lot at nighttime like asking me to come back on the show, and we made up,” Hilton said.
Moore said Hilton doesn’t do Leno because he is Letterman’s competition and because during a previous appearance he “didn’t follow particular guidelines with regard to why we were there and promoting. We would never do Leno.”
Posted: May 6th, 2009
Time: May 6, 2009, 10:38 pm
Ok, obviously, this is just a deliberate cash grab. They don’t really care about the fact that the movie failed. They’re just trying to sue Paris because they found a little flaw. Well, I don’t know if Paris did enough to promote the crappy movie, or if there were schedule problems. But yes, my opinion (and of other fans) is that Pledge This! is not a fun and enjoyable movie. The movie, itself, was a cash grab. Compare Pledge This! and Repo!, and you’ll see.
Second, too many personal information were released in the article!
Third, 8.3 million? Give me a break!
Time: May 7, 2009, 1:12 am
8 million?! I thought it was just 1 million, which is a bit more understandable because thats how much they paid her to appear in the movie. But these losers are obviously just after the cash, national lampoons pump put so many of these craptastic movies each year and theyre all flops. Pledge This is one of the worst movies ive ever seen, they had a voice over pretending to be Paris I mean it was rubbish. Obviously Paris just did it for the money and she did more then her fair share of promotion (any promotion would be embarassing for her). Sooooo awful. And of course now this is going to make the public laugh at her because she doesn’t deal with her own bills, I watched a bit of a morning show while eating breakfast and the celebrity news came on and they were having a good laugh about her saying like and because she has people to deal with her bills.
Time: May 7, 2009, 1:47 am
what matters is what was in her contract as far as her obligations for actor, producer, whatever she signed on the dotted line to do.
but OMG, whether she is just playing dumb to avoid some pointed questions or not (not a good legal strategy btw), her answers don’t make her look good. like not knowing what an executive producer does or who pays her bills….com’on and she wants to be thought of as a business woman?
I mean hello? business 101, know the money!!!!
hope she has a good lawyer.
Time: May 7, 2009, 8:59 pm
She clearly doesn’t like being in court. But yeah, I do agree that her answers are strange and very simple. I guess it shows how simple she is.
I think Paris’ role as a producer is pretty much choosing the cast and location, things like that. I think that’s what she was trying to say.
You know, this isn’t something rude to say, but I also think that she should perhaps take a course on how to answer questions in a professional way. I know that I need such a course! I remember my Accounting teacher once talked about it in class. You have to know how to speak when you’re in business, etc. But I know she likes to keep everything very simple!
I still love her. She’s a rebel, in the sense that she doesn’t act like most people, like me!
Time: May 8, 2009, 12:50 am
you know i’m a big fan as well and have supported her for years. i guess that is why it’s so irksome to see her, too often, continue to behave in such a childish and simple manner. you hit the nail on the head to be professional and demostrate that you are competent. it goes to credibility. which is important to this case.
to expect to be taken seriously as a business woman and then to say some of those comments that have been atributed to her is really ridiculous. Again, as a business owner i can tell you that you aboslutely have to know about your money flow and financial picture or else you won’t be in business very long.
to come from a business family and have at her dispsal so many mentors like her dad, grandfather and uncles, etc and to not be any smarter than that comes across as pretty appalilng. she makes herself look bad with such foolish comments.
and she can’t possibly be (or actiually shouldn’t be ) funneling all her expenses through her business or she’ll be in trouble on her taxes. that’s a big no-no. she can’t really say that she pays no bills herself. what about her mortgage, utilities, credit cards, groceries, etc. to say she doesn’t know about any of that is simply ludicrous.
obviously the judge in the case thinks there is enough merit in the planitiffs’ case to procede to trial. that is not good news for paris and she better get her legal act together in a hurry if she wants to win or make this go away. in the mean time she needs to help her lawyers out by not acting like a dumb-ass.
and again, if she’s doing it to play cute or evade the questions, well wrong again. this is a serious legal case and she needs to come across as knowledgable and believable. judges hate to be f’d with or lied to. we saw what happened the last time she ticked off a judge.
Time: May 8, 2009, 3:10 pm
Are the other 7 co-producers being sued???
These are bankruptcy lawyers trying to get some money out of her.
WHY are you assuming she is acting childish???
It stands to reason that she doesn’t pay her own bills and lets her account managers worry about such stuff.
Her answers seem justified re her life and business.
She obviously only concentrates on what is important to her.
Time: May 8, 2009, 3:16 pm
I also thought that she was only paid 1 million.
How do they figure she owes them 8 million???
This is a shakedown attempt.
And no amount of additional promotion could have lifted Pledge This. It was a baaaad movie.
The director should be sued. Why isn’t he???
Time: May 8, 2009, 7:15 pm
Since her Jason (her business manager) also testified, he can give a clearer picture if needed.
I don’t think Paris is playing dumb at all.
She hired a business manager so that she would not have to worry about the running of her day-to-day affairs. Makes absolute sense.
“Receiver” means BK lawyer, and the BK lawyers will try to shake money from everyone they think they can hit up. That’s standard procedure.
They’re in a grey area though, since they have nothing spelled out in writing in regards to what would be considered “enough” promotion.
I think they will have a hard time convincing anyone that Paris refused to promote something.
She is the energizer bunny of promotion and I hope she wins in this case.
Time: May 8, 2009, 9:29 pm
juju hit the nail on the head. we all know Paris does the dumb-downed, sweet, naive, poor little rich girl act when it comes to this. However, the judges see right through it and it actually pisses them off. Last she did it, she was sent to jail. The judge could actually order Paris to pay more. Paris needs to a grow a backbone and just give them hell, let her business woman wrath out and take them down.
Time: May 9, 2009, 5:02 am
I don’t believe Paris is playing dumb and I don’t see anything wrong with what she said. I agree with Dawn completely. It makes COMPLETE sense Paris wouldn’t know about her bills. She has a team of people/a person who takes care of that kinda stuff for her so that she’s not bothered with it. Heck I bet most, if not all, celebs also have people who take care of their bills and stuff for ’em as well. And the ONLY reason she was sent to jail is b/c the judge was a jealous jerk who wouldn’t to try to make an example out of her. I still fully believe that judge should’ve been thrown off the bench for being biased amongst other things. It was VERY clear imo that he had a grudge against Paris. No one in L.A. County EVER does ANY jail time for what she did b/c their jails are so over crowded (that they have to make room for the more serious offenders like rapists, murders, etc). But YET Paris did? And it’s like none of those other girls (Nicole Richie, the Kardashian chick, etc) did any time either. Again plainly obvious Mr. Judge had a serious bias against her and that’s not right…
Time: May 9, 2009, 6:11 am
I think maybe she should have answered the questions better but I don’t really know what a producer does either. I assume it’s what Paris said plus something to do with the budget of the film but when there are eight executive producers I don’t think there is a need for all of them to be doing the same thing.
Time: May 11, 2009, 2:24 am
dawn, jen, sabrinia,
please don’t take this the wrong way. i’m not looking to start anything, but just some advice, if you think there is nothing wrong with not knowing about your own money and what’s done with it, then I’d like to volunteer to handle your finances. i could use the extra cash.
bottomline; EVERYONE, celebrity, busy person or not, if someone doesn’t know what’s going on with their money, ie pay their own bills, then they are a very foolish person indeed. as the saying goes, “a fool and his money are soon parted.”
if you turn your financial reins completely over to someone else, then you’re asking to be ripped off.
this case is not about what other people did or didn’t do or who the plaintiff chooses to sue. It’s only about what paris contractually agreed to do and whether she did it or not. and if not, did her actions cause monetary damages to the plaintiffs? that’s the case.
it’s not a popularity contest or about how other celebrity girls have been treated.
oh another side note, if she hired on as a producer, was paid to be a producer and didn’t do the production job she was susposed to do, then yeah, she’s liable for that. and if she took money to produce, but doesn’t know what that means, well, then that’s fraud.
i wish her well. but i also think she had to have gotten a stern lecture from her attorneys on how she responded to those deposition questions.
Time: May 11, 2009, 10:10 am
juju I understand what you mean about money and being aware of not every single detail but have an idea of what’s going where and you’re right.
about the movie it had 8 executive producers! I heard of movies having like 2 but why would you need 8? That sounds fishy.
The article says “The lawsuit was filed by the court-appointed receiver for a failed Miami investor in the film, Worldwide Entertainment Group.” I think they’re trying to use Paris as a scapegoat for investing in a bad movie.
Time: May 11, 2009, 10:20 pm
you’re right. 8 producers, much less 8 executive producers is very strange. but at the end of the day, the plaintiff can pick and choose who they sue, it’s not an all or nothing deal. many times they may believe they have a case against many, but will only file against the few they think can pay. otherwise it’s a waste of their time and money to file a suit against a poor defendent. in this case, they picked paris.
anyway, we shall see how it all turns out.