A Complete Timeline Of Paris Hilton And Kim Kardashian's Friendship

Without Paris Hilton, we would likely not have Kim Kardashian. The hotel heiress shot to international stardom in the early 2000s and has remained relevant ever since. Even before Kardashian was accused of having no talent, Hilton was attacked with claims that she was "famous for being famous," Vogue points out. They've obviously faced similar scrutiny.

But Hilton mastered the art of serving the culture, at least the reality TV niche culture, what they want, which is not necessarily who she is. "I'm not a dumb blonde. I'm just really good at pretending to be one," she told Vogue in September 2020. That sounds a lot like Dolly Parton's famous line, "I'm not offended by all of the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde."

It seems to say a lot about our culture that many of the most successful female business moguls in the past decades (who just so happen to also be pretty) face scrutiny for a "ditzy" persona while simultaneously being pigeon-holed into the trope of the "dumb blonde." Kardashian, a brunette, hasn't fared much better and has often served as a cultural punching bag while quietly and steadily creating an empire — just like Parton and Hilton. The pair go way back, and the two moguls have lived through both closeness and friction, typical of any friendship. Today, Hilton and Kardashian are closer than ever, but they had to work to get there.

Their friendship goes way back

When we say that Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton go way back, we mean way back. The pair first met in preschool, a detail that Kim Kardashian later pointed out. "Paris and I have been friends since we were kids," she said, according to Today, so their decades-long friendship started when they were small.

Both girls grew up in Los Angeles and had childhoods that were sheltered and uneventful. Hilton admitted this to CBS when she spoke about her move to New York as a teenager. "Moving to New York at 15, I was very young and very sheltered from living in Los Angeles," Hilton explained. "I had never been to a party or a club before."

Kardashian grew up in Beverly Hills with mother Kris Jenner and lawyer father Robert Kardashian. Their home was obviously a deeply significant place for the whole family because, in October 2020, Kardashian rented their childhood home as a gift for her mom, according to The Sun. Obviously, those early years were precious to her. "I kept it together and didn't cry the entire lunch even though I cried during the entire planning process," Kardashian said. "But at the end I went into my old bathroom, closed the door and cried so hard." Both women had no way of knowing what was in store for them, and the level of stardom they've had since is a long way from the sheltered, sweet childhoods they both had in California.

Kim Kardashian's closet organizing business connected her to Paris Hilton

While they knew each other as kids, Kim Kardashian's relationship with Paris Hilton was first publicly documented on Hilton's reality show, "The Simple Life." The show followed Hilton and friend Nicole Richie as they lived without the luxuries of their Beverly Hills homes. Basically, they became "normal people" for a period of time. It was through this show that the world first met Kardashian and gave her the chance to try out reality TV.

Kardashian was often working in Hilton's closet on "The Simple Life" and over the years, people dubbed her as Hilton's personal assistant in the early days. However, Kardashian clarified what her role was in an interview with Recode in 2014. "I was not her assistant, but I had an eBay closet organizing company and she was one of my clients," Kardashian explained. This was obviously right up Kardashian's alley. Her first job, she told Teen Vogue, was at a clothing store when she was 16. The girl loves clothes!

Interestingly, sister Khloe Kardashian followed a similar path. On the podcast "Emergency Contact" in October 2020, Khloe said: "I was Nicole Richie's assistant." Khloe added, "I went to school with her. She was one of my best friends growing up and so we were really, really close." Khloe said that towards the end of Richie's time on "The Simple Life," Richie needed help and Khloe needed a job. Obviously for both Kardashian sisters, these early jobs led to big things.

They both went through sex tape leaks

Of all the things to have in common, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton both know what it's like to have sex tapes leaked. Tragically, the experience was violating for both women, and both were raked over the coals for them on the media.

Hilton's ex, Rick Salomon, leaked their tape in 2004 after recording the tape in 2001, according to Page Six. Hilton spoke about the harrowing experience on Vanity Fair's podcast, "Inside the Hive." She said, "That will always be something that will hurt me for the rest of my life."  She went on, "People were so mean about it to me. The way that I was spoken about on nightly talk shows and the media ... to see things with my family was just heartbreaking. I would be in tears every single day, I didn't want to leave my house, didn't want to show my face. I felt like my life was over."

Kardashian's sex tape with Ray J leaked in 2007 and she had to address the backlash from it, including accusations that she used it to make money or to get famous. "I never made a business off of the tape," Kardashian told Harper's Bazaar in 2011. "I made a business off my family and our TV show. Before the tape came out, we were in the works to do our TV show, but people don't know that." Both had to trudge through tabloid vitriol for something neither wanted exposed.

The strategy behind going out

Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton's friendship reached a new level in 2006, when the two women were photographed going out. Hilton knew the game thanks to her teenage years in New York City with her sister, Nicky Hilton. "We started this phenomenon and created a new celebrity genre," Hilton told CBS in 2018.

Kardashian understood that there was a strategy to getting publicity. "We'd go anywhere and everywhere just to be seen," Kardashian said to Rolling Stone of her friendship with Hilton. "We knew exactly where to go, where to be seen, how to have something written about you. All you had to do is go to this restaurant, or this party, talk about whatever you want to talk about, and it would be in the paper the next day." Hilton's manager from that era, Jason Moore, told ABC how careful Hilton was about her actions. "She was very calculating in how she positioned herself," he said. "[Hilton] was consistently in the news," he added, calling her the "ultimate innovator."

The two became famous before the rise of social media but knew how to manage stardom. "When you look at someone like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton you have people who understand the game of paparazzi," media strategist Sheeraz Hasan told ABC. But the partying was also a blast. "We had so much fun," Kardashian told Harper's Bazaar. "I had never traveled the world like that. It was so neat, all the things we did. I think I learned a lot from her."

Paris Hilton's jail sentence changed their friendship

Things took a rocky turn for Paris Hilton beginning in September 2006. She was arrested after leaving In-N-Out Burger "on suspicion of DUI" and, in addition to fines, "was sentenced to three years' probation," per E! However, in February 2007, Hilton was pulled over for speeding and problems arose when it became apparent that she was "driving with a suspended license." As a result, Hilton "was sentenced to 45 days in jail" at the Century Regional Detention Facility in the city of Lynwood, in Los Angeles County.

In response to the news, Kim Kardashian offered her support and when praised by Hollywood.TV for standing by her friend, she responded with ease. "Of course," she said, "You have to. You have to support people that you love." But their friendship cooled at this point. In her post-jail interview with Larry King on CNN, Hilton cryptically said: "I've gotten rid of a lot of people ... I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but they know who they are."

In the midst of all of this, Kardashian's sex tape got leaked and it seemed like the perfect chance to get some guidance from Hilton, but this didn't happen. "I don't think she was that happy," Kardashian told Rolling Stone (via HuffPost). "We didn't really talk about it. I probably would have thought, 'Oh, my gosh, let me give her advice,' but we had no communication." Kardashian added, "But our friendship had fizzled before that."

Paris disses Kim's body

While Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton were on the outs, a lot was happening in Kardashian's world. The first episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" aired on October 14, 2007, according to The Sun. Kardashian was 27 when it came out, with mom Kris Jenner and Ryan Seacrest strategizing the show's premise. As The Sun points out, Jenner and Seacrest were heavily influenced by the success of "The Osbournes" reality show. Clearly, the old adage, "Talent borrows, genius steals," proves to be true when observing the Kardashian's rise to fame. Hilton was the guide for how to get paparazzi attention, and the Osbourne family guided the reality show. It worked so well.

Unfortunately, in 2008, Hilton responded to Kardashian's growing fame, and her famous butt, by declaring to In Touch, "It's disgusting ... It reminds me of cottage cheese inside of a big trash bag," (via Today). Later, Hilton contacted In Touch to say that she was sorry. "I was just joking around and I made a stupid joke," she said. "I felt really bad afterward, so I contacted Kim and apologized. It was a silly thing to say. Kim's hot!"

Kardashian accepted the apology graciously. "Paris and I have been friends since we were kids and I'm glad she made the effort to say she's sorry," she responded, according to TMZ. That can't have felt good! But Kardashian was already well on her way to surpass Hilton as the ultimate It girl.

The silent era

As Kim Kardashian's career was blowing up, she and Paris Hilton went completely silent. "We don't really talk. As I always say, everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. And she was in my life for a long time," Kardashian told Harper's Bazaar in 2011. Kardashian added, "There comes a point in life where you just grow apart and you realize you're not as similar as you thought. And I never run into her anywhere. Isn't that so weird?" For two friends who were tied at the hip, it was a shocking change. But Kardashian was spending more time with her family and in this era, paparazzi photos usually featured her with some of her sisters. They're super close, and it was also a great strategy to build publicity around their new reality show.

Culturally, Kardashian was dominating Hilton. By October 2007, Kardashian's name was more searched on Google than Hilton's, as ScreenRant points out, and has remained in the lead ever since. Tabloids were still hard on Kardashian, but she managed to stay away from the kind of press that plagued Hilton, like DUIs and jail time. "I was never drinking... I think that saved me a lot," she said to Rolling Stone.

Hilton was still in the lead financially for several years, though. Forbes pointed out that even in 2015, Hilton still had the higher net worth, thanks to product endorsements and her fragrance line. Eventually though, Kardashian would go on to dominate in that arena as well.

The selfie origins

Between Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, who gets to take credit for originating the selfie? There seems to be a little rivalry between the two reality stars for making popular the most ubiquitous photo style on social media. W magazine claimed that Hilton is responsible for the craze. "If a beeper had a camera, I would have taken a selfie with it," Hilton said. "I think I have a selfie from when I was a little kid, like on a disposable camera." The New York Times pushed back against this, saying that other celebs like Madonna had already pioneered the photo.

When it comes to Hilton or Kardashian, it might be fair to say that Hilton got to it first but she walked so that Kardashian could run. Kardashian literally published a book of selfie photography called "Selfish" in 2015. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said that Kardashian made "a science of the selfie," according to Rolling Stone and said that "Instagram wouldn't be the same without" her.

Kardashian is so invested in that style of photography that she's offered endless advice over the years. "You need good lighting. Obviously," Kardashian told E! "There's nothing worse than a really bad selfie angle," she added. "I went to a restaurant the other day, and everyone was asking for a photo, but their angles were so bad. I just had to start taking their cameras and doing it myself, so I could get the right angle." Hilton might have kickstarted the trend, but Kardashian definitely took over.

Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton reunite

Happily, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton decided to reconcile and the rest of the world found out through social media, of course. On August 3, 2014, Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram of the two of them laughing and her caption gave us a pretty obvious clue that they had reconnected. "Reminiscing about the 1st time we went to Ibiza in 2006! [Paris Hilton] it was so good to see you & catch up!! Loves it lol," Kardashian wrote.

It seemed nostalgia was the way to go. For Hilton's birthday in 2015, Kardashian posted another Ibiza throwback with the caption: "Found this pic while unpacking! It's from 2006 in Ibiza. Happy belated birthday [Paris Hilton]." Hilton jumped on Twitter in 2017 to post, you guessed it, more Ibiza throwback photos, with the caption: "Good times in Ibiza." The cheerful back and forth between the two reality stars made it clear to everyone else that things had been patched up. Who knows? Maybe Hilton was upset about being dethroned and needed to take some time to acknowledge that Kardashian had done so well in her career.

In 2018, when Hilton was engaged to Chris Zylka, TMZ stopped her and asked if "Kim K" would be invited to the wedding. Hilton smiled at the camera and said, "Of course." Hilton called off the engagement to Zylka but she and Kardashian were back in the zone at last.

They both talk work ethic

One thing that Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton have in common is their drive. "I pride myself [on] my work ethic," Kardashian told Recode in 2014. "I work really hard," she added. "I think that sometimes when people hear that I might have gotten success off of a reality show, they take that as a negative."

Hilton had a similar message about her own ambition and the negative stigmas she's constantly combatting. "People don't know about my work ethic," Hilton told Glamour in 2015. "They think I'm just a trust fund kid, but I'm down to earth and I've worked hard for everything. I had a certain persona on 'The Simple Life,' but I was young and a lot of that was tongue-in-cheek. I'm not just a dumb blonde — I wouldn't have got this far if I was."

Because both Kardashian and Hilton have created brands while working in reality TV and both came from well-off families, they have fought against a certain cultural assumption that everything was handed to them. They've also, unfortunately, faced speculation that their sex tapes were conveniently dropped to promote their shows. But Kardashian and Hilton know the truth, and in fact, the latter offered considerable praise for Kardashian on this topic.

"She's always had a great work ethic like me and she's always been determined," Hilton told Glamour of Kardashian. "And that's what it's all about. I'm so proud of her. When she's at home, she's very normal like anyone else with a glamorous life."

Paris Hilton's music video

We knew things became really good between Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian when Hilton featured her in a new music video. In fact, the song itself seems to be about Kardashian, aptly called: "Best Friend's A**." Hilton created the single alongside Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. The music video's setting is in a club, offering a nice throwback to Hilton and Kardashian's early partying days and the lyrics make it clear that the focus is on friendship over men. "But all I see is fu**boys everywhere tryna make a pass/ But I can't stop lookin' at my best friend's a**," Hilton sings, per Genius.

Fans were all over the project and loved seeing the two besties united again. "I love Paris and Kim," one fan commented. "Anything they do, I love to watch, especially on YouTube. I feel like I need more Paris in my life though. Paris and Kim are beautiful, sexy and smart." Others couldn't help but acknowledge a little rivalry. "2000 when Paris was more popular, 2019 when Kim is the most popular," someone wrote. The real appeal was seeing Hilton and Kardashian together again. "This track slaps and I'm here for a Paris and Kim BFFship," another person commented. Aren't we all?

Of course, people had comments about who looked better, who should reign as social queen, and petty competitiveness, but from the look of things, Hilton and Kardashian are so far beyond that and just want to support each other.

Kim recognizes Paris' help in her ascent to stardom

Kim Kardashian knows where credit is due and she has spoken many times about how much Paris Hilton helped her career. On an episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Kim spoke with sister Khloe Kardashian about appearing in Hilton's "Best Friend's A**" music video. While on the topic, they spoke about Hilton and what she did to help the Kardashian family. Kim joked that her only rule was that she didn't want to dance in the video, but besides that, she'd do anything for her friend. "I really would want to do anything for her," Kim told Khloe. "She literally gave me a career," Kim added, verbalizing what Hilton did for her. "I totally acknowledge that."

Khloe praised Kim and pointed out that other people might be reluctant to hand credit to someone else for their success. Kim listed her wildly busy schedule and said, "I would drop it for [Hilton] because that's important to me to be loyal to people."

In response to this humble acknowledgment, Hilton had only good things to say about Kardashian to ET. The interviewer pointed out that Kardashian said that Hilton is "responsible for her career" and asked how that made Hilton feel. "I love her and I'm so proud of her and her whole family. They are just girl bosses killing it. It's just all about women empowerment. I love it," Hilton said, smiling. Kardashian and Hilton have obviously moved past any rivalry.

Paris and Kim are closer than ever

Sometimes it takes falling out of touch to realize how much a friendship means. As the years have gone on, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton appear, by all accounts, to be better friends than they ever were. Some of this stability in the friendship could be due to the fact that they are both media moguls and have each built an impressive empire. They're certainly on much more equal footing now than in the early days when Kardashian was working for Hilton.

In 2018, Hilton adorably dressed up as Kardashian to promote Kanye West's looks for Season 6 of his brand, Yeezy, W magazine points out. Hilton wore gray biker shorts and sand-colored sweats with heels and sported Kardashian's then-frosty blonde hair. Hilton legit looks just like Kardashian, who was all over the dupe and posted photos of her BFF on Twitter, calling Hilton the "OG."

Hilton was obviously all about promoting Kardashian and West's brands. In October 2020, she shared a video to her YouTube channel of a shoot she did for Kardashian's clothing brand, Skims. "It's going to be an early 2000s vibe," Hilton said. They sported velour tracksuits and even used flip phones as props, so it was a major throwback moment. Kardashian gave back in the video too, though, by telling fans to watch Hilton's documentary, "This is Paris." Hilton and Kardashian are using their platforms to build up the other's.

They both talk about their new relationships

Paris Hilton married Carter Reum in Bel Air, California in November 2021, according to E! True to form, Kim Kardashian was a huge help to Hilton on the big day. "Kim had a sweet pep talk with Paris and helped her with her dress," an insider told the outlet and later, fixed her veil. In a real nostalgic turn, Nicole Richie was also a guest and another source told E! that Kardashian and Richie "gave each other a huge hug" and were happy to reconnect.

Sister Nicky Hilton told Extra after the wedding that Kardashian wanted to come away with a souvenir. "Kim joked, 'I'm going to catch that bouquet,'" Nicky said. When Hilton spoke on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," she said, "It meant so much to me that [Kardashian] was there. She looked stunning and it was a fun night."

When Kardashian split from Kanye West, Hilton was happy to see her friend find love with Pete Davidson. "I'm so happy to see her happy," Hilton told Access Hollywood. "She looks so beautiful and smiling and I think they're just so cute together." Hilton went on: "Funny guys are awesome, they always make you laugh and put you in a good mood and good vibes, it's really cute."

Both friends have given each other their blessings when it comes to romance, and both have seen it all: navigating paparazzi, rising to fame, and building empires. Haters expected them to fail, but Hilton and Kardashian have done nothing but deliver.