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Paris Hilton, Humanitarian

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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Has Paris Hilton joined the ranks of John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie? The lazy-eyed celebutante recently boasted to Us Weekly that she and her family had donated $6 million to the victims of Katrina—a million more than India, the world’s second-most populous country, and a million less than she took home last year.

“It’s important for people to realize the victims have nothing,” Hilton told Us. “We’re glad to do our part.” We hear some Us staffers were skeptical about the boast—as were Hilton’s own handlers, who sources say warned her about repeating the sketchy-sounding claim.

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“She just flat-out lied,” griped one incredulous reporter. “Did she think no one would bother to check?”

Well, did check, and it turns out Hilton was telling the truth. Sort of. The donation was made through the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a charitable trust set up by the late hotelier and Hilton family patriarch in 1944. (Paris’s uncle Steve Hilton is the foundation’s current president, and her grandfather Barron Hilton sits on the board.)

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Though neither Paris nor her parents Rick and Kathy are listed on the press release announcing the gift—or anywhere on the foundation’s website—we’ll take her word for it that she had a hand in this and the other countless good works performed by the not-for-profit. And what good works they are!

In fact, Hilton's decision to donate her share of the proceeds from One Night in Paris and pose naked in a pair of Jimmy Choos for the Elton John AIDS Foundation were only the tip of her altruistic iceberg. According to the foundation’s web site, Paris's other charitable gifts would include:

  • $5 million to help develop “water systems to benefit the marginalized villagers of Mexico’s Mixteca region”
  • $20 million to the Corporation for Supportive Housing to help mentally ill homeless people in Los Angeles
  • $4 million to the Family Violence Prevention Fund
  • $30 million to “deliver clean water in West Africa while advancing the eradication of Guinea worm disease an affliction caused by drinking water tainted with the parasite, which grows to between two and three feet long in the intestines before emerging by eating its way out of a pustule, usually in the lower body”
  • $42 million through the affiliated Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters Foundation to support the apostolic work of Catholic nuns
Robert Zimmerman

Previously: Kathy Hilton's Grecian Formula



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