Paris accused over film promotion
Paris Hilton should return up to one million dollars she was paid for the 2006 box-office bomb Pledge This! because she didn't plug the film enough, a lawyer for the movie's investors has told a federal judge.
The 29-year-old hotel heiress, actress and self-promoting businesswoman refused nine requests for print and broadcast interviews - including phone chats with several British publications - she should have given under her contract, said investor attorney Bryan West, who told US district judge Federico Moreno: "We paid her one million, and we're entitled to get at least a portion of that back. Part of what actors do is promote their films."
But Paris's attorney, Michael Weinsten, said she took part in several high-profile publicity events - including an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival - and that the contract didn't require her to do interviews when she was busy on other projects.
He added Paris also had the right to approve or reject any proposals or offers.
"Paris Hilton is a brand. That is her value, and how she makes money," he said. "She did substantial publicity."
Paris, who testified last summer at a trial over the dispute, did not attend Thursday's hearing. She has said previously that she wanted the movie to succeed and worked hard to make that happen. Yet the film only made 2.9 million dollars.
Moreno previously rejected the investors' effort to sue Hilton for 8.3 million dollars in damages, which included the one million she was paid for her acting and as executive producer. But he left open the possibility that she might have to repay some or all of that fee as restitution if she did not fulfil her publicity obligations.