Warning: This post deals with topics related to physical and emotional abuse and may be triggering for some readers.
When I sat down to watch This Is Paris, a documentary that follows the untold true story of socialite and heiress Paris Hilton, I thought I was in for some Keeping Up With The Kardashians-style television on steroids.
What I wasn’t expecting was to see Paris face a struggle that so many of us have lived through but don’t often talk about: toxic and sometimes even abusive relationships.
One four and a half minute scene was particularly triggering.
It gives an uncomfortable look into an argument Paris had with her now ex-boyfriend Aleks Novakovic just before playing a DJ set at the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium in 2019.
Watch: The trailer for This Is Paris. Post continues below.
It’s a scene that’s disturbing, confronting and triggering - no doubt for Paris herself, as well as anyone who has ever suffered through something similar.
According to documentary director Alexandra Dean, Paris considered cutting the scene entirely.
“She did not ask me to change another second of footage,” Dean told US Weekly.
“I told her, ‘Ultimately, I think you’re gonna want to include that because that’s who you are. That’s you laying down the law and deciding where your boundaries are. People should see that.’ Eventually, she agreed.”
It starts by showing Paris keen to wrap up a round of press so she can focus solely on her set. She answers all the interviewers’ questions, says all the right things and smiles for the photos. When she returns to her waiting room and is preparing to be called to the stage, Aleks is clearly annoyed at her.
“Please don’t stress me out, I’m obviously nervous as it is,” Paris tells him.
“No babe, I won’t stress you out but you left me five times today,” he responds.
This was the first red flag. The neediness and the clinginess. The jealousy. The need for attention when Paris was clearly preparing for a milestone moment in her career. The need for Aleks to have the focus on him because it wasn’t his moment, but he needed a way to make it about him.