Paris Hilton has defended her friend Britney Spears, saying comments the singer made about her during her recent high-profile court appearance have been misinterpreted.
Giving a statement about her controversial conservatorship to a court in Los Angeles in June, Spears referenced allegations made by Hilton in 2020 that she was abused at boarding school.
Explaining how she feared she would be doubted when making accusations about her own situation, Spears said she “didn’t believe” Hilton’s claims.
“I didn’t want to say it openly, because I honestly don’t think anyone would believe me,” Spears, 39, told the court. “To be honest with you, the Paris Hilton story on what they did to her [at] that school, I didn’t believe any of it. I’m sorry. I’m an outsider, and I’ll just be honest. I didn’t believe it.
“And maybe I’m wrong, and that’s why I didn’t want to say any of this to anybody, to the public, because I thought people would make fun of me or laugh at me and say, ‘She’s lying, she’s got everything, she’s Britney Spears’.”
Spears, 39, and Hilton, 40, became friends in the early 2000s, at the height of their fame.
Hilton released a documentary, This Is Paris, in September 2020, revealing deeply personal details of alleged abuse at a residential behavioural school she was sent to as a teenager.
Addressing Spears’ comments in her This Is Paris podcast, Hilton said it was obvious to her that the 39-year-old singer was not calling her a liar, but simply saying she could not believe the allegations at first.
“I know that she didn’t mean it in that way,” she said. “She meant when she saw it, she couldn’t even believe it. What she said was, people hear that, ‘It’s Britney Spears, it’s Paris Hilton. They have these perfect lives. Who is gonna believe? I didn’t even believe Paris, who’s gonna believe me?'”
Spears has called for her conservatorship – a complex legal arrangement she was placed under in 2008, usually reseved for elderly people with dementia or similar illnesses – to be terminated.
Hilton, who has backed the #FreeBritney movement, along with other stars including Mariah Carey and Cher, described Spears’ statement to the court as “hard to hear,” adding “it broke my heart”.
Sharing a clip of the podcast on Instagram, Hilton said she would “always support and love” Spears.
“She is so kind and sweet, and she deserves her freedom,” she said. “I’ve been saying #FreeBritney for a long time, and I will keep saying it until she is free.
“We all need to use our voices to protect victims of abuse. She is so incredibly brave and an inspiration for speaking her truth. I know personally how hard it is to come forward to tell your story, and so I hope Britney knows that she is so loved and supported by the world right now.”
Following Spears’ testimony, her long-term manager has reportedly resigned and a wealth management firm approved last year as a co-conservator of her fortune has said it no longer wants to be part of the arrangement.