Socialite Paris Hilton (L) presents flowers to Miss Turkey 2008 Leyla Lydia Tugutlu during Miss Turkey 2008 beauty pageant in Istanbul, March 27, 2008. (Photo: China Daily/Agencies)
Paris Hilton, the celebrity and hotel heiress who spent a stint in jail last year, said on Thursday she sees herself as a role model for young women as she prepared to judge a contest to crown Miss Turkey.
Hilton, who will sit on a jury to select Miss Turkey 2008, said she valued not only beauty but also "good heart" when looking at the contestants' attributes.
"This is my first time judging anything like this," she said. "I'm going to look at how the girls carry themselves, what they look like, the way they dress and what they say."
It might seem ironic that Hilton, 27, sees herself as a role model and is judging what other women will say about their lives and futures. She starred in U.S. reality TV show "The Simple Life" portraying herself as a rich girl overcome by the boring routine of daily, middle-class life.
Hilton earned a lot of unwanted publicity in 2003 after an amateur sex video of her hit the Internet, and spent three weeks in a Los Angeles last year in a drunken driving case.
But her name is used to sell a host of products around the world and she is followed by paparazzi.
Hilton said 90 percent of stories about her in the media are "complete lies," and she blamed the numerous bloggers on the Internet for spreading misinformation.
"I don't pay attention to lies because I am a good person, I work very hard and I've built this empire on my own. I think this is an inspiration for a lot of girls out there."
Asked if she was happy to be seen as a role model by girls, Hilton said: "Yes."
Hilton, whose grandfather Barron Hilton decided to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion wealth to charity, said she did not have any hard feelings about his decision, which many presumed would drastically reduce her future inheritance.
"It won't affect me anyway," she said. "My grandfather is an incredible man. He is very generous. And what he is doing is amazing."
Hilton's latest project is a show on MTV in which people will compete to be her friend. "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" (best friend forever) is set to air on the U.S. cable network later this year.
"I obviously have a lot of friends already, but I just thought it would make great TV show," she said. "You know, most of my friends are from Hollywood. They are kind a jaded a little bit. We are going to be meeting people from all around the world."
(China Daily/Agencies March 28,2008)