Having trouble keeping up with the Paris Hilton media circus? You're not alone. It's hard, what with all the back and forth: she's being interviewed by Barbara Walters! No, wait, she's being interviewed by Meredith Vieira! NBC is paying her $1 million to be interviewed! No one pays for interviews! NBC never had a deal with Paris! The Post is reporting that People will pay Paris in the neighborhood of $300,000 for "exclusive" photos! People doesn't pay for interviews, but if Paris just happens to do an interview before, during, or after her photo shoot, well, you know... Basically, this has turned into one great big media crazystorm, which is just how Paris (and her slick spokesman, Mike Sitrick—you remember him from his work with Ron Burkle!) seem to like it.
Industry sources we consulted seemed skeptical that NBC had never had a deal with Hilton, though one told us that the $1 million fee rumor was "way inflated. They didn't offer nearly that much. I'm sure Paris doesn't mind, though—it helps her future fees."
This source adds that the auction for the photos (and, ahem, interview) was less intense than she and her representatives had been expecting: "It was one of the more lifeless bidding wars—if you could even call it that."
We'd be surprised, frankly, if Paris ends up on the cover of People next week; if you look carefully, she's rarely on the cover of celebrity mags, probably because she doesn't do nearly as well on the newsstand as other celebs of her stature. Well, she's slightly repelling! Still it seems like it's only a matter of time until someone else scoops up the interview—maybe she'll even go back to Barbara Walters, if she'll have her.