Mr. Chatterbox

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Who could turn down a lunch date with Kathy Hilton? Certainly not me. Her place in popular culture, as mother of Paris and Nicky (and of two teenaged boys, Barron and Conrad, who still live at home with her), as the wife of Hilton hotel heir Rick, as sometime actress and purveyor of her own […]


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Who could turn down a lunch date with Kathy Hilton? Certainly not me. Her place in popular culture, as mother of Paris and Nicky (and of two teenaged boys, Barron and Conrad, who still live at home with her), as the wife of Hilton hotel heir Rick, as sometime actress and purveyor of her own signature skincare line, is unique—and controversial. I admit I showed up with my prejudices on edge. But she won me over. How? I think it was the moment I showed her an issue of Sarasota Magazine. I usually give a copy to people I’m meeting for the first time, and they usually thank me politely, put it aside, and then forget all about it. Not Kathy. She immediately sat down and went through the whole thing page by page, saying things like, “Oooh, I love that china!”

Here are some excerpts from our meeting at her hotel in Clearwater. And when I say “her hotel,” I mean “her hotel.” It’s strange to walk into a Hilton and ask for Mrs. Hilton.

On lunch:
“Today I’m having fruit, but my new thing is yogurt from Pinkberry in Los Angeles. Paris told me about it. I eat it with carob and granola. It fills me up at lunch so I’m not as hungry for dinner.”

On raising kids in New York:
“We lived at the Waldorf. It was great. There is a residential part [the Waldorf Towers], so we moved there for a year to see how it would be. We were just blocks from all the kids’ different schools and I’d pick them up in the afternoon. We had our own kitchen, so it was like being at home, and there was a health club. It was great.”

On marriage:
“I got married at 19 and I’m still married to the same guy. We met through friends and the more time we spent together, the crazier I was about him. God really blessed me to be able to meet someone as wonderful as my husband.”

On shopping:
“I love to see what’s out there. I owned my own store for eight years. I had gifts for the home and entertaining. If I like something, I buy it. I’m as happy buying stuff from HSN, Target and Kmart as I am on the seventh floor of Bergdorf’s.”

On skincare:
“Skin is like an antique. You don’t want dust or cracks or moisture. Take care of your skin like you would take care of an antique table. That’s how I look at it. Here’s how you should use my skin cream: Warm it up between your hands and gently pat. Never get it close to the eyes. Don’t forget the neck. The coldness will tighten the skin.”

On my outfit:
“I love the pants. I love pink and blue. It looks preppy. I love the sports jacket, too. It’s cool that you didn’t tuck in your shirt. I would have preferred tennis shoes or a loafer, though.”

On cosmetic surgery:
“No surgery for me. I’ve never even had injections. My little sister had it done, though. She’ll probably kill me for telling you.”

On her realty show:
“It was called I Wanna Be a Hilton. We fought over the title. I thought it was bragadocious and obnoxious, but NBC won. It was a really fun experience. The contestants were kids from all walks of life. Some of them had never been on an airplane, to New York City, to the opera or the ballet, but they were so excited to see everything. . . It wasn’t rigged. NBC really goes by the book.”

On where she got her blouse: (That’s her make-up man, Thierry, in the picture with us.)
“I bought my top in New York before my summer trip. I’m making a bigger effort with fashion. Usually I’ll just wear a visor and navy sweats during the day and blend in. My favorite designers? Oscar de la Renta and Valentino. They’re feminine and classic and not too trendy.”

Check out "Pure Botanicals by Kathy Hilton" at www.hsn.com. She’ll be appearing on HSN this month.