NEW YORK (Reuters) - Paris Hilton is on a mission to change her image, heading to Rwanda on a trip she hopes will allow her to leave a mark on the world -- and possibly create another reality TV show.
The 26-year-old a hotel heiress said in June that she was a changed person and vowed to shed her party-girl image after leaving jail where she served three weeks for violating probation in a drunken-driving case.
“Before, my life was about having fun, going to parties -- it was a fantasy,” Hilton told Newsweek magazine, opting to speak to the news-focused journal rather than a celebrity magazine. “But when I had time to reflect, I felt empty inside. I want to leave a mark on the world.”
She has acknowledged she has long enjoyed the Hollywood party scene but she said she spent her time in jail reading the Bible and praying to God for strength, deciding to give new meaning to her life by pursuing charity work.
Hilton skyrocketed to fame in 2003 after an amateur sex video of her filmed in night vision hit the Internet.
She used this fame to build an acting career, appearing in various movies and in reality TV, lampooning her own persona as a clueless child of privilege on “The Simple Life.”
She also released a self-titled album in 2006 and has her name attached to various products from perfume to shoes.
During her trip to Rwanda, Hilton will be visiting schools and health-care clinics and staying in accommodations a long shot from the Hilton Hotels owned by her family.
“I‘m scared, yeah. I’ve heard it’s really dangerous,” she told Newsweek (www.newsweek.com) in an issue on newsstands from October 15. “I’ve never been on a trip like this before.”
She will be traveling with a children’s charity called Playing for Good, a group which helps businesses and celebrities get involved in philanthropic work -- but with a camera recording it all.
“She’s using her celebrity and the cameras that follow her for the good of humanity,” said Scott Lazerson, the organization’s founder.
Newsweek said Lazerson was filming the trip in hopes of selling it as a reality show called “The Philanthropist,” featuring various celebrities on drives to help world poor.
Hilton is currently filming the horror musical “Repo! The Genetic Opera” in Toronto, in which she is playing a role in a black wig and false nose.