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If you're a savvy web user, or you shelled out $39.97, you've likely seen some of the crop of new photos, videos and documents taken from Paris Hilton's storage unit and distributed online by an entrepreneur named Bardia Persa. The site is called ParisExposed.com and it was made possible by Nabil and Nabila Haniss who purchased Hilton's belongings at auction after she failed to make her monthly payment. The pair then sold the items to Persa. Now Persa and the Hanisses are being sued by Paris, who hopes to shut down the website.
On Monday, Hilton filed the lawsuit, which claims copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and violation of her right to publicity. It also asks for a temporary restraining order so that ParisExposed.com can no longer use her name.
The suit says that Paris and her sister Nicky put the items in storage two years ago while they were in the process of moving. They had made an arrangement with their moving company to make the storage payments, but the company did not comply.
When the storage unit contents went to auction, the Hanisses paid $2,775 for them. They then sold the items to Persa for $10 million. Hilton's lawsuit claims that she made "generous" offers to the Hanisses - before their deal with Persa - in hopes of getting her belongings back. Though she was willing to give them compensation "over and above" what they paid for her things, Paris was unable to make a deal with the Hanisses.
In the lawsuit, Hilton's attorneys write, "This action seeks to enjoin perhaps one of the most single egregious and reprehensible invasions of privacy ever committed against an individual." Paris herself says, "I was appalled to learn that people are exploiting my and my sister's private personal belongings for commercial gain."