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Don't ask Paris Hilton if she's a has-been (+ video)

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That's definitely not hot: Socialite and hotel heiress Paris Hilton briefly bolted it from a TV interview this week when asked if she was past her prime.

Imagine that. How very dare she. Who wouldn't be open to such an ego-massaging line of inquiry?

While Hilton may be down with dishing the dirt on her personal life in her reality TV shows, there's one place she won't go - her fame.

Hilton's latest reality TV project, The World According to Paris, has bombed in the ratings, reportedly averaging around 400,000 viewers. Compared to her TV début on 2003's The Simple Life, the new show's tanked.

Of course, the peanut gallery's gone into overdrive and surmised that the socialite's star may be fading. Only nobody's had the gall to run that naughty notion past the socialite - bar from ABC News' Dan Harris.

Hilton sat down for a confab with the newsman on Wednesday, and things went south when the topic of conversation turned to her celebrity status.

Put it this way, Harris didn't sugar the pill. He asked Hilton if she thought she was now past her prime, and whether she felt overshadowed by other famous-for-being-famous starlets such as her frenemy Kim Kardashian.

Ouch, indeed.

Here's how the conversation went down:

Harris: ”Do you worry at times that people who have followed in your footsteps like Kim Kardashian are overshadowing you?”

Hilton: “No, not at all,” she answered with a porcelain glare.

“Do you ever worry about your moment having passed?” asked Harris, while referring to reports that the ratings of her new TV show are low.

Hilton kept her lips sealed, and darted a look toward her publicist who was off-camera.

"You want to wrap up?" Harris then asked Hilton, before getting up from her chair and holding a mini-conference with her publicist.

Hilton, not realising she was still clipped with a microphone, could be heard huffing, "Well, I don't want all this being used."

Oops!

After what Harris described as a “long heated conversation with Hilton and her publicist”, Hilton returned to resume the interview, armed with her well-rehearsed, publicist-fed rebuttal.

Hilton explained: "I've been in the business for 15 years now, so it's been a very long time. Just like any other business person or someone in the industry, it's always important to reinvent yourself and come up with new projects."

She then proceeded to show Harris her palatial doghouse - the one she's had built for her burgeoning pack of pooches (seventeen at the last count, I believe). It's a mini replica of her newly renovated LA pad. Of course!

The former Simple Life star also made reference to her TV persona and the high-pitched voice she uses while on-camera.

"It's the character that I developed for The Simple Life. They wanted a character that was an airhead with a baby voice, and so that's a character that I do, and I had to do it for five seasons," Hilton said.

"And so sometimes when I'm on camera I'll revert back to it, just because I'm so used to it because I did it for so long."

Hilton faking it? Well, that just takes the biscuit.

Watch the melodrama below:

Oh, and there's more ...

What's Kim Kardashian's take on Hilton's awkward ABC interview? Well, according to one of her mates, she let out a belly laugh when she heard about the nano-showdown.

“Kim never mentions Paris’s name,” one of Kardashian's pals tells The Huffington Post. “She doesn’t talk about her or even think about her, which is pretty much the same as everyone else in America.”

While Kardashian's buddy and The Spin Crowd star Jonathan Cheban adds, wooden spoon firmly in hand: "Paris is so jealous. Forget Paris, Kim is now bigger than movie stars. Paris who?"

And yet another source adds: "I think it's really sad that she [Hilton] can't be happy for [a] one-time friend and doesn't realise what goes around comes around.

"You have to realise there is enough success to go around for everyone. U don't have to walk off like a child."

No word from Hilton as yet. No doubt she'll be spitting tacks!

Blake Lively dumped?

That was quick. Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Lively have reportedly called it quits. Dunzo. Over. Hitched a ride to Splitsville.

Why? Because his mother didn't approve.

According to Now magazine, Lively's been left heartbroken after her new squeeze jetted off to Italy with his mother, because "he needs space".

A snitch told the mag: "Blake's a total mess. She tried hard to impress Leo's mum when they met but Irmelin couldn't stand her.

"She told Leo that Blake was far too up herself for him. Blake was nervous so she did talk a lot. But his mum says all she did was talk about Gossip Girl and how she's a Chanel model.

"Leo listens to his mum and the fact that she didn't like her has put him off."

I'll take a rain check on this one. Not buying it.

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