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Rick Salomon Fesses Up

Porn Valley- If the Paris Hilton porn tape being offered on is a phony like one adult gossip site contends, no one’s told Rick Salomon about it. Salomon is all over the news this morning. The N.Y. Daily News reports that Salomon is making $2.5 m a day off the tape while the N.Y. Post says no sales figures are available. Who do ya believe? Salomon is interviewed on the E! website where he takes credit for the brand-new, full-length, 37-minute pay-per-view download with “stunning crisp images” that’s being offered for $50 for five plays over a five day period on the trustfund website.

“I didn’t think this tape was going to be this giant. This tape is [worth] way too much money. And it’s a beautiful tape,” Rick Salomon told E! “Everyone’s going to enjoy it, I think.”

Salomon said he expects to make “anywhere from thirty to one hundred million dollars” from the sale of downloads. He couldn’t comment on whether Hilton, now a Fox reality TV star who turned 23 Tuesday, signed off on the pay-per-view venture, or whether she was to receive a cut of the profits.

Meanwhile, Salomon’s lawyer, Marty Singer, refuted as untrue a claim from the Hilton camp last month that his client had offered to drop a lawsuit against the family in exchange for their okaying a pay-per-view deal.) had its nationwide coming-out party last Wednesday on Howard Stern’s radio show. At the time, Salomon’s name wasn’t linked to the site. He said he wanted to test the response–“make sure it was giant.”

Salomon said that response has indeed been giant and that he’s ready to promote the site “full blast,” including outing himself as the tape supplier.

“All’s I know [is], I got the rights. It’s my video. I shot it. I own it. My camera. My video,” said Salomon, who, for the record, shot said footage with “some Sony” digital camcorder.

“Everybody said I did this tape,” Salomon goes on to say. “Everybody thought I did it. I’ve just been getting ridiculed forever, and now I did it,” Salomon said. “[But] I didn’t do it in the beginning.”

The “beginning” was last November, when a three-minute snippet of the video debuted on the Internet. Lawsuits followed: Hilton sued a Panamanian company for allegedly illegally obtaining the full-length footage. Salomon sued a Seattle company for planning to distribute the tape. And he sued Hilton, her parents and her now former publicist for slander. (His rift with the ex-flack was recently settled.)

“They tried to bury me,” Salomon said, taking offense at any intimations that Hilton was exploited, underage or unaware she was being videotaped.

What also got to Salomon, he said, was talk that he was responsible for leaking the footage.

“I got a color version. If I released the tape, I would have released the color version,” he said. “Why would I release the black-and-white version?”

Salomon said he was surprised when his original tape was, as he claims, duped and offered for sale by an ex-housemate–although it sounds as if his ex Shannen Doherty was even more surprised. “Shannen was saying, ‘They got the tape! They got the tape!’ She’s screaming, crying like a wounded animal. I’m, like, It’s impossible. It’s impossible,” he said.

According to Salomon, the onetime guest, Don Thrasher, took the tape from its hiding place–a closet ceiling–copied it, then returned it. Thrasher was named in Salomon’s lawsuit against Marvad Corp., the Seattle company that acquired the bootleg. Thrasher has since been sued by Marvad, as well.

Salomon said Thrasher used to be one of his best friends (“He was at one of my weddings”), but that he should have guessed something was up the night Pamela Anderson and celebrity photographer David LaChappelle stopped by his house for a visit.

“They were watching [the Paris Hilton video], and [Thrasher] was reciting the words,” Salomon said. “I remember looking at him, going, How does this kid know my tape so well?”

The Anderson screening aside, Salomon said he didn’t make it a habit of publicly exhibiting the tape (“I probably showed it a couple times in my whole life.”). He said he made an exception for Anderson because of her own well-documented camcorder experience.

Salomon, a self-described independent movie producer who currently is “just sort of cruising,” feels good about his latest venture.

“There’s been nothing but bad things happening to me [since the tape was released],” Salomon said. “[I figured] I might as well just make a ton of money and go surfing.”

Burned by bad publicity, Salomon is not burned out on the concept of camcordering life’s more private moments.

“I enjoy videotaping, actually,” he said with a laugh. “It’s sort of fun.”



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