ABOVE: Watch video of the prank on Paris Hilton. Warning: Contains language some may find offensive and scenes that some may find frightening.
TORONTO — A prank video in which Paris Hilton was apparently tricked into believing she was going to be in a plane crash is being criticized for going too far.
The video shows Ramez Galal of Egyptian TV series Ramez Wakel el-Gaw (Ramez in Control) taking Hilton for an aerial tour of Dubai in a small plane.
Suddenly the plane appears to go out of control and an alarm sounds.
“What the f***? What’s happening?,” Hilton exclaims. “Is this normal?”
The pilot then makes it seem like the engines have stopped, causing the plane to nosedive. A terrified Hilton starts crying as passengers scream.
Inexplicably, a man posing as a flight attendant opens the back hatch and drags another man — wearing a parachute — out of the plane.
A sobbing Hilton screams “No!”
She is then told that the plane will be landing in the water and she must assume the crash position.
In the end, the plane lands safely on a runway.
“Thank God! Thank God!” the 35-year-old socialite says.
On the tarmac, Hilton asks Galal if the man who dropped out of the plane is OK.
Later, Hilton seems to laugh about being pranked, telling Galal the stunt was “crazier” than anything she has seen on Punk’d. “This is taking it to another level,” she says.
It is not clear when the prank was shot but Hilton was in the UAE in late April and again in early May for DJ gigs.
In a June 27 tweet, Hilton said it was the “scariest moment of my life.” She added: “I really believed the plane was going to crash & we were all going to die.”
TMZ reported this week that Hilton is “furious” and has asked her lawyers to sue for emotional distress. “Paris tells them she had absolutely no clue this was a prank … she wasn’t in on it,” the website claims.
But, Hilton would have had to sign a release and she has retweeted at least six links to the video this week.
There’s also the possibility Hilton was in on the prank. She frequently brushes the hair from her face during the ordeal and, curiously, she made no mention of the experience on social media at the time.
On YouTube, reactions include “fake,” “worst acting I’ve seen,” “it’s so obviously fake” and “there is absolutely no way this is real. It is completely staged.”
Online, there is mostly condemnation. “I’m not sure who on earth would think it’s even remotely humorous to put someone through something like this,” wrote Rebecca Rose at Cosmopolitan, “but apparently tricking people into thinking they are dying is what passes for entertainment in some circles.
“This isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy.”
Stuart Heritage of The Guardian described the prank as “completely unsettling and absolutely not funny.” He opined that those who staged the stunt “overstepped the mark by some distance.”
At Nylon, Jenny Lee called it “the meanest prank of all time” that made her “feel more disturbed than amused.”