says she sometimes acts dumb on television to get laughs, but in real life she's "a strong person" who's been through a lot.
Appearing on the British morning show GMTV to launch her new reality show Paris Hilton's British Best Friend
, Hilton, 27, said she cultivated her dumb blonde image for her hit FOX reality show The Simple Life
, costarring Nicole Richie
, and it became her schtick.
"For five seasons I was stuck doing this character," she says. "It was kind of hard always having to play that character when it's not who I am."
She adds, "I just say jokes but they think I'm serious, which I think is funny, and I think I kind of play up the image sometimes because – whatever – it's just entertainment."
In her British show, 12 young hopefuls battle it out to be crowned her official "British best friend." In real life, Hilton says her fame makes it hard to find close, trustworthy friends.
"It's difficult because you never know what people's intentions are, and I think a lot of girls have become my friend for the wrong reasons and used me," Hilton says. "I didn't realize it but now, throughout the years, I'm realizing who those kind of people are."
2007: Paris dishes on her time in jail