As residents of West Maui sought aid following the deadliest American wildfire in more than a century, Hawaii’s tourism authority asked people not to travel to the island and evacuated thousands of visitors. But maybe Paris Hilton missed that news: The hotel heiress was spotted 30 miles away from devastated Lahaina, taking photos on the beach with her husband, Carter Reum, and their son. The photos, first published by the Daily Mail, show Hilton holding the baby and smiling while strolling on a Wailea beach on Saturday. The backlash was swift, with people on social media calling Hilton tone deaf and out of touch.
Hilton hasn’t addressed the critics, but an anonymous source supposedly close to the DJ told People that she was on Maui — an island she considers her “second home” — when the fires ravaged part of the island. According to this unnamed individual, Hilton’s uncle’s restaurant in Lahaina burned down, so she and her husband “decided to shorten their trip and go to see their family and help where they could. When they arrived, they gathered supplies, donated to the local shelters and people in need and made significant contributions.” People notes that she’s shared donation resources on her Instagram.
Still, one reason Hawaii officials asked tourists to head home is that hotel rooms and short-term rentals can provide temporary housing for locals who lost their homes to the fire. Hopefully, Hilton and Reum are getting Maui’s Hilton properties ready to receive them.