A hotel heiress does not a hotel expert make.
Such was the lesson learned by a Chicago development group currently suing Nicky Hilton for breach of contract, citing her alleged failure to make good on a deal to promote a new hotel bearing her name.
Robert Falor Investments and Grand USA Hotel Supply & Restaurant filed a federal lawsuit against Hilton Monday, claiming that she reneged on an April 2006 agreement to use her celebrity status to boost the profile of Nicky O's Chicago, a Nicky Hilton Hotel.
The project, located just south of downtown Chicago, was designed as a boutique hotel meant to take over the location previously occupied by the Blake Hotel in the historic Morton's Salt building.
The lawsuit alleges that Hilton contracted out interior design work she was meant to complete herself and tried to charge it back to developer Robert Falor, and that she and her associates misrepresented the amount of experience they had in hotel design.
Her manager, Paul Fisher, is also named in the suit.
The Chicago boutique hotel and its sister outpost in Miami were intended to mark Hilton's debut in her family business, though neither is affiliated with the Hilton Hotel chain.
To date, both projects have experienced repeated delays and neither has opened. In the meantime, tensions between Hilton and Falor have apparently been escalating.
Earlier this month, Falor told the Miami Herald he was considering ending his business relationship with Hilton after footage she allegedly shot of big sister Paris making offensive remarks about Jews and African-Americans began making the rounds on the Internet.
The video in question was originally posted on parisexposed.com; the site has been shuttered by judge's order after Paris Hilton sibling filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit. The elder Hilton has yet to respond to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's call to explain her remarks and apologize to "all those offended."
Falor said he was "very concerned" about Nicky Hilton's role in shooting the inflammatory footage.
"I'm shocked actually that she would participate in something like that," he told the Miami Herald.
In his lawsuit, Falor alleges that he subsidized a "lavish" lifestyle for Hilton and Fisher, gifting them both with plasma televisions, as well as purchasing a Cadillac Escalade for Fisher and bankrolling parties for Hilton and her friends.
Though the suit does not seek a specific amount of damages, Falor claims his company has shelled out more than $1 million to Hilton and Fisher since launching the Nicky O concept.
Neither Hilton nor Fisher had commented publicly on the lawsuit. However, Hilton's publicist, Elliot Mintz warned against jumping to conclusions based on the claims laid out in the suit, stating "things are not always as they appear."
It's the second time in as many months that a Hilton sister has run into trouble after agreeing to lend her name to a business venture.
Last month, a Florida nightclub owner ended his Club Paris chain's association with Paris Hilton after complaining that the socialite failed to make scheduled appearances at the clubs on numerous occasions.