Paris Hilton’s Ex-Fiancé Chris Zylka Shares the Reason They Broke Up

Paris Hilton’s former fiancé Chris Zylka said they broke up in 2018 after he felt he had to give up something he "couldn’t live without."

By Lindsay Weinberg Dec 08, 2023 12:55 AMTags
Watch: Paris Hilton's Ex-Fiancé Signed NDA Post-Split

Chris Zylka didn't want to be sliving without the spotlight.

The Shark Night actor—who got engaged to Paris Hilton in December 2017—revealed that they ultimately broke up 10 months later because he didn't want to lose sight of his acting career while dating the Simple Life alum.

"Acting wasn't a choice for me during that time," he shared on the Dec. 6 episode of Ned's Declassified Podcast Survival Guide, "which I completely understood, because of just things she had been through in her life and in her personal life."

However, Zylka realized he needed to work in Hollywood to feel fulfilled. 

"It's one thing that I actually couldn't live without," he explained. "It was a huge wakeup call that performance art is super important to me and the camaraderie and the family that you grow on each and every set."

Zylka felt he was at the peak of his career going into the final season of HBO's The Leftovers, but had to put his career on the back burner for about two years during their romance. 

Paris Hilton Memoir: Biggest Revelations

"Obviously, I chose her over work [at the time]," he said, "and I don't regret it." 

And the 38-year-old has no bad blood with Hilton, who went on to marry Carter Reum in 2021 and welcome 10-month-old son Phoenix and newborn London with the entrepreneur. In fact, he puts the blame of what went wrong solely upon himself.

George Pimentel/source credit

"I've never been able to apologize to her for not being grateful for the experience and all the she did for me," Zylka shared. "Because she's the one relationship that I've ever had that there was no take. It was all give. It was really lovely."

Though Zylka said he signed an NDA after the split, he noted that "there was really never anything negative" he would say about his ex.

Describing the DJ as "a wonderful human being" who is "just full of love," Zylka added that seeing her happy with her new family and booming career "warms my heart more than anything."

He added that it seeing her look happy with her new family and booming career "warms my heart more than anything."

Leon Bennett/WireImage

As for Hilton, she's said that ending their engagement was "the best decision I've ever made," telling Cosmopolitan U.K. in 2020, "I just don't think [he] was the right person and I feel like I'm an incredible woman and I deserve someone so amazing. It just didn't feel right. I've worked way too hard to just give my life to someone. They have to be perfect."

To get a look into her simple life with Reum, read on.

Start of Something New

The world-famous socialite and her new boo rang in their first Christmas together with a trip to his Michigan hometown in 2019. 

Love at First Sight

From the start, Paris said she saw something special in Carter.

"I feel so blessed to have found the love of my life at the perfect time," she raves. "He is everything I have ever hoped and dreamed of. Loyal, kind, romantic, handsome, thoughtful, caring, brilliant and perfect for me in every way. I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason and that we were always meant to be."

Snow Bunnies

The duo jetted off to Yellowstone National Park in February 2020.

Cuddle Up

Paris gushed about Carter being her soulmate for life, sharing, "I've heard of twin flames before but I never believed in them 'till I met Carter. He is definitely my twin flame, my best friend, my other half and I can't wait for our future and to spend the rest of our lives together."

You & Me

The entrepreneur flashed his leading lady a smile as they ride a ski lift in Yellowstone.

Easter Celebrations

They say opposites attract, but not in the case of Paris and Carter's love story. "We are both Aquarius, so we are alike in so many ways," she shared. "I love everything about him."

Summer of Love

The lovebirds took to the high seas for this Kodak moment. 

He's The One

What made Carter stand out from Paris' previous Prince Charmings? As she put it, "This is the first time in my life where I am with my equal. He wants nothing from me but my love. It's such an incredible feeling to know that. And this is the first time in my life where I have let down my walls and opened my heart to someone."



As the fall season approached, the couple headed to Utah for a romantic getaway. 

Puppy Love

Carter showered Paris with gifts, including an adorable dog she named Slivington.

"She is so exotic and has the most stunning baby blue eyes and the cutest personality," the star described. "I love that he is an animal lover like me."

One Year Down, Forever to Go

In November 2020, Paris and Carter celebrated their first anniversary with a lavish trip to Bora Bora. 


Calling Bora Bora "one of my favorite places in the world," Paris gushed, "We had the best time together, going on adventures, water skiing, swimming with sharks, turtles and all the beautiful sea life, wakeboarding, jet skiing and swimming in the beautiful warm turquoise waters. He always loves to surprise me. He makes me feel like a princess everyday. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world."

Fun in the Sun

And the award for Best Instagram Boyfriend goes to Carter!

Bling Bling

Paris said her man surprised her with "the most beautiful diamond bracelet" for their anniversary. "I was so happy I cried when I read the card and opened up the gift box and saw the gorgeous sparkling bracelet," she adds. "I love it so much and will treasure it forever."

Feeling Grateful

Over the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday, Paris spends time with Carter's family at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach, Calif.

"I love how close his family is," she says. "They are such kind and genuine people. We all always have the best time together and it's so nice to spend so much time together."

A Perfect Match


A New Chapter

Paris' 2020 documentary explored her troubled childhood, an aspect of her personal life that she said impacted her romantic relationships. 

"After what I have been through in life, I was very protective of my heart and letting people in," she explained. "But with Carter it all just happened so naturally—like he was the one I had waited my whole life for. So I'm so happy that I was patient and waited for The One."

A Year They'll Never Forget

Despite such a "crazy and scary" year due to the pandemic, Paris said, "I always try and see the silver lining in everything, and I am so grateful to have had Carter in my life. I can't imagine being single and alone during all this."

"Plus, it brought us even closer being able to spend 24/7 together," she continued. "I'm used to traveling all around the world over 250 days a year, so this is the first time I've been in one place. Carter and I always say to each other that being together like this has literally been like being in a five-year relationship. I've never felt closer to a person in my life."

Mr. & Mrs.

After getting engaged in February 2021, the couple exchanged vows that November. 

"I finally got to kiss my Prince and begin the happily ever after I've been dreaming of since I was a little girl," Paris wrote on her website. "It was a true fairytale wedding."

First Anniversary

The couple celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Nov. 11, 2023, with an epic party at Santa Monica Pier, the same place where they held their nuptials event.

"This past year with you as husband and wife has been a magical whirlwind," Paris wrote to Carter on Instagram in honor of their marriage milestone. "No matter how far we travel and no matter where in the world we are, as long as we are together, I’m at home with you."

Oh Baby!

Paris announced that she and Carter welcomed their first child, a son named Phoenix, in February 2023. 

Halloween Hotties

Paris dressed up as a flight attendant from Britney Spears' "Toxic" music video, while Carter served as her literal wingman in a pilot costume. 

Expanding the Family

Thanksgiving 2023 was an extra special one for Paris and Carter. Not only was it their first one with son Phoenix, but the couple also announced that they had welcomed their second child, a daughter named London.