Paris Hilton, Donald Trump

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Paris Hilton is dialing back her defense of Donald Trump after being criticized over her remarks on social media.

In a interview with Marie Claire's Irin Carmon, carried out in Mexico last November after the 2016 U.S. election and published in the magazine's September 2017 issue, the heiress says women who alleged that the president sexually assaulted them "are just trying to get attention and get fame." About a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances towards them. He has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime.

Following an online backlash, Hilton, a family friend of Trumps, told Us Weekly in comments posted Wednesday, "I want to apologize for my comments from an interview I did last year. They were part of a much larger story and I am regretful that they were not delivered in the way I had intended."

"I was speaking about my own experiences in life and the role of media and fame in our society and it was never my intention for my comments to be misapplied almost a year later," she said. "I always believe in helping women have their voices heard and helping create an environment where women feel empowered and believe in themselves. I am deeply hurt by how this has played out and also deeply sorry. Moving forward I will continue to do what I can to be an advocate for girls and women with the hopes of providing a louder voice for those who may desperately need it."

In her interview with Marie Claire, Hilton had said, in response to the allegations, "I think that they are just trying to get attention and get fame. I feel like, a lot of people, when something happens all these opportunists will come out. They want to get money or get paid to not say anything or get a settlement when nothing really happened. So I don't believe any of that."

"And I'm sure that they were trying to be with him too," she added. "Because a lot of women, I've seen, like him because he's wealthy and he's charming and good-looking so I feel like a lot of these girls just made the story up. I didn't really pay attention to it. I heard a couple things about it. I don't believe it."

Hilton, who called herself a feminist, was also asked about Trump's comments in a 2005 Access Hollywood tape that was exposed during his campaign in which he said, while discussing women, "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Trump dismissed his remarks as "locker room talk."

"I've heard guys say some pretty crazy things. Like, worse than that," Hilton told Marie Claire. "So I think that when someone doesn't realize they're being filmed or recorded, they say things. Especially with a guy. So I think it was kind of just one of those things where you're with someone--I've heard guys say the craziest things ever cuz I'm always around guys and I listen to them speak. So I definitely don't think he would just say that."

Hilton praised Trump as "an incredible businessman" and said, "I've known him since I was a little girl. And he's always been so nice, so respectful and sweet." She appeared to be unbothered by comments he made about her on The Howard Stern Show, in which he said he had watched her famous 2004 sex tape and has known her since she was 12, adding that "the first time I saw her, she walked into a room, and I said, 'Who the hell is that?'"

"It was on Howard Stern, so I feel that anyone that's on that show, Howard just loves to say weird things and people say things that they normally wouldn't say," Hilton told Marie Claire. "It wasn't creepy at all. He's not like that at all, he's always been so respectful."

Hilton also told Marie Claire that she did not vote for Trump in the 2016 election—or for any other candidate—and condemned his controversial pre-election remarks about Mexican immigrants.

"I love the people here, and I don't think that they should be talked about like that at all," she said.

In November, Hilton told Australia's Network Ten's The Project that she voted for Trump.

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