May 22, 2007 Special to ABCNEWS.com — -- There are thousands of gals out there who are related to billionaires. But only a few of them have the buzz to go with the bling. These modern princesses have become celebrities in their own right, photographed at fashion shows, nightclubs or in the streets, and followed around like movie stars.
So who are the most fabulous of the bunch? We evaluated all the familiar faces to come up with our second list of the world's 10 hottest heiresses. To compile our list, we considered the size of their relatives' fortunes and their relationships to the billionaires. Daughters, for instance, were given more points than more distant relations. But because this list is more about that buzz than billions, we gave three times more weight to exposure as measured by Google hits, mentions in print publications and media transcripts. No surprise that six of the winning women are under the age of 30, seven are single and all of them are attractive.
Grabbing the No. 1 spot by a wide margin is Paris Hilton, the great-granddaughter of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton. At the time, she had 18 times as many media hits as the next person. The press's favorite celebutante made news in the past year for reuniting with her estranged best friend Nicole Richie and for her rumored romances with shipping heir Stavros Niarchos, quarterback Matt Leinart and television star Josh Henderson. The grotesque overexposure eventually prompted The Associated Press to institute a weeklong ban on Paris Hilton stories.
But all of that was eclipsed by the biggest news story yet: In early May, Paris was sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving with a suspended license. The grim news only raised her already sizzling profile as hundreds of television stations, magazines and newspapers ran stories on her prison term, even speculating on how she might look in zebra stripes.
Scandal also helped propel her sister Nicky Hilton to the list's third spot. Nicky, whose breakup with "Entourage" star Kevin Connolly was well chronicled, got lots of bad press for her failed forays into the hotel business. Her Nicky O Hotel in Florida's South Beach reportedly went belly up, and her developer on a planned Chicago hotel sued her for allegedly using him to underwrite her lavish lifestyle. The suit was dismissed.