Party girl-turned-crime fighter Paris Hilton feared for her life, believing the same thugs who brutalized "Girls Gone Wild" producer Joe Francis were coming after her, the soft-core smut peddler said in court Tuesday.
A masked gunman and accomplice broke into Francis' Bel Air mansion on Jan. 22, 2004, in a case that went unsolved until Hilton tipped cops to key information that led to an arrest, the "Wild" producer testified.
Hilton revealed to Francis, 32, in late 2004 that she overheard on the Hollywood party scene that suspect Darnell Riley, 28, and another man were responsible for the terrifying home-invasion, the producer said.
"Paris Hilton pulled me aside at a party. 'I'm being extorted by Darnell Riley for $20,000 a month and he's threatened to kill me if I don't pay,'" Francis quoted the hotel heiress during a cross-examination at Riley's preliminary hearing.
A spokesman for Hilton could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Riley is accused of robbing Francis inside his home and forcing the producer at gunpoint to perform demeaning sex acts on himself, which he videotaped.