When perennial part-goer Paris Hilton arrived at the club Concorde in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 28 with a series of strange marks on her arms and face, insiders from Hollywood to the Hamptons began buzzing about the bruises, wondering whether Paris' on-again, off-again boyfriend Nick Carter, a former Backstreet Boy and older brother of Aaron Carter, was the culprit, sources say.
By the weekend, the blame game had begun, with friends (and, as a result, the press) saying that the bruising on Paris' body was indeed the the work of Nick. Nicks lawyer, Martin D. Singer, denied his client's involvement and told a reporter that Paris' pals were spreading rumors simply because Paris was angry with her ex.
Though there may be no definitive answer as to whether Nick physically abused Paris, Star investigated his and Paris' strange relationship and the black-and-blue marks he may or may not have left on America's most famous blue blood. The results are surprising.
In initial published reports, Paris reportedly said that the incident occured late Monday night/early Tuesday morning after a night out at Hollywood hot spots the Argyle Hotel and Joseph's wet awry. Nick reportedly demanded that the two leave Joseph's and Paris refused. A source close to Paris agrees, telling Star that Nick (who has reportedly gotten rough with her in the past) pulled her from Joseph's and into a waiting car.
"When Paris wouldn't leave, Nick nearly dragged her from the club and started getting even more physical in the car on the way to his place." a close friend to Paris tells Star. Paris' pals said later that Paris even tried to jump out of the moving car but Nick held her back.
Nicks Lawyer Singer disputed this story, telling the press that his client had nothing to do with the bruises on Paris' body. Singer claims that Paris was scheduled to attend a photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine that week with an S & M theme and that if she were actually bruised, the magazine would not have proceeded with the shoot. Star, however, confirmed that the Rolling Stone shoot actually took place two weeks earlier, on July 19.
On the other hand, a friend of Nick tells Star the fight actually occurred the next day, late Tuesday night/early Wednesday Morning, that Paris started hitting Nick first and that he grabbed her by the arms only to fend her off. "Nick was supposed to meet Paris at the club Nacional but didn't show up," says Nick's friend. "She was angry and partied there with Tara Reid. She was really mad, and when they met up at his house later they had a shouting match that escalated into a shoving match. Paris was hitting Nick repeatedly and screaming and he grabbed her by the arms to stop her and pushed her way."
Though friends of both Paris and Nick tell conflicting stories, they do agree on one thing: The duo have a disturbingly dysfunctional relationship. "It seems as if when they are not partying, they hate each other, but when they have a few drinks they are in love," says one friend. "They've had a volatile relationship from the start." Adds the friend of Nick: "They were talking even after the fight [last week] and are on the phone constantly."
Love Or Hate?
Paris and Nick began dating last December (they met through Paris' bodyguard, who was a friend of Nick) and the two were soon inseparable, turning up lip-to-lip at everything from film festivals to recording studio sessions. "He's just the sweetest guy," Paris said of Nick on Jan. 19, just a few weeks after their romance began. "He sends me little notes and flowers all the time." But at the same time, a source says Paris' Simple Life co-star Nicole Ritchie fought openly with Nick. "Nicole couldn't take the way Nick was treating Paris," says a source.
Then, in January, Nick reportedly stormed off in a huff after seeing Paris chat with actor Nicholas Cage at a Golden Globes afterparty on Jan 25. As recently as this past July 4, Nick blew his stack over a man Paris was talking to at the Hamptons, N.Y., hot spot, says friend of Paris, prompting a physical altercation between the two outside the club afterward.
Nick, says Paris' friend, can be prone to jealous rages over the attention Paris gets -and gives - especially involving men (rumors of infidelity on both Paris' and Nick's parts have been long-standing).
In addition, says the friend of Nick, he can act "really obsessed" with Paris and can be very jealous."
Paris' family said to be less than fond of Nick but Nick's friends and family seem to have welcomed Paris with open arms. Earlier this summer, Nick's brother Aaron said he thought Paris "is a great girl," and late last month, mom Jane told Star that "a passionate relationship like that is going to have its ups and downs."
Perhaps, but pals of Paris say they hope the rising star ends the coupling once and for all, before the erratic behavior gets any more out of hand. As for Nick, he seemed to be moving on in the days after the incident, when he was photographed in Huntington Beach, Calif., arm-in-arm with a blonde Paris Hilton look-alike.
"Until on of them finds someone else, they'll still run into each other because they'll keep going to the same clubs to see each other," says the source close to Nick, adding, "i have no doubt they're going to hook up again."