Heroes actress Hayden Panettiere has spoken out in defence of Paris Hilton's airheaded party girl image - insisting the heiress is actually a "genius".
Panettiere, 19, who has been a close friend of Hilton's for several years, says the 27-year-old socialite is actually more level-headed than the dumb "character" she projects to the media.
She explains, "She's a nice girl and a lot brighter than people give her credit (for) but no one sees her like that because she plays this character all the time. She's actually a marketing genius."