Hotel heiress Paris Hilton has always held the Christmas holidays in high regard - she believed in Santa Claus until she was 17.

The SIMPLE LIFE star, now 24, admits her image of the fictitious gift-bearing figure was only shattered when somebody chose to explain to her he doesn't really exist.

She says, "A mean person told me it wasn't true."

Despite her late realisation, Hilton is hoping that Santa will bring her a Bentley convertible and a pair of $150,000 (GBP83,300) diamond earrings this year (05).