North High grad shares 'mutual attraction' with Hilton

May 27, 2007|By KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - A former local high school football standout and one of the country's most recognizable blondes felt a "mutual attraction" when Hunter Cross and Paris Hilton went to camp for "The Simple Life."

Cross, a 1998 North Hagerstown High School graduate, called Hilton strong and amazing, but said he does not know whether he will see her once her current legal problems are resolved.

During this season of the reality show "The Simple Life," Hilton and Nicole Richie go to a series of camps. Cross said he has a recurring role as a camp counselor.

Cross, 26, has been linked in at least one celebrity magazine to Hilton, but he downplayed the relationship Thursday in an interview by phone from Los Angeles, where he lives.


The first episode of the season airs Monday at 10 p.m. on E!

"Obviously, for five weeks of shooting a show, there's bound to be a mutual attraction. There was a mutual attraction," said Cross, who acknowledged the two were flirtatious while the show was taping in March and early April.

Hilton, who attracted notoriety when a sex tape went public a few years ago, recently was sentenced to jail time for violating the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

"She's one of the most photographed people in the world," Cross said. "She's not going to open up to everyone, but when she does open up, it's really unique."

Glenn Cross, who was North High's football coach when his son was the team's quarterback, said he believes Hilton has cultivated an image that might not accurately reflect who she really is. Outlandishness attracts attention and ratings, he said.

"They certainly have learned to take orneriness to a different level," Cross said of his son's famous co-stars, who began "The Simple Life" as gal pals before a famous feud made them rivals.

Glenn Cross said he never has been interested in the show, but when it comes on this Memorial Day, he'll be watching.

He said he had one piece of advice for his son when he heard about the show.

"I said, 'Do not let them make a fool out of you.' he said, 'I wouldn't do that.'"

Though Cross said he has confidence in his son's decisions, he expressed mixed views of a Hunter Cross-Paris Hilton pairing.

"He's got a whole lot more on the ball than to date Paris Hilton ... I'd tell Paris that," the elder Cross quipped.

A one-time Abercrombie & Fitch model, Hunter Cross said he once landed a role on "As the World Turns." He said he turned down an offer for his own reality show because he doesn't want to be typecast, and he doesn't think his life would be "too interesting" for viewers.

Whether he ends up doing comedy or drama, Cross said he wants to continue to pursue a television career.

His family, including his father, his mother, Catherine, and brother, Tanner, will make sure he remembers his roots, said Cross, who expressed doubts he would get caught up in all of the trappings of celebrity.

"I have an amazing family, people that keep me well-grounded," Cross said. "If I ever get like that - which I don't think I will - they'll let me know."

If you want to watch

What: "The Simple Life"

When: Mondays, 10 p.m.

Where: E!, which is channel 62 on Antietam Cable Television

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