Rick Salomon: The Poker Bad Boy & Serial Celeb Dater

The thing about Rick Salomon is that he’s not that famous, yet we’ve all heard about (and seen) him. We know who he is but not his name. How is that? Well, let me ask you: do you know Pamela Anderson? Yeah, she was married to him. Twice. What about Shannen Doherty from 90210? Yeah, she married him too.

Paris Hilton / Rick Salomon, Pamela Anderson / Rick Salomon, Pamela Anderson / Rick Salomon, Paris Hilton.
Source: Getty Images

Oh, and Paris Hilton? Yup, he was the guy in the infamous 2004 “tape,” so aptly titled “1 Night in Paris.” So, have you heard of Rick Salomon? You probably have, considering his movie is one of the most downloaded of all time. After you read this, you won’t only know his name, you’ll learn all his juicy details, too.

Who Is Rick Salomon?

By profession, Rick Salomon, now 53, is a high-stakes poker player. He’s known for his loud personality and massive payouts in poker tournaments. What do we mean by “massive?” He won $2.8 million in 2014, $3.3 million in 2016, and $2.84 million in 2018 – all annual versions of the World Series of Poker’s Big One for One Drop.

Rick Salomon and Pamela Anderson attend an event.
Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images

Who knows? Maybe it’s the reason he’s been attached to so many high-profile women. The man has been married four times to three women and gained the most fame as being the guy who betrayed Paris Hilton when he profited from their “intimate” tape.

A Boy From Jersey

Salomon has been a regular on poker TV (World Series of Poker, Super High Roller Bowl, Rob’s Home Game, Poker After Dark, and High Stakes Poker). And ever since High Stakes Poker was rebooted (in 2020), Salomon has gained some renewed interest.

A picture of Salomon during a poker tournament.
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images

Born Richard Allan Salomon in 1968 in Neptune Township, New Jersey, it’s been reported (not confirmed) that he’s the son of Robert Salomon, a former executive at Warner Bros. Not much is known about his early life (not yet at least). We do know that he entered the entertainment industry sometime in the early 2000s.

A Serial Celebrity Dater

Salomon didn’t start out as a poker player and owner of an online gambling site. Rather, he was a producer at first. His first official credit was as executive producer for the 2002 movie American Girl. Later on, he became the executive producer (alongside his fellow poker player Randall Emmett) of the film Gotti, starring John Travolta.

John Travolta is in the character of John Gotti in the film Gotti.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Vertical Entertainment

Aside from being a high roller on the felt and a hotshot in Hollywood, Salomon is a serial celebrity dater. His dating history with Tinseltown’s finest is nothing short of scandalous. Let’s begin with his first marriage…

Marriage No. 1: Elizabeth Daily

Voice actress Elizabeth Daily, best known for her role as Tommy in Rugrats, was Salomon’s first wife. But Salomon was Daily’s one and only. The couple started dating in 1995 and got married the same year. They were together for five years and had two daughters named Hunter and Tyson.

A portrait of Salomon and Daily at their wedding.
Photo by Barry King/WireImage/Getty Images

By 2000, they were divorced. Daily might not be so recognizable, but the woman has actually been linked to some pretty impressive Hollywood hotties, including George Clooney (1993) and Brad Pitt (1989 – 1990).

Marriage No. 2: Shannen Doherty

In 2002, after a couple of years of singledom, Salomon decided to tie the knot again. This time, he wed Beverly Hills 90210’s Shannen Doherty. As the story goes, the two got hitched after only knowing each other for two days. What comes as absolutely no surprise is the fact that the marriage didn’t last.

A portrait of Doherty and Salomon.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images

In fact, it only lasted nine months as it was annulled in 2003. Doherty later said that she had no regrets about her relationship with Salomon. She did, however, admit that she wasn’t very good at choosing the right men…

He Made Her Laugh Like No Other

Doherty’s previous marriage to Ashley Hamilton didn’t last a year, either. Regardless, Doherty shared that Salomon had something that “amazed her.” She said that no one ever made her laugh the way Salomon did. She was madly in love with him at the time.

Doherty speaks during an interview.
Photo Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Still, their very brief marriage was “hard,” she said, adding that it was “heart-crushing” when it ended. It turns out that his marriage to Doherty wasn’t the only one he had annulled. But before we get to Pamela Anderson, next up on the timeline is Paris Hilton…

A Cringeworthy Relationship With Paris Hilton

Salomon and Paris Hilton were never married, but their relationship sure made some headlines. He started dating the socialite and The Simple Life star in 2001. Hilton was only 19 at the time, which makes the whole tape scandal even more cringeworthy.

Paris Hilton and Salomon take a picture at home.
Source: Facebook

Salomon convinced Hilton to participate in a sex tape under the pretext that it would never be seen by anyone. Less than a year later, in 2004, after the debut of Hilton’s The Simple Life, their tape – specifically three minutes of it – was leaked onto the internet. Apparently, the tape was stolen…

1 Night in Paris

Salomon later marketed the footage himself, transferred it onto DVDs, and called it 1 Night in Paris. Needless to say, the pair called it quits. Hilton was reportedly humiliated. In 2011, she told Piers Morgan that she “just felt so betrayed. This was not some random guy. This was someone I was with for a few years.”

Paris sits for an interview.
Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for Hilton to sue both Salomon and the DVD’s distributor, Kahatani Ltd., for $30 million for both a violation of privacy and emotional distress. She ended up settling with Salomon out of court.

He Sued, She Sued

Salomon was forced to pay her a minimum of $400,000. It may be hard to believe, but Salomon initially filed his own lawsuit against the DVD company that distributed the tape. He even sued the Hilton family for “tarnishing his reputation.”

Paris speaks to the media / Salomon talks to the press.
Jesse Grant, WireImage, Getty Images / Jacob Andrzejczak, Getty Images

According to Salomon, the Hiltons were exploiting their own heir. Salomon claimed in the $10-million suit that the Hiltons tried to discourage media outlets from playing excerpts of the tape. The Hiltons’ representatives claimed that Hilton was underage when the tape was made (which would make the tape illegal).

He Took It Into His Own Hands

But Hilton was of age – she was 19. Still, the Hiltons’ attorneys were trying to crush Salomon and to preserve the image they had created for their dear Paris. In April of 2004, Salomon started distributing the tape himself via the adult film company Red Light District Video.

Paris Hilton attends an event.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

By July 2004, Salomon dropped the lawsuit he filed against the Hilton family after Paris Hilton’s lawsuit over violation of privacy was thrown out of court. The $400,000 was to be paid by both Salomon and Red-Light District Video, plus a percentage of the tape’s sales profits.

He Doesn’t Feel Guilty About It, Either

In 2013, Hilton told TMZ that she “never made a dollar” off the tape. For his part, Salomon never showed any remorse for his actions. You’ll even see his IMDb page that he gave himself a producer credit for the tape.

Paris Hilton poses for the media / A portrait of Salomon holding a video camera.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic, Inc, Getty Images

“I don‘t feel any guilt about it,” Salomon told MSNBC in 2004. “It‘s not ruining her life and it sort of ruined my life and now I‘m capitalizing on it.” According to Salomon, everybody thought he released this tape, “so, you know, now I‘m at least getting some reward.”

Paris Opens Up About It

Recently, with Paris Hilton’s documentary, This Is Paris, the 40-year-old felt safe enough to finally open up about what the scandal was like for her personally. And she wasn’t going to hold back, either. “It was like being electronically raped,” she wrote.

A portrait of Paris Hilton.
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

In the documentary, Hilton admitted that she wasn’t “in the right headspace” after the tape leaked online. Hilton said she felt “pressured” into making the homemade movie, which was filmed during the height of their relationship in 2001. According to The Sun, Hilton said it was her “first real relationship.”

The Narrative Has Changed

She was 18 when they started dating, and she was “so in love with him and… wanted to make him happy.” She remembers him pulling out the camera. “And he was kind of pressuring me into it.” Would the outcome have been the same if the tape were released today?

A picture of Paris Hilton during an event.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The heiress stated that it was “a private moment of a teenage girl, not in her right headspace.” But everyone “was watching it and laughing like it’s something funny.” If it happened today, “it would not be the same story at all,” she said.

Salomon Was the “Worst Possible Person”

These days, such a tape would be referred to as “revenge porn,” but back then, the media wasn’t so sympathetic. In 2004, the media made it look as though Paris was the one to blame. The “young, dumb blonde” was looking for fame – that sort of narrative.

A headshot of Rick Salomon.
Photo by Jacob Andrzejczak/Getty Images

Hilton feels as though the media made her into a bad person – as if she had done something bad – rather than Salomon, whom she referred to as “the worst possible person.” The tape is something she “will regret for the rest of my life.”

Shannen Doherty Slam’s Her Ex for the Tape

In 2009, Doherty had her own words for her ex regarding the tape. She had one word: “disgusting.” She said, “I look at what he did with Paris and think, ‘God, that’s disgusting.’” This came years after their own breakup.

Shannen Doherty poses for the press.
Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

In 2004, Salomon was suddenly thrown into superstardom as his “movie” quickly became the most downloaded celebrity tape since Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. Ironically and unintentionally, Salomon was competing with his future wife for the most famous sex tape. But we’ll get to Pam soon…

He Put It Online for a Bargain Price

After the lawsuits and settlements, Salomon started his own internet site. He started selling a new, longer, color version of the 39-minute tape. He even gave potential customers a “bargain price” of $50 for five showings.

Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon walk the streets.
Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

In an MSNBC interview with Dan Abrams in 2004, Salomon gave some insight into his side of the story. Abrams asked him about the lawsuits and how the tape came about. Salomon explained how he was suing the porn company, the “kid that stole the tape,” and Rick, Kathy, and Paris Hilton.

18 Minutes of Full Color

But why sue the Hiltons, Abrams wanted to know. Salomon said it was “because they originally put out a statement saying that she was incapacitated and she was drugged out and she was under the age of 18, and they never did a retraction.”

A dated photo of Salomon and Paris.
Source: Facebook

Salomon said he released the color version after the “ugly legal battle.” He “just got sick of fighting with them.” He told Abrams that on TrustFundGirls.com, people can see “18 minutes of full color,” adding that he thinks “everybody will enjoy it.”

The Big, Fat Silver Lining

ABRAMS: Do you feel guilty at all about releasing the tape?

SALOMON: No.

ABRAMS: Do you feel bad towards Paris?

SALOMON: No, not really.

A photo of Salomon during a poker tournament.
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images

He told Abrams that he took the blame wherever he went. He said he’s not sorry about hurting Hilton, and he’s definitely not sorry for capitalizing on the tape, either. If anything, the money he made off the tape was the big, fat silver lining. Abrams then asked him how he and Hilton decided to make the tape in the first place.

The Tape Was Stolen by His “Buddy”

“It was just, you know, very light,” he told the host. They had been together for a long time, and he had already “done it with numerous women.” In fact, he said it was something that he enjoys doing – seeing himself “doing it” with other women.

Paris Hilton cries while speaking during an interview.
Source: YouTube

According to Salomon, the tape was stolen. He explained that he kept the tape at his house. But he had this “buddy,” who had access to his house for a couple of years. “He was obsessed with me, and he ended up making a copy of the tape, and he had it,” Salomon revealed.

The Rest Is History

Salomon said that he started getting phone calls about the tape. The caller was telling Salomon that they had the tape, but he thought it was impossible. “I had it locked up at the time in my safe. And you know, sure enough, there was a tape and he had made a copy of it, and the rest is history.”

An image of Salomon during an interview.
Source: YouTube

Oh, the rest was history all right. What’s even more surprising is the fact that other famous women kept dating Salomon, even after this major scandal that left both him and Hilton in a bad light.

Marriage No. 3: Pamela Anderson

Third time’s a charm? Not so much – not for Salomon. On September 29, 2007, he and Pamela Anderson applied for a marriage license in Las Vegas. They were married on October 6, 2007, between the 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows of “Hans Klok’s The Beauty of Magic.”

A picture of Salomon and Anderson during an event.
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images

At the time, Anderson was starring as a magician’s assistant in the magic shoes at the Planet Hollywood Resort. “I paid off a poker debt with sexual favors, and I fell in love,” Anderson revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that same month.

How Romantic

“It’s so romantic. It’s romance,” she told Ellen, referring to Salomon only as a poker player. By December, both she and Salomon had filed for a divorce, less than ten weeks after their Vegas elopement. Despite the split, Anderson and Salomon were seen shopping together two days later.

Pamela Anderson talks to the press.
Photo by Rodrigo Varela/WireImage/Getty Images

Anderson posted a message on her website shortly after, indicating that she and Salomon were reconciling. Then, in February 2008, Anderson filed the annulment, citing fraud as the reasoning. A month later, Salomon did the same. By March, the marriage was officially annulled.

He Said, She Said

The divorce was quite messy. According to Salomon’s filings, Anderson had begged him to impregnate her, only to abort two babies after learning that she was pregnant. He also claimed that she did the same thing several times to Kid Rock.

Salomon attends an event / Anderson poses for the press.
Photo by Denise Truscello, WireImage, Getty Images / Toni Anne Barson Archive, WireImage, Getty Images

In a countersuit, Anderson claimed that Salomon faked being a resident of Nevada for tax purposes – when he spent most of his time living in California. She went further, blasting Salomon’s finances and claiming that he won $40 million playing poker against Dallas real estate tycoon Andy Beal.

Marriage No. 4: Pamela Anderson, Again

In January 2014, about seven years after their first wedding, Salomon and Anderson got married again. This time, the secret marriage lasted a tad longer – until July that year. But before that, when the pair was still an item, Anderson said their reconciliation was working out well.

Salomon and Anderson attend an event.
Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic/Getty Images

“It’s good!” she told Us Weekly. “We’re good friends! I think that’s kind of what makes it special.” Will they stick it out this time was the main question at the time. “What are the odds?” Anderson responded with a chuckle.

Frolicking in France

“I don’t know. Who knows? Who knows? I think we’re in it. I think we’re doing fine.” It was five years after their first split, during the fall of 2013, that Salomon and Anderson were seen frolicking on a beach together in Biarritz, France.

Anderson and Salomon pose for the press.
Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images

Anderson told Ellen in another interview, “I don’t want to meet anyone else… It’s recycling,” she joked. “No, I’m very happy. We’re happy. He’s a great guy.” But in July of that same year, Anderson initiated a divorce again.

It’s a Modern World, Folks

By April 2015, their marriage was annulled, and Salomon was ordered to pay her $1 million in a settlement. “That’s the thing about relationships,” Anderson, then 47, told Us Weekly not long after their second divorce.

A headshot of Pamela Anderson.
Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

“You can make choices. You don’t have to stay in anything that doesn’t feel right, you know? That’s the modern world.” She spoke about how she was “starting to regret marrying” her ex. She also admitted (as if it wasn’t obvious) that she likes bad boys, and “he’s too nice and boring,” she said of Salomon.

It’s Always On and Off

Anderson revealed that she had reservations about him and realized that she should have listened to her instincts. But an insider source told Us Magazine that Anderson could always “pull it back again. It is always on and off.”

Anderson speaks during an interview.
Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance/Getty Images

The couple made a statement in which they said, “Public divorces can be harsh and cruel – we apologize to our families and friends for any hurt and embarrassment we have caused.” They reported that their agreement was amicable and that they were “moving on.”

Apparently, He Was Abusive

Despite their “amicable” split, their relationship was apparently strained, seeing as how Anderson secured an extension to her temporary restraining order against Salomon. In the restraining order, Anderson alleged that Salomon was abusive.

A portrait of Anderson during an interview.
Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance/Getty Images

She wrote that she was “scared of what he is capable of doing” to her. She filed several harassing emails and text messages from Salomon, including one that called her a “serial baby killer with her husbands.” Anderson’s rep publicly stated that Salomon’s claims “are ridiculous and do not dignify a response.”

She Feared for Her Safety

Anderson secured another restraining order against Salomon, who was by then her estranged husband. She reportedly feared for her safety. Anderson filed screenshots of texts and emails between her and Salomon and her friends.

Anderson speaks to the media.
Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

In one message, Salomon called her a “serial baby killer” while others claimed that she was a “cutter.” He evidently called her vicious names, like “ugly old b***” and a “crack wh**e.” According to Anderson, Salomon’s pattern of abuse grew so severe that she couldn’t help but feel scared for her life.

She Eats What?!

Anderson asserted that Salomon was “erratic” and “out of control.” In one reported occasion, he allegedly put a pillow over her face during sex in an attempt to smother her. In the weeks approaching their divorce, Anderson received numerous harassing emails and text messages from him.

Anderson speaks to the media.
Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images/Getty Images

In another much more trivial accusation, Salomon accused Anderson – the PETA activist – of “fraud” for eating fish. “I hate the smell of fish,” he said. “It makes me want to vomit.” It must have been his last, desperate attempt to “get her.”

The Poker Bad Boy

It was also alleged that Salomon sent Anderson nude photos of her that he took without her consent, which she filed in her report as “demonstrating that he has the power to send it to anyone if I did not do what he wants.”

Rick Salomon speaks to Paul Johanson during a poker tournament.
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images

Salomon, who never publicly responded to her claims, has meanwhile been on Instagram as a “poker bad boy.” He describes himself as a “shy freak, that’s why I used to do drugs.” He even cautions users not to follow him “if you got no freak moves.” Yeah…

What Is Rick Salomon’s Net Worth?

Celebrity Net Worth states that Salomon’s worth is $50 million. In 2015, Page Six reported that Anderson claimed Salomon was hiding $40 million in earnings from a private high stakes’ poker game.

A portrait of Salomon during an event.
Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images

But sex tapes and poker games aren’t the only income Salomon has accrued. He’s actually done a bit of acting. He had roles in the movies My Sister’s Keeper, Alpha Dog, and Bob’s Video. He even appeared as himself in an episode of Entourage. Then there are his productions, including First In, Who’s Your Caddy, DMX: Soul of a Man, and American Girl.

Salomon Gets Into Some Poker Debt

In 2019, Salomon fell into some serious poker debt. He sued Raad al-Khereiji, 59, who happens to be a member of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families. He had beat the Saudi Prince in a private poker game in Cannes, France, back in 2014.

A headshot of Rick Salomon.
Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

Al-Khereiji allegedly agreed for his lawyer to settle the debt in America, but he later went back on his word, claiming it was a “friendly game with no financial stakes.” With that, Salomon pursued the sheikh in French courts. But French laws are different American laws.

He Lost the Battle

French law on gambling debts dates back to 1804; the court can enforce payment limited to those games “involving weapons, foot or horse racing, chariot races, tennis and other games of the sort which involves physical skill and exercise.”

Salomon speaks during an interview.
Source: YouTube

Salomon ended up losing his $2.8 million legal battle in France after it was ruled that his poker winnings relied on “chance” and required no “physical skill and exercise.” But it’s pretty clear that Salomon has acquired some real skill and exercise in poker.

In Molly’s Game

Salomon is one of the regular players known at the infamous high stakes “Molly’s Game,” which also draws the likes of Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, and other Hollywood stars and rich poker amateurs.

A still from the film.
Source: YouTube

Molly’s Game is a 2017 film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, based on the 2014 memoir of Molly Bloom. The film follows Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), who runs an underground poker empire for Hollywood celebrities, athletes, tycoons, and the Russian mob. Salomon was mentioned in her memoir…

In a Caveman Kind of Way

In the book, Bloom described Salomon as “crass and dirty, but still hot in a caveman kind of way.” He reportedly asked Affleck once during a game, “Hey, yo, did Jennifer [Lopez]’s a** have cellulite on it, or was it nice?”

Molly Bloom attends an event.
Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

Salomon has earned close to $10 million in live tournament earnings alone. He’s not afraid of mixing it up with high stakes poker giants. As Anderson noted in one of her reports, he won $40 million playing poker with Andy Beal.

The Doug Polk Incident

Another scandal that drew much attention had nothing to do with women or sex tapes. In a conflict between two players, Salomon and Doug Polk had a war of words during a cash game on PokerGO. While playing, Polk called the police on him.

A still of Doug Polk during a poker game.
Source: YouTube

According to Polk, he heard about a $1,000/$2,000 cash game at The Venetian in Las Vegas. When he got there, he saw Salomon and another unnamed player playing heads-up. Polk asked if he could join, to which they said no.

Poker Drama

Polk wasn’t a happy camper. He insisted on playing; he was frustrated after having gone through the trouble to get there. Salomon and the other player allegedly started mouthing off at Polk and then left. The same night, Salomon’s friend – the one he was playing with – got arrested for drug possession.

Salomon takes a photo of himself.
Source: Facebook

Salomon claims that it was Polk who called the police out of spite. Polk denies he did it, though. Who knew that poker players would create as much drama as all the celebs in Hollywood?

His Humble Abode

In early 2021, Salomon made a whole different kind of bet. Instead of betting on the cards in front of him, he gambled on his own house in LA. It was where he and Anderson lived once upon a time.

A shot of Salomon and Anderson’s former home.
Photo by Eric Penrod Photography

He bet he could get $12.5 million for his custom-renovated home above Sunset Strip, which was almost four times the $3.4 million he paid 15 years ago. The two-story house, with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, was built in 1964 and is nearly 6,500 square feet.