Paris Hilton Reveals the "Terrifying" Abuse She Suffered as a Teenager
"I buried my truth for so long."
After two decades of silence, Paris Hilton is opening up about the physical and mental abuse she experienced as a teenager at boarding school. In a revealing interview with People, Hilton discusses the "continuous torture" she endured at Provo Canyon School in Utah when she was only 17 years old.
"I buried my truth for so long," the reality star told the outlet ahead of the release of her new YouTube documentary, This Is Paris. "But I'm proud of the strong woman I've become. People might assume everything in my life came easy to me, but I want to show the world who I truly am."
In the late '90s, Paris's parents decided to send her the school — which claims to be "an intensive, psychiatric youth residential treatment center" — after she began sneaking out to go to nightclubs and parties while living in New York City. "It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all,” says Hilton. “From the moment I woke up until I went to bed, it was all day screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture.”
She went on to explain that the abuse wasn't just verbal, but also became physical at times. “The staff would say terrible things. They were constantly making me feel bad about myself and bully me. I think it was their goal to break us down. And they were physically abusive, hitting and strangling us. They wanted to instill fear in the kids so we’d be too scared to disobey them," she said, adding that she was once placed in solitary confinement when a former classmate told staff she had planned on running away. "They would use that as punishment, sometimes 20 hours a day," Paris revealed.
Hilton says her parents "had no idea what was going on," and when she attempted to tell them, she got in trouble with staff. "They would grab the phone or rip up letters I wrote telling me, ‘No one is going to believe you.’ And the staff would tell the parents that the kids were lying," she said. Paris plans on watching the documentary with her family to offer insight on her trauma, saying: "I think it will be good for us, but emotional too. There are no more secrets.”
This Is Paris premieres Sept. 14 on YouTube.