Paris Hilton opens up about 'continuous torture' at boarding school

By opening up about her experience, Paris Hilton hopes to confront her past and move on.
By opening up about her experience, Paris Hilton hopes to confront her past and move on.PHOTO: PARIS HILTON/FACEBOOK

Paris Hilton's new documentary, This Is Paris, will be premiering on her YouTube channel on Sept 14. In it, the 39-year-old media personality talks about the alleged abuse she suffered at boarding school staff as a teenager, People magazine reports.

In an interview with People, Hilton talked about her experiences at Provo Canyon School, a boarding school in Utah she attended in the late 1990s.

She said: "I buried my truth for so long, 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."

The Simple Life (2003) star said that before attending boarding school, she had been living in New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel with her parents and her three siblings, sister Nicky, and brothers Barron and Conrad.

On her teenage years, she recalled: "It was so easy to sneak out and go to clubs and parties."

"My parents were so strict that it made me want to rebel. They'd (punish me) by taking away my cell phone, taking away my credit card, but it didn't work."

Hilton, then 17, would still go out on her own.

Hilton's parents, businessman Richard Hilton and actress and socialite Kathy Hilton decided to send her to Provo Canyon School, where she remained for 11 months.

In 1998, Hilton's first impressions of the school were hardly stellar: "I knew it was going to be worse than anywhere else," she said.

"It was supposed to be a school, but (classes) were not the focus at all," she shared. "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 continued: "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 instil fear in the kids so we'd be too scared to disobey them."

In the documentary, three of Hilton's former classmates also shared similar accounts of experiences they endured at the school, including being force-fed medication and being held down by restraints as punishment.

The experience had a profound impact on Hilton's mental health: "I was having panic attacks and crying every single day. I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner, and I hated life."

By opening up about her experience, Hilton hopes to confront her past and move on, as well as to raise awareness on other so-called behaviour improvement schools

"I want these places shut down," says Hilton. "I want them to be held accountable. And I want to be a voice for children and now adults everywhere who have had similar experiences. I want it to stop for good, and I will do whatever I can to make it happen.

When asked by People to comment on the allegations, the school responded: "Originally opened in 1971, Provo Canyon School was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time."