Paris Hilton recounts abuse in documentary

In Paris Hilton's documentary, This Is Paris, she talks about the abuse she suffered in boarding school.
In Paris Hilton's documentary, This Is Paris, she talks about the abuse she suffered in boarding school.PHOTO: PARIS HILTON/ YOUTUBE

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 the hands of 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: "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 cellphone, taking away my credit card, but it didn't work."

Hilton, then 17, would still go out. Her 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: "It was supposed to be a school, but (classes) were not the focus at all. 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 bullying me. I think it was their goal to break us down. They were physically abusive, hitting and strangling us. They wanted to instil fear in the kids."

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, she hopes to confront her past and move on, as well as to raise awareness of other so-called behaviour improvement schools

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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2020, with the headline 'Paris Hilton recounts abuse in documentary'. Print Edition | Subscribe