Paris Hilton reveals she suffered physical abuse in Utah boarding school
In a new documentary, the businesswoman and reality TV star addresses the troubles of her youth.
American media personality and businesswoman Paris Hilton recently opened up about her troubled youth in the upcoming documentary This Is Paris, where the heiress revealed that she was mentally, emotionally and physically abused while attending a boarding school in Utah.
According to Page Six, the 39-year-old reality star told People, "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."
Before Hilton rose to fame on the 2003 series The Simple Life, she was a rebellious teen living in New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. She stayed at the hotel with her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, and younger siblings - 36-year-old Nicky, 30-year-old Barron, and 26-year-old Conrad.
Talking about her stay at the hotel, Hilton recalled and said, "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. I would still go out on my own."
After getting sick of Hilton's disobedience, her parents sent to several boarding schools in the late 1990s, the last being Utah's Provo Canyon School, where Hilton would stay for 11 months.
The businesswoman shared about her stay, "I knew it was going to be worse than anywhere else," and added, "It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all. 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 say, "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."
As reported by Page Six, three of Hilton's former classmates are set to appear in the documentary, backing up her claims of abuse, including that they were force-fed medication and held down by restraints as punishment.
Hilton added that students could be tossed into solitary confinement for as long as "20 hours a day" if staff members were informed of any plans kids made to escape.
She said, "I was having panic attacks and crying every single day. I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner and I hated life."
Hilton further revealed about her stay at the boarding school, "I didn't really get to speak to my family, maybe once every two or three months. We were cut off from the outside world. And when I tried to tell them once, I got in so much trouble I was scared to say it again. "
"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. So my parents had no idea what was going on," she said.
In 1999, after turning 18, Hilton headed back to New York but refused to speak of her experience, explaining, "I was so grateful to be out of there, I didn't even want to bring it up again. It was just something I was ashamed of and I didn't want to speak of it."
This Is Paris is set to premiere on September 14 on Hilton's YouTube channel.