Paris Hilton released the documentary, This is Paris in 2020 on Youtube, sharing never before told stories about her life, to include trauma and abuse. The abuse she spoke of occurred in part at a boarding school in Utah she attended in a series of attempts to reel in her behavior while being a rebellious teenager. After running away from two different schools, she finally went to Utah’s Provo Canyon School which she described as the “worst of the worst.”
On Instagram, Hilton shared a picture of her at 18 after some of the usual abuse she experienced there, captioned with “These photos were taken when I was 18 and had recently came home from the horrible experiences I went through at #ProvoCanyonSchool. I can see the pain in my eyes. I was so traumatized that I pretended everything was okay, trying to block out the painful memories. 🥺 ”
“Looking at this now, I know that the teen me would be so incredibly proud of the woman I am today. Being brave and using my voice to make a difference and save children from having to endure the abuse myself and so many others have had to go through. #iSeeYouSurvivor #BreakingCodeSilence 🙌”
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She has since visited the area the school was in to lead a protest with hundreds of others who said they experienced the same fate at that boarding school or others that are similar. In the documentary she filmed, she said, “You’re sitting on a chair staring at a wall all day long, getting yelled at or hit. I felt like a lot of the people who worked there got off on torturing children and seeing them naked. They would prescribe everyone all these pills. I didn’t know what they were giving me.”
“I would just feel so tired and numb. Some people in that place were just gone, like the lights are on, no one’s home. A lot of people were on suicide watch, and I was so scared that was going to happen to me,” she added. She also spoke about the times she was forced into solitary confinement.
“I got into so much trouble for that. Solitary confinement, like something out of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ They’d make people take their clothes off and go in there for 20 hours. It felt like I was going crazy,” she recalled. “Someone was in the other room that was in a straitjacket screaming. I was just freezing, I was starving. I was alone, and I was scared.”
Also, a number of her classmates appeared in the film to corroborate her story. Looking back at her life and career and how she says her image was a created personality, it all makes sense. People who experience abuse at a young age tend to engage in escapism and that includes creating a caricatured version of themselves and alterate realities to deal with it. At 39 years of age, it’s good to see she’s just now able to come to terms with her childhood and appropriately deal with it.