TV

Paris Hilton reveals boarding school abuse past in new docu

LOS ANGELES – Paris Hilton has gone from reality TV star to businesswoman and now activist.

The US socialite alleges in her new documentary This Is Paris that she was mentally and physically abused at a boarding school as a teenager and is now working to have the school closed.

“I’ve had so many people write me letters saying, ‘Thank you so much’,” said Hilton, 39, who said she did not speak to her parents for 20 years because they sent her to Provo Canyon School in Utah after years of rebellion.

In the documentary, which premiered on her YouTube page this month, she alleges she was placed in solidarity confinement for hours at a time and forced to take unknown medications.

In response to Hilton’s accusations, the Provo Canyon School sent a statement that reads in part: “We are aware of media referencing Provo Canyon School. Please note that PCS was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to that time.” 

It added: “Over the last two decades, mental health treatment has evolved from a behaviours-based foundation to a personalised, trauma-informed approach. We work with extremely complex individuals who often present a danger to themselves and others. Provo Canyon School is committed to the safety of our patients and staff.” 

Although Hilton didn’t initially want the abuse issue in the film, the director “just kept pushing me more and more”. 

“And then I realised that this could actually help a lot of people and empower others.” 

Hilton said she is excited to be using her real voice, instead of the baby voice that made her famous, to make a difference.

Celebrity tattoo artist, reality TV star and cosmetics maven Kat Von D was inspired to recently reveal that she also attended PCS after watching Hilton’s documentary, adding she suffered “major PTSD” (post-traumatic stress disorder) after spending six months there. 

Other former students have since also come forward with their own experiences of being force-fed, restrained by staff and sexually assaulted. - REUTERS

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