Paris Hilton Says She Was “Abused On A Daily Basis” At Utah Boarding School In Harrowing Testimony

Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP/Shutterstock.
Paris Hilton testified to Utah lawmakers on February 8 about the alleged abused she experienced during her youth while under the care of treatment centres for teens. By sharing her personal story and testimony, Hilton lent her voice to lobby for a bill that would require more regulations for the state's youth residential treatment centres.
The 39-year-old business mogul and heiress went to three different treatment centres as a teen, but it was her 11-month stint at Provo Canyon School when she was 17 that she said was responsible for "the most vivid and traumatising memories I’ve ever experienced in my entire life." (She claims she was also abused at the two other centres, recalling a time when she was allegedly strangled by a staff member).
"Although Provo Canyon School marketed itself as a premier treatment centre, it was as if hell itself was on Earth," Hilton said. "I cried myself to sleep every single night, praying I would wake up from this nightmare."
While she attended the school, Hilton said she "didn’t breathe fresh air or see the sunlight for 11 months," was put in solitary confinement a few times for "no reason," and was force-fed medication that made her "feel numb and exhausted."
Hilton first spoke out about her traumatic experiences in the documentary This Is Paris in September of last year, and has since has been a vocal activist against unregulated teen programs. Following the documentary, other celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Kat Von D, and Paris Jackson shared their own unpleasant experiences in similar facilities.
Despite protests for Provo Canyon School's closure, and the fact that it has historically faced many other claims of abuse — including physically and sexually abusing, drugging, and confining clients — the school is still open. Provo Canyon School said in a statement in October 2021 that since the previous owners sold the school in 2000, the new owners could not comment on any incidents prior to that year. (Hilton claims, however, some of the staffers from when she attended the school are still employed there.)
During her testimony, Hilton described a particular incident (also illustrated in This Is Paris) that has haunted her for years. "For the past 20 years, I’ve had a recurring nightmare where I’m kidnapped in the middle of the night by two strangers, strip-searched, and locked in a facility," she said. "I wish I could tell you this haunting nightmare was just a dream, but it is not. When I was 16, two transporters woke me up in the middle of the night with handcuffs. They asked me if I wanted to go the easy way or the hard way. They carried me out of my home as I screamed at the top of my lungs for my parents' help."
The new legislation would provide more government oversight of the facilities and require documentation every time employees used restraints. Following testimonies of Hilton and other survivors, the measure passed unanimously.
“Talking about something so personal was and is still terrifying,” Hilton said during the hearing. “But I can not go to sleep at night knowing that there are children that are experiencing the same abuse that I and so many others went through, and neither should you.”

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