Paris Hilton is ready to reveal a secret she’s kept for years in a new YouTube series titled This Is Paris, debuting September 14th.
Before the doc drops, she is revealing some of what fans will hear, telling 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.”
The 39-year-old says she endured mental, emotional and physical pain she says she underwent while at Provo Canyon School in the late '90s.
In her teens, she lived with her parents Rick and Kathy Hilton and her younger siblings Nicky, 36, Barron, 30, and Conrad, 26 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
“It was so easy to sneak out and go to clubs and parties,” recalls Hilton. “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.”
Eventually, they sent her to boarding schools, the last of which was Provo, where she stayed for 11 months. She tells People: “I knew it was going to be worse than anywhere else. 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.”
Continues Hilton: “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.”
In response, the school told People: “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.”
Three of her classmates appear in the documentary and attest to being force-fed medication and held down by restraints. When a student told staffers that Hilton was planning to run away, they put her in solitary confinement for up to 20 hours a day.
To make matters worse, the school cut her off from her family. “I didn’t really get to speak to my family,” says Hilton, “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.”
For now, she is focused on raising awareness about schools like Provo. “I want these places shut down,” says Hilton. “I want them to be held accountable. And I want to be a voice for children and now adults everywhere who have had similar experiences. I want it to stop for good and I will do whatever I can to make it happen.”