Back in September 2020, Paris Hilton released her YouTube Original documentary This Is Paris with hopes of showing viewers the real her. Hilton dropped her iconic ditzy, rich girl act and got vulnerable — and for the first time ever opened up about being abused at her Utah boarding school.
Hilton used This Is Paris to speak up on the alleged physical, emotional, and psychological atrocities she endured as a teenager, and even gathered her fellow classmates to also share their story. Now, Hilton is taking it to the Utah court system to testify against Provo Canyon School.
"My name is Paris Hilton, I am an institutional abuse survivor and I speak today on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children currently in residential care facilities across the United States," she said in her testimony to the Utah Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee. "For the past 20 years, I have had a recurring nightmare where I'm kidnapped in the middle of the night by two strangers, strip-searched, and locked in a facility. I wish I could tell you that this haunting nightmare was just a dream, but it is not."
Hilton detailed the abuse she suffered, explaining that she was "stripped of all human rights."
"Without a diagnosis, I was forced to consume medication that made me feel numb and exhausted. I didn't breathe fresh air or see the sunlight for 11 months. There was zero privacy — every time I would use the bathroom or take a shower — it was monitored," she alleged. "At 16 years old — as a child — I felt their piercing eyes staring at my naked body. I was just a kid and felt violated every single day."
Hilton voiced her concerns for Provo Canyon School's past and current students, urging that the school and those like it should be monitored more heavily to prevent abuse from staff. "I'm going to be honest," she said. "Talking about something so personal was and is still terrifying. And I cannot go to sleep at night knowing that there are children that are enduring the same abuse that I and so many others went through. Neither should you. I am proof that money doesn't protect against abuse."
Hilton's testimony is in support of a bill brought by State Senator Michael McKell calling for reform to the state's laws surrounding similar institutions. Currently, Provo Canyon School denies all allegations, further stating that the school was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000 and that the current administration could not comment on any previous experiences.
"We do not condone or promote any form of abuse," the school wrote in a statement from September 17, 2020. "Any and all alleged/suspected abuse is reported immediately to our state regulatory authorities, law enforcement and Child Protective Services, as required. We are committed to providing high-quality care to youth with special, and often complex, emotional, behavioral and psychiatric needs."