Heiress, DJ, and former reality-TV star Paris Hilton is opening up about a little known portion of her life — her high-school years — in a new documentary about her life, This Is Paris. In a New York Times Style profile titled “Who Is Paris Hilton, Really?” written by Ilana Kaplan, Paris Hilton discusses her forthcoming documentary, which delves into her traumatic experience at Provo Canyon School, a Utah based boarding school for troubled teens and psychiatric treatment center where she once spent 11 months. Hilton tells Kaplan that attending Provo Canyon was “just like living in hell,” and claims she was emotionally, verbally, and physically abused by teachers and administrators at the school. In the doc, Hilton recalls getting taken from her bed as though she were being kidnapped her first night at the school, being regularly served mystery pills that she refused to take, and getting sent to solitary confinement for 20 hours at a time without clothing.
Provo Canyon has noted on its website that it changed ownership in 2000, after Ms. Hilton was a student. A representative from the school told the Times that Provo Canyon does “not condone or promote any form of abuse” and that “any and all alleged/suspected abuse is reported to our state regulatory authorities, law enforcement, and Child Protective Services immediately as required.” In the interview, Hilton attributes her experience at Provo Canyon with why she has since avoided therapy. “From being at Provo and those types of schools, just the therapists in there I felt were just not good people,” Hilton said. “I just have never, ever trusted them.”
Hilton also discussed how her opinion on the Me Too movement and women who have come forward about their stories of abuse has changed over time. In 2017, Hilton told reporter Irin Carmen that she thought women coming forward with allegations against her family friend President Trump were seeking “fame” and “attention,” but since then she has changed her tune. “I’m happy that there’s been the Me Too movement where people have completely changed their views on that,” Hilton said. “But at the start, it was just really unfair for a woman to be treated that way because somebody exposed them.” This Is Paris was initially supposed to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this past April, but is now debuting on YouTube on September 14.