Paris Hilton Opens Up About Teenage Abuse Experience

Closeup of Paris Hilton with long straight hair
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Fatima Araos

Heiress, socialite, and all-around party girl Paris Hilton isn't exactly someone you'd associate with mental health issues. Still, she surprised fans two years ago when she opened up about tragic experiences that left her with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

The 41-year-old influencer made the shocking revelation after keeping it a secret for more than two decades, and now she's turned the issue into full-blown advocacy – complete with meetings at the White House and Capitol Hill.

Read the details below.

Institutional Child Abuse

Hilton is advocating for a stop to institutional child abuse, and she's using her own experiences at Provo Canyon School to spread awareness about it. She told 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."

Her parents sent her to the Utah boarding school for 11 months in the late 1990s after she went through a rebellious phase they felt had to be fixed.

'I Hated Life'

Hilton detailed what went on in the school, saying, "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."

She spoke about staff that bullied, hit, and strangled students, force-fed them medication, and placed them in solitary confinement. "I was having panic attacks and crying every single day," she said. "I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner, and I hated life."

'This is Paris'

She got out when she turned 18 and was so traumatized that she didn't speak about it for more than 20 years. But in 2020, she decided to make a documentary about her experience, titled This is Paris, so she could finally put it behind her.

"I want these places shut down," she said. "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."

'Make A Difference And Make A Change'

Nowadays, Hilton is actively campaigning for her cause, including talking to legislators to work on laws that pertain to the troubled teen industry. "I'm just really looking forward to the next phase of my life and using my voice to really make a difference and make a change," she said.