Paris Hilton has testified against a boarding school in Utah where she allegedly faced abuse during her stay as a teenager.
The reality TV star and heiress appeared at a court in Utah on February 8 to testify against staff members at the Provo Canyon School where she alleges she was subjected to physical, emotional and psychological abuse.
Hilton, 39, gave an emotionally charged testimony, where she revealed she was “kidnapped” and “strip searched”. Calling herself an “institutional abuse survivor”, Hilton spoke in front of the Utah Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee, while adding that she was speaking on behalf of the “hundreds of thousands of children currently in residential care facilities across the United States.”
“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,” she stated at the hearing, as reported by People. “I was verbally, mentally and physically abused on a daily basis. I was cut off from the outside world and stripped of all my human rights.”
Hilton’s allegations continued as she spoke of people monitoring her while she showered.
“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.”
The heiress first spoke out against Provo Canyon School in her documentary ‘This Is Paris’ where she detailed her alleged abuse. In her testimony, Hilton said she believed the school continued to carry out the abuse even after she left.
“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,” she continued.
Hilton was sent to the boarding school by her parents for 11 months in an attempt to tame her rebellious partying, she told People earlier.
“It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all,” she alleged earlier. “From the moment I woke up until I went to bed, it was all day screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture. 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.”
Several of Hilton’s former classmates from the boarding school have also appeared in her YouTube documentary and shared their stories of alleged abuse.
In a statement from the school that was published by People, the management stated: “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.”