Paris Hilton’s “Simple Life” was actually anything but.
The 39-year-old reality star has opened up about her troubled youth in upcoming documentary “This Is Paris,” where the heiress reveals that she was mentally, emotionally and physically abused while attending a boarding school in Utah.
“I buried my truth for so long,” Hilton told People. “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.”
Before garnering fame on the 2003 series “The Simple Life,” Hilton was a rebellious teen living in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel with her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, and younger siblings Nicky, 36, Barron, 30, and Conrad, 26.
“It was so easy to sneak out and go to clubs and parties,” recalled Hilton. “My parents were so strict that it made me want to rebel. They’d [punish me] by taking away my cellphone, taking away my credit card, but it didn’t work. I would still go out on my own.”
Sick of Hilton’s disobedience, she was sent to several boarding schools in the late 1990’s, the last being Utah’s Provo Canyon School, where Hilton would stay for 11 months.
“I knew it was going to be worse than anywhere else,” Hilton said, adding, “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 went on, “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.”
Three of Hilton’s former classmates are set to appear in the documentary, backing up her claims of abuse, including that they were force-fed medication and held down by restraints as punishment.
Hilton added that students could be tossed into solitary confinement for as long as “20 hours a day” if staff members were informed of any plans kids made to escape.
“I was having panic attacks and crying every single day,” she added. “I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner and I hated life.”
When attempting to tell her parents, it was her word against the administration’s.
“I didn’t really get to speak to my family, maybe once every two or three months,” Hilton revealed. “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.”
After turning 18 in 1999, Hilton headed back to New York, but refused to speak of her experience, explaining, “I was so grateful to be out of there, I didn’t even want to bring it up again. It was just something I was ashamed of and I didn’t want to speak of it.”
“This Is Paris” premieres Sept. 14 on Hilton’s YouTube channel.
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