Paris Hilton has received praise from former classmates for speaking out about the abuse she says she suffered at her former boarding school.
The heiress, DJ, and businesswoman opens up about the alleged abuse in the new documentary This Is Paris, released on YouTube on Monday.
She refers to Provo Canyon School, a residential facility located in Utah where she spent 11 months, as “the worst of the worst”.
“There’s no getting out of there,” Hilton says. “You’re sitting on a chair, staring at a wall all day long, getting yelled at or hit." She also says she felt that some of the people who worked there “got off on torturing children and seeing them naked".
Hilton alleges that she was sent into “solitary confinement” after not taking pills that were prescribed to her. “I got in so much trouble for that,” she adds, describing the conditions “like something out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Provo Canyon School has previously told People in a statement: “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.”
The school further told Fox News: “We do not condone or promote any form of abuse. Any and all alleged/suspected abuse is reported to our state regulatory authorities, law enforcement and Child Protective Services immediately as required. We are committed to providing high-quality care to youth with special, and often complex, emotional, behavioral and psychiatric needs.”
A former student at the school praised Hilton for coming forward, telling the network: “Paris coming out about this could make really large changes in the industry as a whole. She's a hero.”
The former student added: “Someone like Paris to share this kind of story is really brave. This isn't just Provo Canyon School. This is a multibillion-dollar industry and it's been overlooked for many because programs often say the kids are 'emotionally unstable.' With Paris speaking out, it's getting a lot more attention.”
The Independent has contacted Provo Canyon School for further comment.