Paris Hilton’s new Documentary ‘This is Paris’ Addresses Abuse Accusations
Paris Hilton is adored by millennials all over the world. She’s the true trendsetter👑 and she’s led her whole life in the spotlight of the public eye (being the heiress and all). This time, however, she’s letting the public get a little more personal and reveals her tough past.
In the past few years, the influencer has been feeling more comfortable with showing more to the public ‒ especially revealing sides of herself that are not as perfect, pink, and shiny as the brand she’s created and is associated with. In “This Is Paris” (her new documentary) we get to observe an adult woman who is on the search for answers. She seems to be curious to figure out why the way she feels inside is not what her image looks like.
Paris is 39 years old now and a successful businesswoman and DJ. She’s incredibly popular with teens and is even considered to be the creator of the whole online influencer culture. You know, the same culture that has turned into a gigantic empire. Most people probably think of Paris as spoiled and view her as a celebrity that is famous simply “just for being famous”. She, for sure, hasn’t helped in changing people’s opinions by partying it out to the max in her teens and then in her 20s. She used to be so outgoing that we associated the early 2000s with Paris clubbing.
During her teenage years, Paris’ parents (Rick and Kathy Hilton) didn’t know how to handle their daughter’s rebellious years (with her skipping class and going to clubs, which led to articles in the tabloids). According to Paris’ sister (Nicky), her parents are the “king and queen of sweeping everything under the rug.” That is why they sent 15-year-old Paris to various camps and “emotional growth schools” to improve her behavior.
In a documentary, the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton (the founder of Hilton Hotels) looks back on how she believed she was being kidnapped the night school representatives dragged her out of her bed. Her parents had contacted them so the reps could take Paris away. Hilton said: “I started screaming for my mom and dad to help me and no one came.” Her sister recalls hearing Paris scream “bloody murder”. The actress pointed out: “I saw my parents standing by their door, crying. And I was like, “Please help me. What’s happening?’ And no one would tell me what was happening.” The model adds that even to this day she has issues going to sleep. She points out that she still has nightmares about the same night. Imagine strangers pulling you out of your bed while you’re sleeping. Disturbing, right?
On the 14th of September, in a YouTube Originals documentary called “This Is Paris”, the heiress gave her audience and fans a private look into a lot of issues in her life. (The video can be found on Hilton’s YouTube channel->
Paris addresses her struggle with verbal, emotional, and even physical abuse inflicted on her in Provo Canyon School. Provo was the Utah boarding school for troubled teens she was sent to eventually, after running away from all other facilities. (Provo is just one of the many concerning places that the actress described in her documentary film.) Paris explained that at Provo she was yelled at, beaten, and forced to take unidentified pills. She also spoke about a time when she was made to take her clothes off and was thrown in solitary confinement naked.
A few years after the teenager attended Provo, a sex tape with her boyfriend back then (Rick Salomon) got leaked. Paris described it by saying it felt “like being electronically raped.” Contrary to popular opinion, the actress claims that there is no way she intentionally created the tape to get famous. The socialite acknowledged that after her scandal, other celebrities have also followed the path of fame through a sex video (yes, Kim Kardashian, talking about you), however, she considers her tape a mistake. She even disclosed in the documentary: “I was just so lost and desperate for love that I found the worst possible person.” Hilton even mentioned that she felt the tape took away the future she had planned for herself. She declared that had it not been for Provo and the damage they inflicted, the scandal would have never happened. Paris also shared that the consequences of the horrible treatment at Provo were anxiety, trust issues, and insomnia, just to name a few. (In the documentary it is mentioned that local police have received 56 calls regarding assault and 25 calls about sexual offenses at Provo between 2011 and 2014.)
Provo Canyon School CEO (Adam McLain) made a statement to USA TODAY claiming the school was “sold by its previous owner in August 2000” and “therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience before that time.” The statement declared: “We do not condone or promote any form of abuse. Any 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.”
Provo is licensed by Utah’s Department of Human Services and accredited by healthcare organization The Joint Commission and educational non-profit Cognia. All have issued similar statements like the one above, discussing how the school currently meets their standards and emphasizing that all abuse accusations are taken seriously. None of them had accreditation and licensing information available from the mid-to-late ’90s, which was when Paris was a student there.
The director of ‘Utah Department of Human Services Office of Licensing’ (Amanda Slater) shared with USA TODAY: “We are saddened to hear of the allegations of abuse that may have been occurring. We would not have found this acceptable then, just as we do not find it acceptable now.”
“This Is Paris” follows the DJ as she reunites with four of her previous classmates that she hasn’t seen since her teen years. Each of the women describes their memories of the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at Provo Canyon. They also join a campaign (“Breaking Code Silence”). The purpose of the organization is to raise awareness for facilities marketed as rehabilitation centers, that turn out to be harmful institutions for young children.
Paris says “I don’t know if my nightmares will ever go away, but I do know there’s probably hundreds of thousands of kids going through the same thing right now. And maybe if I can help stop their nightmares, it will help me stop mine.”
Hilton admits that meeting with people who knew the real Paris (the one before her days on “The Simple Life”) did indeed help her recall who she was before the abuse. “We’re all survivors, we’re all warriors and I don’t want anyone to ever feel the way we do.”
In the documentary, Hilton states: “I’ve never discussed this publicly with anyone, so it’s going to be a shock to people because no one knows. I’ve worked so hard to build this brand and it’s been all about this perfect, happy life. And that story was never part of this brand.”
Near the end of the documentary, she breaks down in her closet and ends up sending a great message with her words: “The mask I put on and the way I am and the extravagance and all this stemmed just from this place.” Nowadays, we’re all consumed by money, clothes, and being boujee, but Paris stands in her closet (which shows her obvious wealth) while still being unhappy. “When I look around my life, it’s like a cartoon. I’ve created this fantasy world cartoon. … All of this other stuff is just part of the character.”
During the documentary, Hilton appears to discover truths about her current life by recollecting the wounds of the past.
You can’t help but feel sad for Paris when she says “It made me not trust anyone, not even my own family. Even to this day, it’s really hard for me to let anyone in. I’m scared I haven’t gotten to experience real life, like having a family and being in love.” However, she also mentions “I want to change”, which means she is still optimistic about the future and so are we. Keep being the Queen you are, Paris!