She was too terrified to speak to anyone about what happened. Now, 20 years later, the heiress is opening up and confronting her past.
Paris Hilton is perhaps one of the most infamous women in the world. Credited with being the original influencer and coining the catchphrase 'That's Hot', this celeb is often quiet about her private life.
Paris Whitney Hilton was born on February 17, 1981. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. She was born in New York City and raised there and in Beverly Hills, California. She is the oldest of four children to Kathy and Rick Hilton, she has one sister, Nicky Hilton, and two brothers, Barron and Conrad.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Hilton attended the Buckley School and St. Paul the Apostle School, finishing elementary school in 1995. Her freshman year of high school (1995–96) was spent at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California. In 1996, Hilton and her family left California for the East Coast. At age 15, she attended Professional Children's School, and at 16, spent one year at the Provo Canyon School, a therapeutic boarding school for emotionally troubled teens.
Paris was a child model who went on to sign with Donald Trump's agency T Management at 19. Her breakout was her role in "The Simple Life' with Nicole Richie.
Paris then went on to become a successful DJ and entrepreneur. In 2012, Hilton claimed that her fragrances alone had produced more than $1.3 billion in revenue since 2005. There are more than 50 Paris Hilton stores worldwide that sell her various products, ranging from perfumes to handbags to shoes. Her retail empire exceeds $2.5 billion and her worth is around $300 million.
Paris has made a new documentary called 'This Is Paris', which will premiere on September 14 on her YouTube channel. The description for the film reads as follows: "This September 14th, meet the real Paris Hilton for the very first time. She'll embark on a journey of healing and reflection, reclaiming her true identity along the way."
In the documentary, Paris reveals for the first time the horrific abuse she says she endured as a teen while at a boarding school in Utah.
“I buried my truth for so long,” Hilton, 39, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “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.”
Hilton stayed at the Provo Canyon School in Utah for 11 months. Her parents sent her there in an attempt to control the rebellious teen who would often sneak out to go clubbing and party. Provo Canyon was the last in a series of boarding schools the then 17-year-old attended. It claimed to focus on behavioral and mental development.
“It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all,” says Hilton. “From the moment I woke up until I went to bed, it was all day screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture.”
Continues Hilton: “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.”
“I was having panic attacks and crying every single day,” says Hilton. “I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner and I hated life.”
When she turned 18, Paris left the school and returned to New York. She was too terrified to speak to anyone about what happened. Now, 20 years later, the heiress is opening up and confronting her past. “It feels like my nightmare is over,” she says. “And I’m going to watch the movie with my parents — I think it will be good for us, but emotional too. There are no more secrets.”
When reached by PEOPLE for comment on the allegations, the school responded: “Originally opened in 1971, Provo Canyon School was sold by its previous owner in August 2000. We, therefore, cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.”