In her new documentary, "This is Paris," Paris Hilton, the former reality TV personality and current businesswoman, revealed that she was mentally and physically abused at a boarding school as a teenager and is now working to have the school closed.
"I've had so many people write me letters saying, 'Thank you so much,'" said Hilton, 39, who also said she did not speak to her parents for 20 years because they sent her to Provo Canyon School in Utah.
In the documentary, which premiered on her YouTube page this month, Hilton alleges she was mentally and physically abused, placed in solidarity confinement for hours at a time and forced to take unknown medications. Reuters could not independently confirm her claims.
Hilton said she was sent to Provo and several other schools for troubled teens after years of rebellion. In response to Hilton's accusations, the Provo Canyon School sent a statement that reads in part: "We are aware of media referencing Provo Canyon School. Please note that the school was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to that time."
The school also stated: "Over the last two decades, mental health treatment has evolved. We work with extremely complex individuals who often present a danger to themselves and others. Provo Canyon School is committed to the safety of our patients and staff."
The original premise of the film was to spotlight Hilton as a businesswoman and clear up misconceptions about her, but during shooting she began opening up.
Although Hilton didn't initially want the abuse issue in the film, the director "just kept pushing me more and more. And then I realized that this could actually help a lot of people and empower others."