Paris Hilton held a protest in Utah on Friday calling for the closure of Provo Canyon School, the boarding school where she says she was abused as a teenager.
Hilton staged the protest in a park near Provo Canyon School, along with several hundred others who shared stories of abuse they say they suffered there or similar schools for troubled youth. Calls for the school to be closed.
Hilton, a socialite who became a reality TV star, and many others wore black T-shirts with red letters on the back that said “survivor” and on the front was written “breaking code silence”, a reference to Hilton’s new campaign for forcing others to shed light on what he believes is a corrupt industry that manipulates parents and traumatizes young people. It was the first time Hilton had returned to the area since she was there as a teenager, when she says she was verbally, emotionally and physically raped in what she described as “torture”
Since her documentary “This is Paris” was released on YouTube last month, other celebrities have also talked about their experiences at that school or others like it, including Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson and tattoo artist Kat Von D.
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“It’s something so traumatic that you don’t even want to think it’s real,” Hilton said in a speech to the crowd. “It is something that I have blocked from my memory forever.”
The institution is now under new ownership and the management said they couldn’t comment on anything that happened before, including Hilton’s time there. The school owners declined to comment on Friday, pointing to a statement on the school’s website that said the previous owners had sold the school in 2000. The school aims to help young people who have struggled in typical home and school settings, some of the which ones have to do with drugs. addiction or violent acting, according to the website.
“We are committed to providing high quality care to young people with special and often complex emotional, behavioral and psychiatric needs,” the statement read.
In the documentary, Hilton says she entered the New York nightlife scene as a teenager and sneaked out and clubbed while her family lived at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
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Her exasperated parents sent her off to various programs to get herself back on track. When she was 17, Hilton was finally sent to what she calls “the worst of the worst”: Provo Canyon School in Utah.
She stayed in Provo for 11 months and says that while there, she was mentally and physically abused, claiming that staff would beat her, force her to take unknown pills, watch her shower, and send her into solitary confinement with no clothes on as punishment. .
The 39-year-old says the treatment was so “traumatizing” that she suffered from nightmares and insomnia for years.
Former Provo Canyon students, some of whom went to school with the socialite years ago, have confirmed her claims in multiple interviews with Fox News.
PARIS HILTON ASKS FOR THE CLOSURE OF THE BOARDING SCHOOL OF UTAH FOLLOWING HIS REPRESENTATIONS OF ABUSE, PETITION BEGINS
After returning home, she was determined to protect herself and eventually built the person she embodied when she rose to fame on the reality show “The Simple Life” in the early 2000s, the documentary revealed.
Hilton and others at the protest promised to continue until all schools that mistreat young people are closed. After she and the others spoke in the park, she led the group in a protest march until they reached the school gates, where she stopped to pose in front of a school sign holding her own. poster that read: “Turn Off Provo.”
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“There are thousands of these schools all around. Provo Canyon is just the first one I want to get off, “Hilton said.” From there, it’s going to be a domino effect. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.