Paris Hilton has revealed more horrible details about the time she was a resident of the Provo Canyon School. The treatment center was billed as a program to help “troubled teens” and has faced allegations of extreme emotional and physical abuse for decades. Hilton has been very outspoken about the abuse she faced during her time at the treatment center.
Hilton was interviewed by the New York Times for an article titled, “Can you Punish a Child’s Mental Health Problems Away?” and she spoke in depth about the sexual abuse she endured. A trigger warning now for the details ahead, Hilton said, “Very late at night, this would be around like three or four in the morning, they would take myself and other girls into this room and they would perform medical exams.”
She said doctors were not the individuals performing the exams. She said male staff members would take her to a private room where she was forced to endure sexual abuse at the hands of those staff members. Hilton wrote on her Twitter account, “Sleep-deprived & heavily medicated, I didn’t understand what was happening. I was forced to lie on a padded table, spread my legs & submit to cervical exams. I cried while they held me down & said, ‘No!’ They just said, ‘Shut up. Be quiet. Stop struggling or you’ll go to Obs.’”
These revelations are the latest in a long line of allegations against the Utah boarding school. Provo Canyon School opened as a facility for boys in 1971 and quickly ran into legal trouble within a few years. In 1980, two teens filed a lawsuit against the school’s original owners. The jurors returned a verdict in favor of the school, but the legal issues did not end there.
The school was purchased by Charter Behavior Health Services, who later filed bankruptcy after facing allegations of Medicaid fraud and reports of inadequate care and treatment. It was then purchased by Universal Health Services, who still owns it to this day. In 2021, its reported revenue was $3.32 billion.
Over the last few decades, the allegations of abuse have included physically restraining the students, strip searches, physical punishments, improperly medicating the students, sexual abuse and isolation. Multiple past students have come forward with allegations against the school. Hilton also came forward last year with her own allegations of abuse. She testified on Capitol Hill about her experiences at these treatment centers.
Hilton has become a very outspoken activist for reforms for schools that masquerade as treatment centers for children. Her parents sent her to the school when she was 17 years old after she got in trouble for sneaking out to go to clubs and parties. She had been to these types of schools before, but she called Provo Canyon School as “the worst of the worst.”
Since she has come out against the school, multiple other people have come forward with their own allegations of abuse that stems back decades. Hilton has empowered people to come forward with their own stories and are actively working on shutting the school down. Hilton created a petition on Change.org asking for help to get the school shut down. It currently has 207,090 signatures.