Paris Hilton documentary encourages survivors of teen correctional facilities to come forward

15 September 2020, 14:05

By Sophie Thompson

In Paris Hilton's 'This Is Paris' documentary, she recalls being tortured and abused during her stay at Provo Canyon School - and now other survivors are allegedly coming forward to tell their stories.

The This Is Paris YouTube documentary was the first time Paris Hilton had ever been vocal about the alleged abuse and torture she received while staying at a behavioural correction facility as a teenager.

Now, after championing the #BreakingCodeSilence movement, other survivors of the troubled teen industry have come forward to tell their stories.

Paris was sent to Provo Canyon School in Utah as a teenager when she began getting into partying too much for her parents liking. In the documentary, she recalls having nightmares every night for the last 20 years about the night she was 'kidnapped' by staff and taken to the correctional facility.

Paris attended Provo Canyon School for 11 months as a teenager.
Paris attended Provo Canyon School for 11 months as a teenager. Picture: Jason Kempin/Getty Images/YouTube Originals

Speaking to People about her time at Provo Canyon School, she said: "From the moment I woke up until I went to bed, it was all day screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture.

"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."

She also added that punishment could involve being locked in solitary confinement naked for 20 hours a day without food.

The documentary also saw her meet with some of her former classmates who claimed they were put in restraints and force-fed unknown medication - all while their parents were non-the-wiser.

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In one of the most shocking allegations, former student Lee told Fox News of how she was sodomised as a way to inject her with medication against her will.

"I didn't experience strangling but I did experience manhandling. The school recorded that they had five or six staff members restrain me at once. I'm all of 100 pounds," she added.

She also told of how another student reportedly had their teeth knocked out by staff, while another was forced into a medically-induced coma after being denied medical care.

Leader of the #BreakingCodeSilence campaign, Jen Robison, has said that Paris getting involved with the campaign has given so many survivors a platform to tell their story. We only see Paris address it for the first time with her parents during the documentary.

"She's giving a stage for all of these people to share their stories of what happened to them," Jen said. "If this is all that happens, this is a huge thing because these people have been waiting to be heard for decades."

Paris Hilton at the "The Rover" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Paris Hilton at the "The Rover" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival. Picture: Getty

The Provo Canyon School have since updated their website to reflect the allegations, claiming that it "was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000" and "therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to that time."

They have since been flooded with negative reviews both from viewers of the harrowing documentary, and as survivors anonymously coming forward to share their experiences, begging parents not to put their children through the process.

This Is Paris is available to watch on YouTube now.