Paris Hilton opens up on abuse ahead of documentary exploring “childhood trauma”

The YouTube Original documentary will see the TV personality open up about the "childhood abuse and violent relationships" of her past.

Paris Hilton in This is Paris

Paris Hilton has opened up about her abusive childhood in her original YouTube documentary This is Paris.

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The documentary, which features Kim Kardashian West, actress Kyle Richards, Nicky Hilton and Paris’s mother Kathy Hilton, sees Paris speak about her experience at boarding school as a teenager and the staff who left her feeling like “a prisoner”, “having panic attacks and crying every single day”, she told People.

The one-off film it likely to contain some sensitive information. In a new interview, Paris revealed she was hesitant to include some scenes as they brought back painful memories.

She said: “At first I was very nervous and when I was even in the editing room [for the documentary], I was like, we need to cut this out, I don’t want anyone hearing about this.”

However, she now feels “like a weight is lifted off my shoulders” since telling her story, and she’s even had an outpouring of support from fans.

So as the documentary airs, here’s everything you need to know about This is Paris.

How to watch Paris Hilton’s documentary

This is Paris is available to stream for free across the world on YouTube.

The 1hr 45 documentary was released on Paris Hilton’s YouTube channel.

When was Paris Hilton’s documentary released?

The documentary arrived on Paris Hilton’s YouTube channel on Monday 14th September 2020. 

And since its release, the heiress has been inundated with emails from fans and viewers.

Speaking in an interview, she said: “I’m getting just an outpouring of emails and people contacting me, survivors who have been at the same school, parents who, because they saw the trailer, have pulled their children out of there.

“People saying thank you so much for being so brave. I haven’t ever told anyone this either because I was just so traumatised and didn’t want to talk about it. Just the fact that it’s helping make change makes it all worth it to me that I said my story and that I even went through this.”

What does Paris Hilton’s documentary reveal?

This is Paris promises an intimate look at the reality star’s life, with the trailer showing Paris claim that while people think they know her, “no one really knows who I am”, adding that she’s always putting on a facade of having a happy and perfect life, with footage of both her past and present shown.

It looks at the “complex reality” of the TV personality’s life as she opens up about “surviving childhood abuse, violent relationships and extraordinary exposure in the media”.

Hilton posted a clip from the documentary on Instagram in July, writing: “Finally ready to reveal who I truly am and speak about experiences in my life that I’ve never told anyone before. Get ready to meet The Real Paris.”

The clip shows Hilton as she prepares to speak about her difficult experiences, telling the camera: “I’m nervous. I’m shaking. It’s hard to even eat, because my stomach is just like, turning. I don’t know — it’s something that’s very personal, and not something I like talking about.”

Speaking to People in August ahead of the documentary’s release, Hilton opened up about the trauma she’ll be exploring in the YouTube Originals film – the abuse she suffered as a teenager whilst at boarding school in Utah.

“I buried my truth for so long,” she told People. “But I’m proud of the strong woman I’ve become. People might assume everything in my life came say to me, but I want to show the world who I truly am.”

She said that she was sent to a series of boarding schools at the age of 17 after her parents became tired of her disobedient behaviour, which involved “sneaking out and go[ing] to clubs and parties”.

The last school she was sent to was Provo Canyon School, where she stayed for 11 months. “It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all.  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,” she continued. “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 instil fear in the kids so we’d be too scared to disobey them.”

She added that the school placed her in solitary confinement when hearing she had planned to run-away, and that her experience at Provo Canyon left her having “panic attacks and crying every single day” while she was unable to speak to her family about the conditions.

“I didn’t really get to speak to my family. Maybe once every two or three months,” she said. “We were cut off from the outside world. And when I tried to tell them once, I got in so much trouble I was scared to say it again. They would grab the phone or rip up letters I wrote telling me, ‘No one is going to believe you.’ And the staff would tell the parents that the kids were lying. So my parents had no idea what was going on.”

Hilton left the school aged 18 in 1999, but was too scared to tell anyone about her time at Provo Canyon. “I was so grateful to be out of there, I didn’t even want to bring it up again. It was just something I was ashamed of and I didn’t want to speak of it.”

People also revealed that the documentary will feature three of Hilton’s former classmates who made similar allegations against Provo Canyon, while the school commented on allegations, saying that it was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000 and therefore could not comment on operations or patient experience prior to that time.

Back in March, the reality star appeared on US show The Talk to discuss the upcoming documentary, saying that she began thinking about her past and realised she had been holding onto her trauma for too long.

“I became so close with the director, and she really asked me so many questions. I started thinking about my past and what I’ve been through and realised just how much it’s affected my life and how I was holding on to so much trauma for so long,” she explained.

“I think when people see this film, they’re really going to see a different side to me than they’ve ever seen before,” Paris continued. “Because I honestly didn’t even know who I was up until this year. I really learned a lot about myself through this film.”

This is Paris trailer

A trailer was released in August 2020, hinting that the documentary will address trauma from Hilton’s childhood and the effect that that has continued to have on her life.

With footage from both past and present, the trailer teases a canid and intimate programme that sees Hilton open up in an unfiltered way as she explains that she’s been stuck with a character and response that she crafted years ago as a response to her trauma.

You can take a look at the trailer for the documentary below.

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This is Paris premieres on YouTube on Monday 14th September 2020. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.