PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Former reality TV star and socialite Paris Hilton detailed allegations of teenage sexual abuse she said she suffered at a Provo youth treatment center in a candid video interview with the New York Times this week.
“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. This wasn’t even with a doctor. It was with a couple different staff members where they would have us lay on the table and put their fingers inside of us. And I don’t know what they were doing, but it was definitely not a doctor and it was really scary, and it’s something that I really had blocked out for many years. But it’s coming back all the time now, and I think about it. And now, looking back as an adult, that was definitely sexual abuse.”Paris Hilton, New York Times interview, Oct. 11, 2022
In September 2021, Hilton started a petition with allegations against Provo Canyon School, addressing what she claims as “institutional child abuse she suffered as a teenager at Provo Canyon School (PCS), a notorious residential treatment center in Utah that still operates today,” according to the petition.
She stayed in Provo for 11 months and says while there, she was abused mentally and physically at PCS, which is self-described as a “compassionate behavioral health center.”
Hilton’s petition and testimony of abuse resulted in Senate Bill 127, which was passed unanimously out of a Senate Committee and was instated as law by the Utah State Legislature in 2021.
In an Instagram post from March 3, 2021, Hilton states:
“This bill protects thousands of youth in residential care from cruel punishments, strip-searches, and seclusion, bans the use of chemical restraint and peer restraint, ensures youth have unmonitored communication with their families, prohibits gender-based discrimination, creates suicide prevention policies, and more. So much of the abuse and trauma I experienced at Provo would now be illegal under this new law. When I was at Provo Canyon School, I dreamed of making a difference. The teenage version of me would be so incredibly proud to know I accomplished my goal of protecting youth who are experiencing abuse in the name of treatment. Survivors, this is a BIG step towards systemic change!”Paris Hilton, Instagram Post, March 3, 2021
PVS is now under new ownership, but as Hilton told the Times, she doesn’t see herself as a former patient, but rather she sees herself as a survivor.