Washington: American actor Paris Hilton held a protest in Utah to call for the closure of Provo Canyon School, a boarding school where the actor said she was abused as a teen. As per Fox News, Hilton organised the protest in a park near Provo Canyon School, along with several others who shared stories of abuse they say they suffered there or at similar schools for troubled youth.
All the protestors wore black t-shirts which read 'breaking code silence' on the front while the back read 'survivor' printed in red, a reference to Hilton's new campaign to compel others to shed light on what she believes is a corrupt industry that manipulates parents and traumatises youth.
"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's something I blocked from my memory forever." Her documentary, titled 'This is Paris', encouraged other celebrities including Michael Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson and tattoo artist Kat Von D, to talk about their experiences at that school.
In the documentary, it was revealed that Hilton got into the nightlife scene in New York as a teenager and would sneak out and go to clubs. Her parents sent her away to various programs to straighten out and Provo was one of them.
She stayed at Provo for 11 months and says while there, she was abused mentally and physically, claiming staff would beat her, force her to take unknown pills, watch her shower and send her to solitary confinement without clothes as punishment.
The 39-year-old says the treatment was so 'traumatising' that she suffered nightmares and insomnia for years, according to Fox News. Hilton and others at the protest vowed to push forward until all schools that mistreat youth are shut down.
However, the institution is now under new ownership and the administration has said it can not comment on anything that happened before, including Hilton's time there. Owners of the school declined to comment Friday, pointing to a statement on the school website that said the previous owners sold the school in 2000. The school aims to help youth who have struggled in a typical home and school environments, some of whom are dealing with drug addiction or acting out violently, according to the website.