Paris Hilton Reveals Sexual Abuse, Nonconsensual ‘Cervical Exams’ at Utah Boarding School

"Now, looking back as an adult, that was definitely sexual abuse," Hilton said of the forced, late-night medical exams she says she received at the school.

Paris Hilton Reveals Sexual Abuse, Nonconsensual ‘Cervical Exams’ at Utah Boarding School
Photo:Getty Images

For years now, Paris Hilton has testified about the emotional and physical abuse that she and other teens faced while attending Utah’s Provo Canyon School, a controversial boarding school that claims to help troubled teens. In a Tuesday New York Times video, Hilton detailed new allegations of sexual violence that she and other girls faced at the school, which her parents forced her to attend when she was 16 until turning 18 in 1999.

“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,” Hilton recalled. She alleged that those who performed the nonconsensual “medical exams” weren’t even doctors, but were just “different staff members who would have us lay on the table and put their fingers inside of us.”

“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,” Hilton told the Times. “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.”

The heiress then expanded on her allegations on Twitter: “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,” she wrote. “I cried while they held me down & said, ‘No!’ They just said, ‘Shut up. Be quiet. Stop struggling or you’ll go to Obs.’”

In a subsequent tweet, Hilton wrote that her “childhood was stolen from me & it kills me this is still happening to other innocent children” because of Provo Canyon School and other reform schools. “It’s important to open up about these painful moments so I can heal & help put an end to this abuse.”

Hilton and other former Provo Canyon School have testified against the school for years now, including in her 2020 documentary, This is Paris, in which Hilton described her experience as adults “screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture” all day. She also claimed students at the school were sometimes forced onto medications and even locked in solitary confinement for as long as 20 hours.

Last October, she testified on Capitol Hill, identifying herself “not as Paris Hilton, but as a survivor,” and claiming that during her two years being shuffled between four different teen rehabilitation facilities, she was “strangled, slapped across the face, watched in the shower by male staff, called vulgar names, forced to take medication without a diagnosis, not given a proper education, thrown into solitary confinement in a room covered [in scrape] marks and smeared in blood, and so much more.”

Paris Hilton leads a protest on Oct. 9, 2020, outside the boarding school in Provo, Utah. Photo:AP

Hilton explained in her documentary that she didn’t talk about her experience at the boarding school for years because she “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.” And since last year, she’s emerged as a vocal activist for reforms to youth congregate care and reform schools, supporting the “Troubled Teen” Industry Law (SB127) that was signed by President Biden, as well as the Federal Accountability for Congregate Care Act, which would create a Youth in Congregate Care Bill of Rights.

Hilton may be among the most visible victims of allegedly abusive youth reform schools and facilities, but she’s certainly not alone: Between 2000 and 2015, more than 80 children died in these facilities. Rapper Bhad Bhabie has also spoken up about the emotional and physical abuse she faced at the Turn-About Ranch, where she was sent shortly after her viral, troubled 2016 appearance on Dr. Phil.

Despite the prevalence of abuse at these institutions, children under their care have enjoyed few rights or protections prior to bills like the “Troubled Teen” Industry Law and the Federal Accountability for Congregate Care Act. As Hilton noted in a 2021 op-ed, “Many congregate-care facilities drive wedges between parents and children by telling parents not to believe their kids when they report mistreatment and by telling children that their cries for help will never be believed.” She continued, “Some children in these facilities have no loved ones to turn to.”

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