Paris Hilton opens up about being physically abused in relationships


Paris Hilton has a new documentary coming out called This is Paris. I like Paris, but, as you know, I poke fun at her sometimes. However, my heart is breaking for her after learning what she divulges in this documentary. When the trailer dropped and Paris began doing press for it, she exposed the abuse she suffered from the Provo Canyon correctional school she was sent as a teenager. Among her conditioning were forced medication and both verbal and physical abuse. Tragically, those who ran the school, which has since been sold, were not the only monsters on campus. Paris revealed she suffered at the hands of five different boyfriends during that time. She also recognized that she never would have done her 2003 sex tape if she hadn’t been so damaged by these experiences.

Paris Hilton is opening up about toxic relationships with several ex-boyfriends from her past.

“I went through multiple abusive relationships,” the entrepreneur and former reality star tells PEOPLE . “I was strangled, I was hit, I was grabbed aggressively. I put up with things no one should.”

In her new documentary, This Is Paris, premiering on her YouTube channel Sept. 14, Hilton reveals that the painful emotional and physical abuse she says she underwent as a teen while at the Provo Canyon boarding school in Utah precipitated her unhealthy relationships later in life.

“I had become so used to [abusive behavior] at Provo, that it made me feel like it was normal,” says Hilton, 39. The relationships with all five of her ex-boyfriends whom she says abused her started the same: “They all seemed like such nice guys and then the true colors would show,” she says. “They’d get jealous, or defensive or try to control me. And there would come a point where they would become physically, verbally and emotionally abusive.”

Continues Hilton: “I didn’t really understand what love or relationships were. I thought that them getting so crazy meant that they were in love with me. Looking back, I can’t believe I let people treat me like that.”

And Hilton says she never would have made the sex tape that leaked in 2003, had she not suffered such trauma at Provo. “I would never have let anyone into my life like [the man in the tape, whom she was dating at the time]. I met the worst person I could meet and if I hadn’t gone to Provo, I wouldn’t have entertained the thought of letting him into my life. Provo affected my future relationships.”

[From People]

I’ve heard that sentiment before about people mistaking abusive behavior as an expression of love. We put such emphasis on passion in a relationship but don’t really define it. So a young, impressionable lady alone in this terrifying environment would have no guidance on how to navigate this terrifying behavior. In the trailer, posted below, Paris tells her parents that they didn’t know about the abuse because every time she tried to tell them, she’d get “in trouble.” The next shot is Kathy Hilton crying – it’s crushing to watch. Throughout the trailer, Paris talks about playing the Paris character she’s created and how she’s so used to putting on this persona, she forgets who she really is sometimes. It’s clear the character is her shield, so when she says of the faux-persona that now she’s, “stuck with her,” I felt it in the pit of my stomach. The other thing that has been prominent throughout Paris’ promotion is her sister Nicky, who is shown in the documentary checking in on Pairs and generally looking out for her. Nicky is also traveling with Paris on her promotional interviews, stepping in when Paris needs it. Paris and Nicky have always appeared close but it’s plain now that Nicky might be the only person Paris could ever rely on. It throws their relationship into a different light.

Fortunately, Paris said she has grown so much since her terrible days in Provo that she is able to love in a positive way and that she feels she’s finally found that love with her new boyfriend Carter Reum. I hope she’s happy with Carter and I hope he’s showing Paris what it’s like to be loved and respected. Maybe they won’t last forever, but it doesn’t mean this relationship can’t change her life for the better.

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62 Responses to “Paris Hilton opens up about being physically abused in relationships”

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  1. Alissa says:

    I distinctly remember the photos of her all bruised when she was dating Nick Carter. I feel like that got brushed aside and forgotten way too quickly.

    • BL says:

      I agree!

    • Meg says:

      Wasnt he accused of rape by a singer too?

    • SKF says:

      Fingerprint bruises on her arms. I’ve never forgotten and every time there’s a nostalgic backstreet boys performance I can’t enjoy it because I hate that dude. I can’t believe how it was just ignored and forgotten.

      I note in this clip that the ex she is fighting with is grabbing her by the face openly which is so controlling and a clear sign of abuse. Ugh. Poor Paris.

  2. LaraW” says:

    There is a reddit thread on r/troubledteens from a parent asking for advice re Provo Canyon. Was terrible to read. Top comment from a redditor:

    “Provo is torture. Provo is what they threaten kids with at other abusive places. “If you don’t do what we say, we’ll send you to provo.”

    In provo they take your clothes away and leave you cold and naked until you “earn” them back.

    In provo they think that seeing daylight through a window is a privilege.

    Provo is intentionally placed in Utah because Utah has the most lenient child abuse laws.

    If you want your child to be beaten and tortured and probably never recover, send them there.”

  3. Léna says:

    She always seemed more intelligent than the persona she presented to the public. I’m glad she is opening up, I’ll definitely watch it

  4. DS9 says:

    What on earth did her parents think of her that they sent her to Provo?

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      They probably had no idea. These places do snow jobs on parents. They basically do a sales routine to convince parents who can afford to send their kids away that the “school” can fix whatever problems feel unmanageable to the parents at home. I had a friend in middle school who started to develop some pretty run-of-the-mill acting out behaviors for that age. Her parents, who were *very* naive, found some caffeine pills in her room. I absolutely believe they thought they were hard drugs. They talked to one of these “schools” (not Provo), which sent a team to kidnap her in the middle of the night. She was in that program for years. My dad ran into her in an airport in 2003 after she had been released upon turning 18. She didn’t know about 9/11 or that the US was at war in the Middle East. Let me tell you, my dad was *shook* after seeing her after all those years.

      • DS9 says:

        I really didn’t mean Provo specifically as much as any kind of lock down, pre penitentiary boarding school situation predicated on reforming teens.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Oh, I didn’t assume you meant Provo, specifically (though it sounds like an especially awful place). My point was that these places are very good at selling parents on their “services.” All the more so when the parents are in a situation of having enough money to pay to send the “problem child” off rather than doing the hard work to figure out what is going on. Enis speaks to this, below, too. But there is absolutely a large marketing/sales angle to this.

        I really hope Paris speaking about this brings some attention to how awful these places are. I think lots of frustrated, overwhelmed parents have no idea what happens to children in these institutions.

  5. emmy says:

    It starts with “He hit you, that just means he likes you!” No, it means he’s a little douchebag in the making whose parents aren’t doing their job.

    Whenever I hear “correctional” in the name of an institution for teens, I’m out.

    • Betsy says:

      It’s more than that – I’ve had friends whose boyfriends begin to show controlling tendencies or something similar and when I say something it’s “oh, you’re making a big deal out of it, it’s nothing.”

    • HeatherC says:

      It starts earlier than that. A five year old boy pulls on his classmate’s pony tail and the girl is told, aw he likes you.

  6. Ariel says:

    No one deserves abuse. And I certainly wish she hadn’t had to go through any of that.
    She is still racist, trump supporting garbage.

    • Kathryn says:

      I was so disappointed to learn that she voted for Trump in 2016. Apparently their families are tight. However, in 2018 she called him out for separating families at the border. I hope she has completely turned on him. I like the positivity and love she shows her fans on her YouTube channel.

      • LaraW" says:

        I’m reevaluating my opinion of her past actions in light of her recent statements and the multiple voices on the internet who have attested to the extremely abusive practices at Provo. The physical abuse is horrific but more than that, I have no doubt they elevated mind games to an art. Then the abusive boyfriends on top of that.

        As someone who grew up with mind games every day as an adolescent/teenager, I find it very difficult, on a fundamentally personal level, to condemn her. This is truly an area where I find that no matter how well-intentioned and empathetic, people who have not lived through it do not understand what it’s like. As an aside – I do not pretend to know what trauma caused by child sexual abuse, spousal abuse, substance addiction, combat is like. There are parallels and characteristics that each traumatic experience shares, but they are not the same and no one processes that trauma the same way.

        I evaluate accountability for a person’s actions and reactions to trauma in terms of the harm they inflict on others – being a veteran does not justify inflicting violence on others. Being molested as a child does not justify enacting that same molestation on another child. She was absolutely in the wrong with respect to her statements on the sexual abuse and rape other women suffered and inflicted real harm in voicing those opinions on a public forum; at the same time, I can see very clearly the twisted mental headspace from which she said those things.

        But it seems she has gained enough self awareness and more importantly, safety, emotional security, mental energy to try to process what she went through. If this is, as a poster mentioned below, a ploy to rehabilitate her image, if she continues the cycle of abuse and perpetuates it against others, using her media presence as a celebrity and her wealthy white woman privilege, my opinion of her will be even lower than it was before.

        The real measure of genuine change is whether she takes steps to make reparations for the harm she has personally inflicted and that, only time will tell.

    • Original Jenns says:

      Yup. Truly sad and sorry for the abuse she has endured. But will never like her or respect her as she is a racist and has made incredibly disgusting comments in her past.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “She is still racist, trump supporting garbage.”

      who “collected” little dogs and killed at least one of them by locking in the closet and letting it starve.

      NO ONE deserves to be abused and I have sympathy for her for that. but that’s about it.

      • Meg says:

        I agree.

      • Lisa says:

        Its bizarre though, is the information you have all based on gossip mag output? Have you ever been physically and emotionally abused and do you know what that can do to you and how you interact with the world? Its not so cut and dried…well, it is, for people who just can’t relate. I would say even for myself, there are many things in my life I may not be proud of or wish I had done differently, even something as shameful as giving dogs up because I ended up leaving an abusive relationship and having no means to support the dogs. I grew up, much the same, with a lot of physical and emotional abuse, and I ended up in abusive relationships, mistaking the hurt for love. So sadly I can relate to her being messed up, and I cannot relate to this judgemental “still no sympathy” attitude, and its ok for you to feel the way you do, because its based in your life experiences, but until youve walked a mile in someone elses shoes, you will never actually know what you are capable of.

    • Lucy2 says:

      This. I think she’s a pretty terrible person, but no one deserves abuse.
      I hope she get some therapy or some thing to help deal with that, if she hasn’t already.

      I vaguely remember her and her sister just running wild as teenagers, and I guess rather than try to actually parent, they just shipped her off?

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yeah, the desire people have to rehabilitate her image is pretty startling to me. If you grew up in the 90s/2000s, you remember quite well what a piece of sh*t she was, and that has nothing to do with being a victim. That was all her own choice. She’s always been the type of trash you’d expect from a child of the 1%. I’m sorry that happened to her, but I’ll pass on tossing any more media relevance or money her way.

      • Jules says:


      • BL says:

        @veronica- Jesus where did your compassion go?

      • whatWHAT? says:

        maybe it got locked in the closet with that poor dog that Hilton imprisoned and starved to death when it became too much work.

      • Meg says:

        Well put. She needs to earn her reputation not expect it to change without changed behavior.

      • Veronica S. says:

        BL – People being abuse victims does not strip them of their ability to be assholes. Both my mother and sister had abusive relationships in their teen years and twenties. Neither of them are racist, classist jackasses, either.

        I’m sorry that happened to her. She didn’t deserve it. It tells me a lot about her parents and their “parenting” skills. But she’s also adult with resources and has the ability to get help and improve if she wants. Don’t define victims by their victimhood. That’s not fair to them or the other people they may harm later.

    • Suz says:

      Too rich white person voted for Dump? Sounds about right.
      Gross fact: Dump once said he knew Paris as a little girl and called her hot as a child. Ew ew ew.

    • Valerie says:

      Does she support Trump?? I’m not on her side at all, I just didn’t know that. WTF.

      • LaraW" says:

        I think the question is: does she still support him today?

        If the answer to that question is yes, then that shows a fundamental lack of empathy towards others who have suffered similar circumstances and towards those who have suffered profoundly due to the policies of his administration. In which case she would be a hypocrite, expecting sympathy for her trauma while invalidating the experiences of others. And, like I said above, I would absolutely be disgusted and consider her to be actively harming others.

        If not, she still has a long way to go to show recovery, emotional maturity, and growth. I’m waiting on what she does next to show who she is now.

      • Godwina says:

        It baffles me that a 2016 Trump voter would somehow get a pass if they’ve change their mind on him since. We KNEW in 2016 what he and his proposed cabinet of horrors stood for, and anyone with any decency and sense of community and empathy steered clear. I mean, Gobian COME ON.

      • LaraW" says:

        Nowhere in my comment above did I say that she would get a pass. My comment clearly states that I would see her views on Trump as an indicator on whether the changes she has chosen to publicize in the youtube feature are genuine or, again, as Veronica S. said above, simply a rebranding of her image.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Thank you. Paris (and her made up vapid baby voice persona) is still responsible for her choices to be a bigot and a racist troll. There is a reason none of her shows have worked when they are about her alone.

  7. lemon8 says:

    Off topic, but she looks much prettier now that she’s not wearing the blue contact lenses. She has very pretty brown eyes!

  8. JJ McClay says:

    Why on earth would her parents voluntarily send her to that school? It sounds horrific.

    • Minnie says:

      Me too. They were rich and could have afforded something else. What was she doing at a young age that prompted them to ship her off?

    • Enis says:

      These places have incredibly sales people. They convince parents they are the only place that can save their child, and they are bad parents if they don’t send their “troubled” child there.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Yep. And they prey on the fact that often, by the time the parents are even considering places like this, they feel they’ve exhausted all of the other options. Add to that the fact that the child may be acting out due to issues in the family of origin which the family may not feel able to address properly (i.e., the “troubled” child is the problem, not the family system) & it’s very easy for parents to be convinced these “schools” are the answer.

      • Godwina says:

        There is an especially fiery, noxious, painful tier in Hell, I trust, reserved for any adults involved in the running of any kind of “correctional” school for children.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Because they are shit parents. Look at her brother’s behavior. Money just means they could afford to raise their kids, not insure they do a good job of it.

  9. lunchcoma says:

    I was surprised to learn about Provo. I wasn’t surprised to hear about the boyfriends. When I think back on her relationship with Rick Salomon, there were a lot of red flags.

  10. Chickaletta says:

    Paris had absolutely no obligation to talk about any of this, and yeah I get she’s promoting something, but I am absolutely so grateful to her for sharing her experiences.

    You can have all the money in the world, be popular and beautiful and envied, and still be abused. It can happen to anyone.

  11. LeonsMomma says:

    I was a holiday party back in the early 90s and remember seeing Paris Hilton at age 10 or so. (The family of my ex-boyfriend’s best friend had a holiday party that was for all ages.) Anyhow, she was well cleaver and well mannered — I didn’t see any behavior that would cause her parents to send her to this type of school in Utah. There were plenty of boarding schools in the area she could have gone to — some more restrictive than others, but well vetted by this social group.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    She’s 39 years old. All of this, be it overdue, is where she is because she must. Early abuse, vapid pretender, sex tapes, party animal, all of it played a part in the character she created for herself. And when you look in the mirror twenty years later…shit gets real.

    Most of us had our come-to-jesus moments much earlier in life because we’re not pampered millionaires. Sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse were but things we pushed aside to continue college, work (with more debilitating asshats), struggle for first cars, mortgages, weddings, children, their lives, their struggles, their schools, blah blah blah. At 39, many of us probably had a kid moving out on their own or close to it. Life is NOT a box of chocolates. Success and memorable moments are lived through in small doses. A sarcastic pop on the ass when drying dishes, an I-love-you so much hug as they walk out the door, a top speed sprint into each other’s arms during holidays.

    So while I can be glad she’s getting ‘genuine,’ I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate us, you ladies, for everything you’ve ever done, endured, overcome, achieved, excelled, shared, taught and loved… We are the silent backbones of everything everywhere lol!

    • Alyse says:

      Not your point, but as a 30 year old I take a bit of offense to: “At 39, many of us probably had a kid moving out on their own or close to it.” Specifically the word MANY…

      Some would be more appropriate there. I was 10 when my parents were 39, and at this rate I won’t have kids until I’m at least 35 (if ever)

      Sorry I know that’s not the point of your comment lol

  13. Stef says:

    I’m not a fan of hers, I think she’s a terrible person, and no one deserves to be abused. I’m glad she’s speaking out about it as it may help other girls who have been abused, especially regarding how a person can equate violence and control with love.

    I do find it rather convenient that she’s bring this all out now and using it to promote her latest project. I just hope she can show remorse for how she was such a mean-girl and bully back in the early 2000’s.

    • Meg says:

      SNL cast members still talk about how rude she was behind the scenes when she hosted back in 2004.

      • Stef says:

        She was a horrible person back then, a total C. She’s shown no remorse for that and no self awareness of her behaviour, which is telling of her character.

  14. M.A.F. says:

    What was she “doing” that made her parents send her there? Because whatever “behavior” they found unsettling is a direct reflection of them. If she was acting like a spoil brat that is because they allowed it to go unchecked.

  15. candy says:

    Violence against women is an epidemic in this country. It happened to me, and once I began to open up, I was surprised to discover it had happened to many of my friends as well.

  16. Otaku fairy says:

    It’s good that people are able to dislike her and have their valid criticisms of her without dismissing her abuse, or demanding that that others dismiss her abuse. It’s awful that she and all those other kids went through that.

    • Meg says:

      Yes great point. More than one thing can be true at the same time. Situations arent black and white

    • Godwina says:

      Comment of the day. She is a dreadful person. She also appears to have suffered serial abuse. it’s not hard.

    • Dear Abby says:

      I agree. We can agree that she’s not a good person, but we should never dismiss her abuse. That’s nuance most people miss when talking about people like Paris or Miley.

      I don’t like them. I don’t stan. I’m just tired of “enjoying” the suffering of other women, even if I really dislike them for having the support network I’ve lacked my whole life.

  17. Meg says:

    Yeah i dont think her mean girl behavior was an act for the cameras. she hosted SNL back then and on seth Meyers show maya Rudolph told the story that seth, who was the head writer at the time, said hed pay anyone $100 if she asked any of them even a single personal question in the course of the week while rehearsing etc. He didnt have to pay anyone. Over a decade later and her behavior was still remembered it was that notable to them
    She actively participated in the image of dumb blonde with no goals beyond partying, caring that guys wanted to screw you, and being unkind and selfish was cool. Im a few years younger than her and growing up that message the media was endorsing was gross and frankly sexist, ‘hey young girls don’t have goals just care about this stuff!’

  18. Corrie says:

    I know a lot of people dislike her rather strongly, but I feel like she’s gone through a twenty-year long adolescence and is just now becoming an adult. She also has a reputation for using tons of cocaine, and I’m sure that contributed to her stunted emotional growth. Good for her for talking about something too many of us have gone through. I’m just sorry it took her so long. It may be just the beginning of her healing.

  19. L says:

    Its awful that she suffered abuse, nobody deserves it. Yet something feels manipulative about this revelation. Are we supposed to excuse all of her off-putting behaviour over the last 25 years? Reverence is earned Paris.

  20. SurfChick9 says:

    It’s interesting how people equate money with happiness. I always liked her. It’s true when she says that no one really knows her as far as the public goes. She really does stay out of the spotlight. Never understood why people disliked her so much. Looking forward to watching this.

  21. Isadora says:

    Last week a woman who was at the same school as Paris backed up her claims that it was an abusive experience.

    I also agree that you can have empathy with Paris as a victim without dismissing her past racist remarks or bullying behavior.

  22. Natasha says:

    I didn’t know she locked a dog in a closet and let it die 🙁 wow

  23. Holly says:

    The woman is a horrific racist, why the hell would you like her?