Paris Hilton testified about abuse she says she suffered years ago at a boarding school in Utah, as she lobbied Monday for a bill seeking to regulate the state's troubled teen sector. Hilton was sent to Provo Canyon School for 11 months at age 17, where she says she was abused mentally and physically. She recalled that staff members would beat her, force her to take unknown pills, watch her shower, and send her to solitary confinement without clothes. The socialite and reality TV star also spoke about the abuse in a documentary, This is Paris, that was released this fall. Hilton testified at a state Senate committee hearing at the Utah Capitol in favor of the bill that would require more government oversight of youth residential treatment centers and require them to document when they use restraints. The measure passed unanimously following testimony from Hilton and other survivors, the AP reports.
"Talking about something so personal was and is still terrifying," Hilton told the committee. “But I cannot go to sleep at night knowing that there are children that are experiencing the same abuse that I and so many others went through, and neither should you." Hilton, 39, said the mistreatment was so traumatizing that she has suffered nightmares and insomnia for years. The Provo institution is under new ownership, and the administration has said it can't comment on anything that came before the change, including Hilton's time there. Since the documentary was released, other celebrities have spoken out about their experiences at that school or others, including Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, and tattoo artist Kat Von D. During her testimony, Hilton called on President Biden and Congress to take action. (A Britney Spears documentary also is causing a stir.)