(CBS Local)– Paris Hilton has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager, but for the first time she is opening up about the abuse she endured during her rise to fame. The businesswoman, actor and daughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels recently said in a new documentary called “This Is Paris” that she allegedly endured physical, emotional and verbal abuse at a boarding school she attended in Utah called Provo Canyon School.
Hilton joined “The Drew Barrymore Show” on Monday to discuss the experience. During her conversation with Barrymore, Hilton says she dealt with traumatic nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder for years following her time at the boarding school.
“It was hard to relive and remember all these traumatic experiences that I tried so hard to forget and act like they never happened,” said Hilton. “I’ve had severe nightmares since I was a teenager because of this. Basically, I was trying to look like I had the perfect life and I was embarrassed for people to know. I know now I shouldn’t be ashamed. The people who worked at these places abusing children are the ones who should be ashamed.”
Hilton is hoping that her courage in speaking out will inspire other to do the same. In her documentary, Hilton alleges that she was beaten by staff members of Provo Canyon School, given unknown pills and put in solitary confinement.
“I’ve been speaking to a lot of the survivors. I received thousands of letters and emails and people just contacting me and telling me thank you for being brave and telling my story,” said Hilton in an interview with Drew Barrymore on Monday. “We’re starting a movement called Breaking Code Silence, where survivors are going to tell their stories. It was very difficult for me because it was never something I wanted to talk about in public.
In the new documentary, Hilton also addresses her relationship with her parents, the fallout from the release of her sex tape and the dangers of social media.
“My mom and dad were very strict and sheltered when I lived in LA,” said Hilton. “I wasn’t allowed to go on dates, couldn’t wear makeup, couldn’t go to a school dance. They didn’t want me to grow up. Then I moved to New York and that’s when my life changed. I was just sneaking out at night and going to clubs and ditching school. I was not doing anything terrible, I was just wanting to go out at night. That really scared my parents because they were so protective. Just going what I went through, I’ve always searched for love and attention. I can’t imagine being a teenager girl dealing with the pressures of social media.
Watch “The Drew Barrymore Show” weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on CBS 2.