Paris Hilton Opens up About Her Childhood Trauma and Public Persona

Paris Hilton is prepared to open up about her personal life like never before. Hilton is sharing her own story in a new documentary titled This is Paris, which will premiere on YouTube on Sept. 14. In advance of the documentary's premiere, the famous socialite appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, during which she opened up about a childhood trauma that she hasn't spoken about publicly until now.

Those who know Hilton likely have a specific opinion about who she is. But, as she explained on CBS Sunday Morning, the real Paris Hilton is far from the "Barbie" like persona that she puts on for the world. As for the differences are between this public persona and her true self, she explained, "With the character, it's mostly kind of this blonde, bubbly, kind of Barbie airhead. And, in real life, I'm the exact opposite. … I'm not a dumb blonde. I'm just very good at pretending to be one." As she continued to explain in the interview, a traumatic period from her childhood ties into this public persona that she exhibits today.

Hilton told CBS Sunday Morning's Tracy Smith that her parents sent her to a series of "behavior modification schools" because of her supposed wild streak as a teen. The 39-year-old claimed that while she was at the Provo Canyon School, which she described as akin to a prison camp, in Utah that she was abused, choked, and hit. Hilton said that she never opened up about this to her family. "When I got out, I was just so grateful and so happy to be free and to be out of there that I just didn't want to bring it up," Hilton said when asked why she never told her parents. "I was like, I'd rather, you know, just never talk about this. Just don't think about it. And the moment I stepped out of that building is when I decided I'm never telling this story to anyone, ever." (Officials from Provo Canyon School told CBS Sunday Morning that the facility was sold by its previous owners back in August of 2020 and that it could not comment on "the operations or patient experience prior to this time." They added that they "do not condone or promote any form of abuse.")

As Hilton continued to explain, she does not believe that she would have engaged in her previous 2003 sex tape scandal if she had not gone to the Provo Canyon School. "I just feel when I got out of that school, I was so lost," she added. "And then I ended up meeting the person who did that. And I never would have let someone like that in my life if I hadn't gone through such experiences. And therefore, I would have never put myself in that situation. But I just wanted love so bad. I didn't really know. I was so naïve. And I trusted the wrong person. And that's something I'll regret for the rest of my life."