Paris Hilton Plans to Expose 'Dark Secrets' of Schools for Troubled Teens

Paris Hilton is working on a new podcast that aims to reveal the "dark secrets" of schools for so-called troubled teens, Newsweek can reveal.

Trapped in Treatment will be based on Hilton's and other survivors' experiences at Provo Canyon School in Utah, a boarding school for so-called troubled teenagers. The podcast promises to "expose the dark secrets and controversial practices" at similar facilities.

Every year thousands of young people are sent to congregate care facilities—sometimes known as boot camps—designed to modify their behavior, according to civil rights group National Youth Rights Association.

In a YouTube documentary last year titled This Is Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress and influencer detailed her alleged mistreatment when she was a teenager at the facility, which remains open. Hilton told how she was beaten, spat on, deprived of sleep and forced into solitary confinement.

In a statement announcing the new podcast, Hilton told Newsweek: "This past year, thousands of survivors like me have shared their stories, helping to bring into public view what so many of us have locked up.

"Provo Canyon School will not be able to hide behind the abuse they've caused survivors any longer. I am so proud to be producing Trapped in Treatment and can't wait to take you on this audio journey."

The school has been contacted for comment. Following the initial allegations last year, a PCS spokesperson told The New York Times it does not "condone or promote any form of abuse" and any alleged or suspected abuse is reported to state regulatory authorities, law enforcement and Child Protective Services immediately.

The now 40-year-old Hilton visited Capitol Hill recently to speak in favor of legislation to establish a bill of rights for teenagers in congregate care facilities.

"Last week, we took our message to Washington D.C to raise awareness of The Accountability for Congregate Care Act that will give all youth in residential settings a Bill of Rights and increase transparency of this industry," Hilton told Newsweek.

"Our democracy's leaders were enthusiastically supportive of our cause and I look forward to continuing to uplift stories through the podcast avenue and fight this industry at a national scale."

Since first telling her story, Hilton has become a prominent activist for more oversight of youth facilities and an advocate for Breaking Code Silence, a movement organized by activists and survivors of institutional child abuse to raise awareness of the problems in the congregate care industry.

Speaking in D.C. last week, Hilton said: "I 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 scratch marks and smeared in blood and so much more."

Trapped In Treatment will be released in 2022 and is produced by Hilton in association with iHeartRadio.

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton spoke of her experience of being sent to a congregate care facility by her parents as a teenager in Washington D.C. last week. Courtesy of Paris Hilton

The series will be hosted by Caroline Cole and Rebecca Mellinger and will weave together personal accounts with historical details and expert opinions to shine a light on what really happens at behavior modification centers and "how this billion-dollar industry has flourished for so long."

Cole is an entrepreneur, activist and trauma-focused women's transformation coach, who is also a survivor of a lock-down behavior modification facility.

Mellinger campaigns alongside Hilton to reform the "troubled teen industry" through policy change, public awareness and mental health support.

Hilton said that for 20 years she lived silently with the trauma and memories from her experience at Provo Canyon School.

Trapped in Treatment and will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard next year.

Paris Hilton and Cindy McCain
Paris Hilton and Cindy McCain. Hilton has thanked McCain for her support in her bid to end abuse in the troubled youth industry. Courtesy of Paris Hilton