Paris Hilton & Drew Barrymore Speak About Being Sent to Institutions as Teens

Drew Barrymore recently watched Paris Hilton’s new YouTube Originals documentary, This Is Paris, and she related to it on many levels.

In the nearly two-hour film, directed by Alexandra Dean, Paris goes into detail about alleged abuse she suffered at boarding school in Utah.

This week, the reality star and mogul sat down with Drew on her new talk show to reflect on their shared experience of teenage trauma.

“We’ve known each other throughout our kid life, adult life — I’ve known you for many years,” Drew said. “I feel like when it comes to an interviewer, maybe they haven’t had the same experiences as you. So they’re coming at it from more of a journalistic, interested but slightly removed, place. Well, not this time. I’ve been where you’ve been. And watching your documentary — I mean, I don’t know how many interviews and conversations I’m going to have on this show where I’m watching a mirror image of everything I’ve been through, as well.”

She added, “So I want to talk to you and have you know that I’ve had the people come and take me away. I’ve been locked up in solitary confinement, I’ve been in a place for lengthy periods of time — we’re talking a year, a year and a half, plus. I haven’t seen a kind of story like this really reflected out there very often that’s one I recognize so deeply.”


In the documentary, Paris recalls being taken from her bed as if she was being kidnapped one night. She wound up at Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she alleges she and her peers suffered physical and emotional abuse and were regularly given mystery pills.

When Paris refused to take the pills, she says she was sent to solitary confinement without clothing, sometimes for 20 hours at a time.

“I wanted to do a film to show the businesswoman I am, and all I’ve accomplished, because I feel like there are just so many misconceptions about me,” Paris explained. “And then during shooting, I just became so close with the director. We had this sisterly relationship where I felt like I could open up about anything with her. And she told me, ‘This is so important, that you tell your story, because you’re going to help other survivors and people will want to come forward with theirs.’ It was very difficult for me, because it wasn’t something I ever wanted to talk about in public.”

“I was embarrassed for people to know,” she said. “I now know that I shouldn’t be ashamed, the people who work at these places who are abusing children are the ones who should be ashamed.”

Drew also opened up about her own experiences falling into alcoholism and addiction as a child actress, explaining that the institution she went to saved her life.

“I have to tell you, the people at my place were really good,” she said. “I mean, I didn’t like being thrown in solitary confinement. I will say that I was very rebellious. I started riots there all the time. There was a lot of other kids like me, and my mom just didn’t know what to do with me. I was doing drugs. I was out of control. She just threw her hands up and threw me in there, not knowing where else to turn to. And that place really did help me and it did save my life, and I actually wouldn’t change a thing.”

Wow! Watch the full interview above.