UPDATE: The Utah legislature has passed a bill that will prevent the abuse of children in state's congregate care facilities, a measure Paris Hilton publicly advocated.
In a statement to E! News, the socialite expressed gratitude to the lawmakers who supported the bill, saying, "After experiencing abuse at Provo Canyon School, it has been incredibly empowering to have advocated for and help pass SB 127 with Senator Mike McKell, a law that increases oversight of the Troubled Teen Industry in Utah and places significant limits on the use of restraint, drugs, and seclusion rooms among other methods."
"I needed this bill when I was in residential care and I am honored to support the thousands of youth who now have greater protections," she continued. "This is only the beginning—I plan to approach the federal arena with a bill that will protect youth across the nation in these types of facilities."
Paris Hilton testified in a Utah court on Monday, Feb. 8 about abuse she allegedly experienced as a teenager while staying at a boarding school in the state.
Her testimony against Provo Canyon School was in support of a Utah bill focused on ending abuse in the state's congregate care facilities. The bill, S.B. 127, passed unanimously in the Utah Senate.
"My name is Paris Hilton, I am an institutional abuse survivor and I speak today on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children currently in residential care facilities across the United States," she said as part of her testimony, per People. "For the past 20 years, I have had a recurring nightmare where I'm kidnapped in the middle of the night by two strangers, strip-searched and locked in a facility. I wish I could tell you that this haunting nightmare was just a dream, but it is not."
In describing her alleged experiences at the institution, she said, "I was verbally, mentally and physically abused on a daily basis. I was cut off from the outside world and stripped of all my human rights."
Paris' parents sent her to Provo Canyon School as a response to her partying at the time, and she spent 11 months there. The 39-year-old star has advocated for the closure of this school and others where residents have allegedly endured similar abuse.
"Without a diagnosis, I was forced to consume medication that made me feel numb and exhausted. I didn't breathe fresh air or see the sunlight for 11 months. There was zero privacy—every time I would use the bathroom or take a shower, it was monitored," Paris alleged. "At 16 years old, as a child, I felt their piercing eyes staring at my naked body. I was just a kid and felt violated every single day."
The alum of The Simple Life pushed for more scrutiny of schools such as the one she attended and claimed that students there continued to experience abuse up until she shared her allegations in her YouTube documentary This Is Paris, which was released in September. Provo Canyon School is currently under different ownership than it was when she attended.
"Talking about something so personal was and is still terrifying," she said in her testimony. "I am proof that money doesn't protect against abuse."
The school issued a statement to People shortly after the release of This Is Paris. "We do not condone or promote any form of abuse," the statement read in part. "Any and all alleged/suspected abuse is reported immediately to our state regulatory authorities, law enforcement and Child Protective Services, as required. We are committed to providing high-quality care to youth with special, and often complex, emotional, behavioral and psychiatric needs."
In an exclusive interview with E!'s Daily Pop in September, Paris explained that she opted to keep her alleged experiences out of the public eye until releasing the documentary. "As soon as I left there, I made a promise to myself that I would never think about or talk about it with anyone ever," she said.
This story was originally published on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at 7:21 p.m. PST.