Paris Hilton claims she was strangled and tortured at boarding school as a teen

Paris Hilton has claimed she was "continuously tortured" as a teen at boarding school where she says she was bullied, strangled and placed in solitary confinement, among other accusations of abuse. 

In her new documentary This Is Paris, the Hilton heiress speaks out about "feeling like a prisoner" at Provo Canyon School in the late '90s, where she was sent at the age of 17 in an attempt by her parents to curb her wild partying ways. 

In an interview with People promoting the documentary, Hilton said she knew as soon as she arrived "it was going to be worse than anywhere else." 

"It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all," she said. 

"From the moment I woke up until I went to bed, it was all day screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture." 

"The staff would say terrible things," she continued. 

"They were constantly making me feel bad about myself and bullied me. I think it was their goal to break us down. And they were physically abusive, hitting and strangling us. They wanted to instil fear in the kids so we'd be too scared to disobey them."

Hilton said she had little contact with her family, claiming she could only speak to them a few times a month. The reality TV star said the staff would "grab the phone or rip up letters" when she attempted to inform her parents about the abuse, telling her: "No one will believe you". 

"The staff would tell the parents that the kids were lying," Hilton said. 

"So my parents had no idea what was going on." 

The now 39-year-old said she was placed in solitary confinement as punishment, sometimes up to 20 hours a day, including one occasion where a classmate had told staff Hilton had plans to run away. 

"I was having panic attacks and crying every single day," Hilton said. "I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner and I hated life." 

Three of Hilton's classmates also appear in the documentary, bringing with them their own allegations against Provo Canyon School, including claims that children were force-fed medication and held down with physical restraints. 

When asked for comment by People, Provo Canyon School said they could not comment on the operations or "patient experience" prior to the year 2000, when the establishment was sold by its previous ownership. 

Hilton was able to leave the school when she turned 18, but did not tell anyone what had happened there. 

"I was so grateful to be out of there, I didn’t even want to bring it up again," she said. 

"It was just something I was ashamed of and I didn’t want to speak of it." 

A teaser clip from This Is Paris appears to show the former Simple Life star telling her mother about the claims, who covers her face with her hand in shock and despair. "I couldn't tell you guys because every time I tried, I'd get punished... I still have nightmares about it." 

"The only thing that saved my sanity was thinking about who I wanted to become when I got out of there," she said. 

This Is Paris is set to premiere on Hilton's YouTube channel in September.