Paris Hilton is opening up about a painful secret she’s kept private for over two decades.
In her new documentary, This Is Paris, premiering Sept. 14 on Hilton’s YouTube channel, the entrepreneur and reality star reveals for the first time the horrific abuse she says she endured as a teen while at a boarding school in Utah.
“I buried my truth for so long,” Hilton, 39, tells PEOPLE exclusively of the mental, emotional and physical pain she says she underwent while at Provo Canyon School in the late '90s. “But I’m proud of the strong woman I’ve become. People might assume everything in my life came easy to me, but I want to show the world who I truly am.”
Years before she became a household name on The Simple Life in 2003, Hilton was a teen living in New York City’s famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel with her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, and younger siblings: Nicky, 36, Barron, 30, and Conrad, 26.
“It feels like my nightmare is over,” she says. “And I’m going to watch the movie with my parents — I think it will be good for us, but emotional too. There are no more secrets.”
Hilton says she doesn’t have any plans currently to pursue legal justice; instead, she’s focused on raising awareness about other so-called behavior improvement schools that she says still employ as a practice the kind of physical and verbal abuse she endured for so long.
“I want these places shut down,” says Hilton. “I want them to be held accountable. And I want to be a voice for children and now adults everywhere who have had similar experiences. I want it to stop for good and I will do whatever I can to make it happen.”
This Is Paris premieres Sept. 14 on Hilton’s YouTube channel.
Look for more from Hilton in an upcoming issue of PEOPLE.
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