Paris Hilton Paris Hilton says mother Kathy changes the subject when she brings up boarding school abuse ‘I thought that it was a classy subject to talk about, and it’s terrible to hear stories, but you have to be very careful with what you say’ Paris Hilton speaks about her time at the University of South Carolina. Photograph: Joan Marcus/AP
Paris Hilton has revealed how her outspoken mother, Kathy Hilton, manages to shut her up when they share a platform for any unexpected theme.
Speaking at a sold-out event at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, the socialite and reality star opened up about her troubled teenage years in South Carolina, detailing the sexual abuse she suffered. The gossip columnist turned hotel heiress and DJ, who turned 36 on Monday, was 13 and 14 when she attended Newberry Academy, a Christian boarding school.
She said: “In an interview in Vanity Fair, my mother and I decided we would never talk about it again. But, here we are again.
“As the daughter of a celebrity, there were many opportunities to do very smart things, but I chose to go to a school where, as you might expect, I got a lot of attention.”
Hilton said she “learned to sit tight and listen and realise, ‘Oh, this is part of society, this is part of my journey. You’re going to have someone tell you how to be the perfect one; you’re going to have someone tell you how to dress; you’re going to have someone tell you how to act. You have to tune it out. This is going to be part of your life. Don’t let this intimidate you.’
“I decided that I would talk about things I felt strongly about, and talked about schools like Newberry Academy that some kids don’t have a chance to go to, and tried to find alternative schools for girls. I worked with schools for children who weren’t getting to the places they needed to go to, trying to show them that you can make your own path.”
In 2007, Hilton told police she was sexually abused by her father when she was a teenager, but neither her mother nor other family members would comment at the time.
At the event on Thursday, Hilton called for greater privacy for all stars, including those of influence.
“I thought that it was a classy subject to talk about, and it’s terrible to hear stories, but you have to be very careful with what you say. That’s my biggest fear, that someone will say, ‘I can’t believe you said that.’
“I can be a little outspoken. I’m very opinionated, but I’m going to be a person that knows how to keep it classy.”