Paris Hilton Opens Up About Childhood Abuse at 'Behavior Modification School'

Paris said she told herself she would never speak about the experience and ultimately created a "Barbie airhead" persona in an effort to suppress the trauma.

Paris Hilton

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Paris Hilton

When people hear the name Paris Hilton, it's probably reminscent of a party girl heiress whose ditzy reputation helped launch a lucrative empire that covered everything from music and fashion to books and TV. However, the 39-year-old says the "Paris" she's presented to the world doesn't reflect her true personality; In fact, she says, it's the exact opposite.

"There's so many differences. With the character, it's mostly kind of this blonde, bubbly, kind of Barbie airhead. And, in real life, I'm the exact opposite," she recently told CBS Sunday Morning's Tracy Smith. "… I'm not a dumb blonde. I'm just very good at pretending to be one."

Hilton opens up about the facade in the upcoming YouTube documentary, This Is Paris, which premieres this month. She said she created a character as a way to suppress the childhood trauma she endured at a "behavior modification school" in Utah. Hilton claims she was choked, hit, and generally abused while she was enrolled, but never spoke about her experience until recently.

"When I got out, I was just so grateful and so happy to be free and to be out of there that I just didn't want to bring it up," Hilton said. "I was, like, I'd rather, you know, just never talk about this. Just don't think about it. And the moment I stepped out of that building is when I decided I'm never telling this story to anyone, ever."

You can watch Hilton's full sit-down with Morgan this Sunday on CBS. This Is Paris will hit YouTube on Sept. 14.

"I think when people see the film, they're going to see a completely different side," she added. "And they're going to see I am human, and I do have feelings."

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