Paris Hilton and Drew Barrymore have more in common than you might think.
While the pair ultimately had very different paths to fame and celebrity, they both experienced being sent away to facilities for troubled young children. In her new documentary This Is Paris, the heiress opened up about the abuse she suffered when she was sent away. On Monday, she detailed the process to Drew, one of the only interviewers currently in the game who can truly relate to it.
Noting that they’ve known each other many years, the newly minted talk show host commiserated:
“I’ve been where you’ve been. And watching your documentary — I mean, I don’t know how many interviews and conversations I’m going to have on this show where I’m watching a mirror image of everything I’ve been through, as well.”
Hilton revealed that excavating her traumatic past “actually wasn’t supposed to be the original premise of the film,” and was rather meant to showcase her skills as a businesswoman and shut down “misconceptions” about her. But when she became close with director Alexandra Dean, she felt she could open up about her past. The socialite explained:
“ told me, ‘This is so important, that you tell your story, because you’re going to help other survivors and people will want to come forward with theirs.’ It was very difficult for me, because it wasn’t something I ever wanted to talk about in public.”
Asked how she’s feeling now that her story is out there, Hilton shared:
“It was hard just to relive, and have to remember all these traumatic experiences that I had tried so hard to forget… but I’ve had severe nightmares since I was a teenager because of this. Basically I was just trying to look like I had the perfect life and I was embarrassed for people to know. I now know that I shouldn’t be ashamed, the people who work at these places who are abusing children are the ones who should be ashamed. And I’m proud that even though I went through so much I’m so strong, and I can make it through anything.”
As for Drew? Well, she understands why she was sent to the facility:
“My mom just didn’t know what to do with me. I was doing drugs, I was out of control. She just threw her hands up and threw me in there, not knowing where else to turn to.”
Drew admitted though she didn’t enjoy “being thrown in solitary confinement” (an experience they both shared), the facility she went to was “really good.” Despite the fact she was “rebellious” and “started riots” there, in the end she felt that being there turned her life around for the better:
“That place really did help me, and it really did save my life. And I actually wouldn’t change a thing.”
Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Paris, who couldn’t name a single positive that came out of her experience.
Instead, she told Drew:
“All it did was give me trust issues, post traumatic stress disorder… I didn’t deserve to go there. My mom and dad were just very strict and sheltered when I lived in LA… They just didn’t want me to grow up. And then I moved to New York and that’s when my life changed and I just was sneaking out at night and going to clubs and ditching school, but not doing anything terrible — just wanting to go out at night, and that really scared my parents, because they were so protective.”
The women did agree that time and perspective helped bring about peace and forgiveness, particularly with the parents who put them in those traumatizing situations. For Paris, that means she’s “closer than ever” with mom Kathy Hilton. And while she conceded to being “addicted” to outside validation, she also claimed to be in “the best place ever been in her life.”
Paris also had high praise for her host, only in her second week of The Drew Barrymore Show. She complimented Drew:
“You definitely had the most fun and intimate interview so far. No one else gets it — my favorite , yes. Congratulations, this is so good. I love it.”
Kudos to both these women for overcoming traumatic pasts, and being willing to share those experiences with the world. We look forward to everything else they have to offer in the future!
Ch-ch-check out the full interview (below):
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