Paris Hilton is writing about a painful moment to reinforce the belief that people should have autonomy over their bodies.
In an excerpt from her memoir “Paris: The Memoir,” published in Time Tuesday, the reality star — who welcomed her first child Phoenix, via surrogate, in January with husband Carter Reum — wrote about how fortunate she felt to be able to have an abortion at age 22.
“I know I wouldn’t have this life if I hadn’t made that difficult choice in my early 20s,” Hilton wrote in the excerpt. “Women need to control their reproductive destiny. We need to know ourselves, trust ourselves, and know what’s right for us — and when — and stay in the driver’s seat.”
Hilton implied in her book that the reason she decided to speak so candidly about having had an abortion was because of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade in 2022 after nearly 50 years of legal abortion — although she never explicitly identified the ruling in the excerpt.
“The only reason I’m talking about it now is that so many women are facing it,” Hilton wrote. “And they feel so alone and judged and abandoned. I want them to know that they’re not alone, and they don’t owe anyone an explanation. When there is no right way — all that’s left is what is. What you know you have to do. And you do it, even though it breaks your heart.”
In February, Hilton revealed to Glamour U.K. that she had an abortion in her early 20s. When asked about Roe vs. Wade being overturned, she told the magazine:
“There’s just so much politics around it and all that, but it’s a woman’s body… Why should there be a law based on that? If it were the other way around with the guys, it would not be this way at all.”
Hilton wrote she discovered she was pregnant at the peak of her party girl heyday around the time her hit MTV show “The Simple Life” was set to premiere.
“I was having a wild-child moment, and it was sort of glorious,” Hilton described her pre-pregnancy life. But she said everything “came crashing down” once she discovered she was pregnant.
“It was like waking up on the ledge outside a 40th-floor window,” Hilton wrote. “I was terrified and heartsick. The hormones sent my ADHD symptoms spiraling. Everything I knew about myself was at war with everything I’d been raised to believe about abortion. No one can ever know how hard it is to face this impossible choice unless she’s faced it herself.”
Hilton was dating model Jason Shaw at the time, who bought a house so she and the baby could live with him. But Hilton wrote she wasn’t ready to “make any sort of commitment” — and it had nothing to do with Shaw or the baby.
She explained she wasn’t “capable of being honest or loyal or whole” due to “suffering abuse at Provo Canyon School and three other programs within the ‘troubled teen’ industry network.”
She said due to the trauma, she never told Shaw about this difficult time in her past.
“The fact that I never confided in him about my past — that says it all, doesn’t it?” she wrote. “Secrets are corrosive. They destroy anything you try to layer over them.”
Hilton has previously stated that she was verbally, mentally and physically abused while being forced to attend Provo Canyon School in Utah as a teenager.
Hilton said that everything that happened during her 11 months at the facility ― along with being forcibly removed from her home by school officials in the middle of the night ― gave her insomnia and nightmares for decades.
Hilton told the WSJ magazine in 2021 that her lobbying efforts for legislature surrounding the unfair treatment of children at youth residential treatment centers across the U.S. and filming her 2020 documentary, “This Is Paris,” helped her “heal” from her past.
Despite writing in her memoir that she knows getting an abortion was the “right decision” for her, she also admits it took her a long time to accept that.
“In my loneliest moments, I’ve romanticized that time in my life and tortured myself with melodrama — thoughts like, What if I killed my Paris? — but the fact is, there was no happy little family at stake.”
In retrospect, Hilton wrote that being pregnant with “the physical and emotional issues I was dealing with at the time would have been a train wreck for everyone involved.”
She wrote: “At that moment, I was in no way capable of being a mother. Denying that would have jeopardized the forever family I hoped to have in the future at a time when I was healthy and healed.”
To read Hilton’s excerpt in full, head over to Time.
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