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tv   Nightline  ABC  October 21, 2021 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, manhunt. authorities in florida with the major discovery in their search for brian laundrie. >> earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains. >> is the search for gabby petito's boyfriend coming to an end? paris hilton's promise. >> today i come here not as paris hilton but as a survivor. >> the actress and model, before that a troubled teen. now using her name and fame to protect children at youth treatment centers. >> i just needed a hug or a break, instead of being put in these strangleholds. >> why the original influencer says it's time for legislation. >> i won't stop till i see change. ♪ pour some sugar on me ♪
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the different beat of leppard, classic hits like "pour some sugar on me." >> i can actually go here instead of reach all the way over here. >> to what he's now doing to help others. when you're driving a lincoln, stress seems to evaporate into thin air. which leaves us to wonder, where does it go? does it get tangled up in knots? or fall victim to gravity? or maybe it winds up somewhere over the bermuda triangle. perhaps you'll come up with your own theory of where the stress goes. behind the wheel of a lincoln is a mighty fine place to start.
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good evening. thank you for joining us. the nationwide manhunt for brian laundrie has occupied much of the nation's attention for more than a month. and today authorities in florida may have found what they've been looking for. searchers locating a backpack and notebook linked to the 23-year-old and what are believed to be human remains. in a part of the 25,000-acre nature preserve where laundrie's parents say he liked to hike. >> these items were found in an area that up until recently have been underwater. our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area. >> laundrie was reported missing by his parents more than a month ago. just days before the body of his girlfriend, gabby petito, was located in wyoming. a coroner concluded that she had been strangle the. laundrie named a person of innocent her killing but has not
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been charged. officials say they'll likely be on scene for days. more on the search on "gma" tomorrow morning. next, paris hilton testified before congress today, describing the nightmare she suffered as a troubled teen in an unregulated youth treatment center. the original influencer determined to change minds about the need for national law to control these facilities. here's abc's kaylee hartung. >> hello. >> reporter: this is not where we're used to seeing paris hilton. >> good morning. today i come here not as paris hilton, but as a survivor. >> reporter: the model, actress, deejay, and original influencer is far from the glitz and glamor of the red carpet. >> imagine if it was your child who was suffering abuse. neglect or death in the name of
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treatment. wouldn't you do everything in your power to protect them? >> reporter: instead, she's standing in front of the u.s. capitol, demanding change. the 40-year-old celebrity pushing for federal legislation to regulate residential youth facilities that promise to treat troubled teens, like the one she once attended. paris said she didn't get help, she got abused. >> i want capitol hill to know there are children that are dying at these abusive facilities, and i'm here to stop this and make a difference. i wish my experience was a rare one, but unfortunately it's not. it's literal hell on earth. >> reporter: paris attended multiple boarding schools. >> this is the first time i've been back -- >> reporter: but says it was the 11 months she spent at provo canyon school in utah that traumatized her. >> can you describe what you experienced at provo canyon school? >> it was the most painful and traumatic experience of my life, being physically abused, yelled at, restrained, locked in rooms,
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forced medication, being watched by male staff while i take a shower. i had basically no human rights. the fact that it's still happening today, i just can't sleep at night knowing that. >> what led you to the moment where you felt comfortable enough, empowered enough, to share your story and speak out? >> i was never planning on telling the story. it was something that i wanted to take with me to my grave. but then during my documentary i just became so close with the director where i just felt like i could open up about anything. >> this is paris [ bleep ] hilton! >> reporter: the 2020 youtube documentary "this is paris" pulled the curtain back on how the young woman, once famous for being famous, turned into a multimillionaire mogul with a booming business portfolio. >> i'm scared to go to bed at night. i always have this recurring nightmare. >> reporter: it also revealed the superstar was struggling with a secret. >> solitary confinement.
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like something out of "one flew over the cuckoo's nest." they'd make people take their clothes off and go in there for 20 hours. >> reporter: paris says her parents had no idea what was going on. she accuses facilities like these of preying on parents desperate for help. by the end of filming, she reunited with a group of women she attended school with, comparing experiences. >> talking with them, like i started remembering who i was before. >> reporter: she's now partnering with the group "breaking code silence" and lending star power to a conversation that's been hard to get in the spotlight. has it been therapeutic for you to share your experience and try to effect change? >> this has been the most healing experience of my life. i feel like i have a true mission in life. that is to protect children from abuse. >> reporter: children like 27 yelled eva who joined paris in
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washington, a small voice with a big message. >> i'm here to put my dream in motion. i want to prevent further harm from happening to anybody else in these facilities. >> reporter: in 2017 she was in the day of the state of oregon when officials sent her to a facility in montana for youth with behavioral issues. 800 miles away from home. she was admitted at the age of 9. >> i've experienced anxiety and depression most of my life. but there it kind of increased and made it worse. >> reporter: she was treated there for months. her family, lawyers, and eventually a state lawmaker working to get her released. >> a lot of the time when they would restrain me or inject me with medications, i would ask for a hug instead of being put in these painful holds and being injected with medication. because that would infuriate me and make it worse. >> reporter: attorney annette smith has been assigned to her case for years. >> when uvea was in montana, i did attempt to access treatment records. i got incident reports that often didn't make sense to me.
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for example, she would be struggling with a math problem in class, and she would disrupt and leave the room, and it would escalate, and it would turn into these situations where she was being chemically restrained. >> reporter: uvea's team is considering legal action, but uvea says life is happier now. she's been adopted and getting the care she needs. >> i actually do go to counseling once a week. and see a therapist. and i do take medications. i used to take 10 pills, but now i only take like three pills and i'm doing much better. i spent my seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th birthday in foster care, in the system. it's good to be in a better place. >> reporter: that better place allowing her to make her first cross-country flight to meet paris and stand up for other young people like herself. >> uvea is an incredible young lady, 12 years old. she is an advocate for so many children who should not ever have to be in placements like this. these facilities have existed
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for decades. this harm has existed for decades. it should not take a celebrity to bring these issues to the forefront. >> reporter: acadia, montana, closed shortly after uvea's and other stories started drawing attention, including from state lawmakers. >> it's empowering. it's knowing i'm not the only one and people understand. all my life i've been struggling with the fact of thinking that people don't understand, people don't care. it's just nice to have people on my side. >> reporter: but provo canyon school in utah is still operating. when abc news reached out for comment on paris hilton's accusations, it replied with the same media release on its website, provo canyon school was sold by its previous ownership cannot comment on operations or student experience prior to that time. it adds, provo canyon school does not use solitary confinement as a form of intervention. licensed physicians prescribe medication as necessary to assist residents in addressing their mental health-related
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diagnoses. we do not condone or promote any form of abuse. we are concerned that the current media coverage may increase the stigma around seeking help for behavioral health concerns. >> i see that "shut down provo" sign. that school is still running. they say they've been under new management. they cannot comment on what you experienced because that was before their time. >> i actually had another sign during that rally. that was one of my messages to them. which was, the children that you abuse today will take you down tomorrow. and that's what we're going to do. >> reporter: paris testified to u.s. legislators about her experience and was there when the governor signed senate bill 127, which aims to increase transparency and end abusive practices in the state's congra gat care programs. >> state protection is not enough. these kids need to be protected on a federal level in all 50 states. >> reporter: paris says things are getting better, and she's about to get married, and her new mission has helped. >> my nightmares have finally
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stopped. and i think it all has to do with me just finally talking about this, healing myself. and now helping heal others. i won't stop till i see change. and just seeing the effects of what has happened this past year has made me feel so proud. i just know that the little girl in me would be so proud of the woman i am today. >> our thanks to kaylee. up next, def leppard's drummer, rick allen. how he's trying to help others through his art. tomorrow on "nightline" -- >> everything with guns off the ground, go! >> we talk to the cast of "dune." >> i would have played the sand in this movie had they offered it to me. pic® can help you get back in it. oh, oh, oh, ozempic®!
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tequila herradura. extraordinary awaits. ♪ rick allen's life changed forever in a car accident when he was a young man. today the def leppard drummer is giving back to a different beat. here's abe's phil lipof. ♪ hit me like a bomb honey come and get it on ♪ ♪ living like a lover ♪ >> reporter: for over 40 years, rick allen has been the drummer of one of the best-selling rock bands of all-time with mega-hits like "pour some sugar on me." def leppard has sold over 100 million records worldwide. all the money and fame that comes with it, but still those who know rick best say that's
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not what's most impress benefit him. to really understand that -- we need to go back to the '80s. rick joined def leppard when he was just 15. by the time he was 21, the band was a huge success. and then -- >> you buy a corvette. >> ah. yeah. >> reporter: december 31st, 1984. an afternoon drive in that corvette would change the course of rick's life. the crash happened fast. it was a violent rollover. >> as the car rolled, the seat belt came undone. and the seat belt took my arm as i was flying out through the car. >> reporter: his right shoulder broken, his left arm gone. this picture was taken of rick the first day out of the hospital. it would be the first day of the rest of his life. relearning how to do everything, from waterskiing and shooting pool, to playing the drums with just one arm. the band stood by rick. when he was strong enough, def leppard went on recording and touring, releasing "hysteria."
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♪ such a magical mysterious ♪ >> reporter: the band's most successful album to date. >> so this is where it all happ happens. >> reporter: today with the pandemic putting the band on pause, we visited rick and wife lauren at home. he showed us his drum kit and how the sound allows him to sound like before the accident. >> the foot pedals mimic what your arm does? >> yes. so i can go here, instead of having to reach all the way over here. ♪ >> reporter: playing, rick says, is almost a meditative experience. he's happy on the drums. and on this day, happy to share with others the peace that music brings him. ♪ >> that's great! i told you, he's a real player. >> reporter: rick also revealed his other passion, painting.
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he made this for his mom when he was 5. when he's not playing, rick is tapping into his personal pain to find renewed purpose. painting the people and places that inspire him. >> i was never really formally trained. but i knew a few things. i started out with telephone boxes and buses and all those iconic things that everybody associates with england or london. you know. >> see behind you. >> a bit of a give-away. >> reporter: rick sometimes uses his only hand to sign his paintings. >> i nearly lost this one as well. so for me, it's just a reminder of everything that i went through and everything that i put this poor old hand through. >> reporter: rick's art sold at wentworth gallery, owned by christian o'mahoney. >> the impact he can have on people because of the similarity he has with people that have suffered that type of drama, he sees it as a blessing.
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>> reporter: christian says collectors pay up to tens of thousands of dollars. rick began donating part of the proceeds to wounded warriors after a visit to walter reed medical center in 2006. >> i was so taken by the whole visit. and how much people looked up to me and what i'd done. but then i saw what these guys were going through. >> what i got from him is, he was humble. >> reporter: u.s. army veteran norby lara lost his arm in iraq. he felt immediately connected to rick and lauren. >> it was really cool to be around someone who had been something very similar to myself, losing an arm, still being able to smile. >> reporter: lauren as singer, songwriter, teacher. rick says she's been helping him heal physically and emotionally since the day they met 20 years ago. they run the nonprofit raven drum foundation. >> we collaborate with nonprofits to facilitate healing with programs, concerts. >> reporter: a veteran of head
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trauma and ptsd, both rick still grapples with. >> he didn't know he had ptsd. that was something he was really struggling with. you know, it's something that we work on all the time. to help build his resiliency. >> ladies and gentlemen, it's my privilege to welcome, to induct into the hall of fame def leppard! > reporter: in 2019, when def leppard was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, lead singer joe elliot paid tribute to rick's resilience. >> rick has a life-changing accident. he survived it and came out the other side stronger. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: a minute-longstanding ovation by rock royalty. lauren in the crowd. both overwhelmed by emotion. >> if you could go back into the hospital room and tell the 21-year-old version of yourself one thing that would help him get through the rest of the hospital stay, what would it be?
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>> here. >> your art, your house? >> whoo. sorry. come here. later, rick is still healing. still working through the pain and emotion of that crash and all that followed. >> if you were given the chance to go back and not have that happen, would you? >> that's a really good question. in many ways, i think it enabled me to grow in so many ways. it became a blessing, a responsibility. a responsibility to other people, to myself. and i think that has become a huge gift. >> our thanks to phil. we'll be right back. freshness? try new febreze unstopables touch fabric spray. it doesn't just eliminate odors...
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that's "nightline" for this evening. catch our full episodes on hulu. we'll see you right back here, same time tomorrow. thanks for the company, america. good night.
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