Since launching his popular celebrity gossip website in 2005, Perez Hilton has spilled the tea on high-profile names — and became one himself.
Now, he opens up about his career and controversies in TMI: My Life in Scandal. OK! chats with the blogger, who gets completely candid.
What inspired you to write TMI: My Life in Scandal?
PH: I was working on a book about health and wellness, and nobody was interested in that from me. Thankfully, my cowriters reached out and sold me on the idea of doing an autobiography. I figured I could have it be a little bit of everything: My story, my family's story and celebrities, so people can get different things from it. It's fun, inspiring and cautionary.
How has becoming a father changed the way you view blogging about celebrity gossip?
It's definitely affected it. I have a no-kids policy on my website, meaning I won't publish paparazzi photos of celebrity children. I'll only post photos that celebrities themselves share on social media, or if the kids are photographed at a red carpet event. But I think having my children Mario, 7, Mia, 5, and Mayte, 3 helped my career. Now I have even more of a fire under my feet propelling me forward.
You've faced a lot of backlash in your career. What is one thing you wish you could take back?
So much. From the hurtful nicknames, I used to give people, to the harsh things I've said about some children of celebrities, to body shaming and outing people. I did awful things and would tell myself it was okay because I was just saying what everyone else is thinking. But there's a lesson there: You really shouldn't say everything you're thinking.
It seems like you have more of a filter now.
I still get in trouble for having an opinion. I got into this huge scandal earlier this year when I commented on a video of Charli D'Amelio. She was 15 at the time and posted a video of herself... doing this very adult dance to an X-rated song. All I did was ask, "Is this appropriate?" and her fans sent me death threats and attacked me. I don't regret asking that. So, I'm still controversial, but I'm not nasty.
Besides the gossip, you also helped jumpstart tons of music careers.
Musicians always respected me because they knew I'm a huge music lover and I know what I'm talking about. I have plaques from some of the biggest stars on the planet: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Adele and Amy Winehouse. They gifted me gold and platinum plaques as thanks for helping them along the way.
What else do you have coming up?
I'm excited to help people get healthier and be happier with eTone Fitness. It's been a lifesaver. I'm able to get my sweat on, have a live coach train me and get results from home. Not a gimmick, it works!