It’s time for Perez Hilton to start scribbling apology letters. The founder of one of the most notorious celebrity gossip websites confessed that he has a few regrets in his new memoir, TMI: My Life in Scandal.
Hilton, whose real name is Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr., founded Perez Hilton in 2004. The website, which often bashed celebs and revealed their most-intimate secrets, became wildly popular despite readers’ distaste for Hilton’s salacious approach.
Things first got messy for Hilton when Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi committed suicide in 2010 by jumping off the Washington Bridge when Clementi’s roommate caught him kissing a man on camera and outted him to his peers.
Hilton offered his support, but considering the numerous posts the blogger previously published without people’s consent, he was met with an onslaught of backlash.
“People wrote such hateful comments that I couldn’t bring myself to read even half of them,” Hilton, now 42, wrote in his new memoir, published by Chicago Review Press and co-written with Leif Eriksson and Martin Svensson.
“The strength of the hate storm really shook me, and popped the bubble I had been living in. I realized for the first time that it wasn’t just a handful of people who disliked what I did — it was the overwhelming majority. I finally understood that the things I wrote genuinely hurt people, and deeply.”
Hilton also feels bad about slamming celebrities who rubbed him the wrong way. After meeting Ariana Grande and her mother in 2011, Hilton offered to manage the rising star’s career — or at least offer consulting — but the Grande family turned him down.
“I was really hurt, so for years afterward I was super petty toward Ariana on my website and on social media,” he admitted. “I regret that.”
The blogger was famous for scribbling mean messages on celebrity photos, and many were hurt by his bullying. Hilton wrote that Roseanne Barr once said she wanted to “kidnap” him, take him to her farm in Hawaii and then “shoot” him for trespassing.
At that time, however, he said he “didn’t care.” He added, “I thought I was happy. In reality, I was drowning in negativity. I was stuck playing a part, too afraid to change, too afraid of losing my readers if I suddenly stopped being so mean.”
Hilton had some sense knocked into him — literally — after will.i.am‘s manager attacked him at a Toronto awards show party in 2010. When will.i.am’s fellow Black Eyed Peas member Fergie asked Hilton why he disrespected him, the blogger started spewing obscenities. “I don’t have to respect you,” Hilton yelled back, calling will.i.am a “f*ggot” — and causing a scene.
More stories from Hilton’s scandalous career are featured in TMI: My Life in Scandal, scheduled for an October 6 release.
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