Perez Hilton has said he regrets “thinking it was OK” to out gay celebrities during his gossip blogger heyday, as he reflected on moving away from his scathing online persona.
In the mid-aughts, Hilton and his salacious blog became notorious for outing gay celebrities, including Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris.
A decade on, the blogger turned media personality has expressed his remorse.
“I regret that I thought it was OK to out celebrities,” he told the BBC. “That is something I no longer believe.”
Hilton, who is gay, credited social media users with forcing him to rethink his ways.
In 2010 he was among many to record messages for Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign, itself a response to the suicides of teenagers bullied for their queerness.
“The response I got truly shook me to my core,” Hilton said. “Almost every comment said: ‘You’re a hypocrite, you’re a bully, you’re part of the problem.’ I knew a lot of people didn’t like me before then, but I was living in my own little bubble.”
Perez Hilton offered to manage Ariana Grande.
As well as his problematic outings, Perez Hilton also addresses his “mean” and “cruel” tone towards celebrities he disliked in his new memoir, TMI: My Life in Scandal.
He explains how he mounted a campaign of negativity against Ariana Grande after she rejected his offer to manager her career aged 18.
“I was really hurt, so for years afterwards I was super petty toward Ariana on my website and on social media,” he writes.
Hilton would often give disparaging nicknames to stars he deemed unworthy.
Christina Aguilera, for example, was referred to as “Floptina” – a moniker Hilton now admits was designed to damage her record sales and boost those of her perceived rival, and his then-friend, Lady Gaga.
“I even went as far as to deliberately hurt Christina Aguilera just a few months after she had been kind enough to perform at my birthday party,” he writes.
“Why? Because Gaga and I thought Christina was copying her with the sound of her new album, Bionic, and the visuals during that era.”
He adds that although Gaga “never explicitly” asked him to shade Aguilera, “by moaning to me she made me feel like I, her best friend, should do something about it”.
The pair had a public falling-out in 2013. Gaga has not publicly addressed Hilton’s memoir, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PinkNews.