Gossip blogger Perez Hilton recently apologized to Britney Spears for his past jokes and comments mocking Spears’ mental health struggles, but his comments have some fans thinking he’s not that innocent.
Some of Britney’s fans immediately recalled Hilton’s history of bashing Spears publicly in the press. As the LA Times noted, Hilton tore Britney apart and called her an “unfit mother” in 2007 after her very public mental breakdown — the same incident that eventually culminated in Britney’s conservatorship, which she calls “abusive.” In 2008 after Heath Ledger died and the same year the conservatorship was established, Hilton made shirts that said “why wasn’t it Britney?”
Even as recently as last year in his memoir “TMI: My Life in Scandal,” Hilton called Spears “an embarrassment” and chalked up her struggles to her “party lifestyle” instead of mental health issues.
But since Britney’s bombshell testimony in open court this week — and the New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears” came out — people have become far more aware of the pop singer’s intimate mental health history and how the legal battle affects her daily. This new information appears to have Hilton changing his tone.
In an interview with UK-based Sky News, Hilton (whose real name is Mario Lavandeira) said, “I can’t say I was just young and dumb. I think we know a lot more. And initially, many folks, myself included, were shocked and alarmed and especially concerned for her young children.” He continued, “I know I did not express myself as well as I could have. I didn’t lead with empathy and compassion, which thankfully seems like most people now are understanding the severity of Britney’s situation. I absolutely apologize and carry deep shame and regret.”
Separately, Hilton recorded a lengthy video Wednesday he titled “My Message To Britney Spears And The Free Britney Movement,” and said, “Today I have been getting so much hate and bullying from people who were and are upset about how I used to talk about Britney Spears. And my message to all those people is: f— you! It just does not compute that you’re going to bully someone for bullying somebody in the past. How does that make you any better than what I did? I fully own how reprehensible I used to be in the day.”
Not everyone believes that Hilton truly had a change of heart, though, and people have jumped to point out that he’s part of the larger tabloid and gossip machine that led to Spears’ oppressive legal situation in the first place.
“One of the main reasons why Perez Hilton was as relevant as he was in the mid-aughts was because he profited off of many female starlets’ trauma, addiction, and mental health struggles,” writer Morgan Jerkins tweeted. “He wasn’t some great interviewer. He wasn’t offering astute culture criticism. He was a bully.”
Then Kathy Griffin weighed in: “Yup. With me, it was drawing a penis in my mouth, etc. He’s deeply misogynistic. He was never even clever or snarky. Just a sad, talentless manboy who glories in taking women down. And yet, always wanted to photographed with me and the other females he harassed.”
Take a look at some of the reactions to Hilton’s comments — as well as the original interview, below.
Watch live: @KayBurley is joined by George Eustice and @Ed_Miliband as the govt is due to update COVID travel advice – and @ThePerezHilton has the latest on Britney Spears speaking in open court for first time about her conservatorship.#KayBurley https://t.co/ZqZE0Jg49o
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 24, 2021
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) June 24, 2021
Need I remind that you spent years body shaming Britney, mocking her, and wishing death on her. People are allowed to have a change of heart and character, including you, but this message should be preempted by a LONG and sincere apology for the years of abuse inflicted by YOU.
— PopWrapped (@PopWrapped) June 23, 2021
YOU HAVE SOME RANCID NERVE, PARASITE HURTON.
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) June 23, 2021
One of the main reasons why Perez Hilton was as relevant as he was in the mid-aughts was because he profited off of many female starlets' trauma, addiction, and mental health struggles.
He wasn't some great interviewer. He wasn't offering astute culture criticism. He was a bully
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) June 23, 2021
Yup. With me, it was drawing a penis in my mouth, etc. He’s deeply misogynistic. He was never even clever or snarky. Just a sad, talentless manboy who glories in taking women down. And yet, always wanted to photographed with me and the other females he harassed.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) June 24, 2021
I mostly recall him coming on the Ellen show to apologize of his behavior and attempt to turn into a different person, and a year later he was back on his same bullshit.
— Nick Dahlink 💅🌈 (@theregos) June 24, 2021
We all see you continuing to monetize Britney's trauma through your YouTube channel & media appearances, Perez.
If you're really sorry, put your money where your mouth is. Donate all of the *considerable* wealth you got through misogynistic bullying. pic.twitter.com/UkBRNrnx7W
— Kendall Youens (@kendallybrown) June 24, 2021
this dude has some fucking nerve https://t.co/XbZmPn9kEt
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) June 24, 2021
also, how are you still going by "perez hilton" in the year of our lord 2021. nobody even knows who paris hilton is anymore.
his whole identity is based on a woman he slandered and shamed until she finally was like "you're hot" and then he just sucked up to her like a sychophant
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) June 24, 2021
He was pretty much a parasite, feeding off of tragedy. trauma, and spectacle, and exacerbating it in the process.
— Lily Burana 🗽 (@lilyburana) June 24, 2021
AMEN. An absolute monster who turned his jaundiced gaze far more intensely on women than men. A classic gay misogynist. When he went on Oprah to try and pivot I nearly threw my own damn tv out the window.
— Brad Loekle (@BradLoekle) June 24, 2021
Not Perez Hilton 'supporting' Britney after posting upskirt photos of her and being one of the reasons for her conservatorship in the first place
Not Justin Timberlake 'supporting' Britney after his revenge porn song of her won a Grammy
this was the only hero here pic.twitter.com/mozEZFeIC1
— Rin Chupeco (THE EVER CRUEL KINGDOM out now!) (@RinChupeco) June 24, 2021
A reminder that Perez Hilton may be the person who owes the biggest apology to Spears.
After the death of Heath Ledger in 2008, Perez posted a meme of Ledger that said, "Why couldn't it be Britney?"#FreeBritney #BritneySpeaks https://t.co/mcsIf6gALY
— Connor Behrens (@ConnorBehrens) June 23, 2021
Perez Hilton just went on his YouTube channel and cried about everyone telling him how much of a piece of shit he is for how he has treated Britney Spears over the years. Cry some more bitch.
— loud dame (@Sandernista412) June 24, 2021
Perez Hilton and Justin Timberlake must think we have amnesia pic.twitter.com/PHE4GG8c4W
— Tristin Brown (@trisquire) June 24, 2021
Read original story People Aren’t Cutting Perez Hilton Slack After Britney Apology: ‘He Was a Bully’ At TheWrap