Perez Hilton: who is the celebrity blogger who slandered Lady Gaga and others - and what he reveals in new book TMI: My Life in Scandal
Perez Hilton has rubbed many a celebrity the wrong way over his 16 years as a blogger – but now he appears ready to make amends
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has said that he “never needed to be so mean or cruel”, as his new autobiography hits shop shelves.
In TMI: My Life in Scandal, in which Hilton charts his 16 years in showbiz, the personality says he regrets that he “thought it was OK to out celebrities.”
"That is something I no longer believe."
But who is Hilton, and what has he said about celebrities in the past?
Here is everything you need to know.
Who is Perez Hilton?
42-year-old Perez Hilton (real name Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr.) is an American media personality, known primarily for his celebrity gossip blog, PerezHilton.com.
He first began blogging around 2005, after attempts to kick-start a career in acting failed, and quickly gained millions of daily views and a reputation for his confrontational attitude.
His posts would include any stories about the world of celebrities, often with generous helpings of his own rancour.
The blog was quickly labelled the most hated website in Hollywood, a description Hilton welcomed.
Spurious rumours were common, and the site even featured posts purporting to out alleged closeted celebrities - including singer Clay Aiken, and N’Sync member Lance Bass - a practice Hilton no longer indulges in.
"He was the first person that created ugly news that literally just spread filth," actress Mila Kunis told the Armchair Expert podcast in 2018. “The whole concept of trolling really didn't exist" prior to his blog, she said.
Hilton writes with an unapologetic desire to mingle with and be a part of celebrity culture, and despite the ‘trashy’ nature of the blog, PerezHilton.com has been highly influential in popular culture.
It is often credited with the increased coverage of celebrities in all forms of media, and Hilton is even dubbed "the original celebrity social media influencer" by many.
Why has Perez apologised for being mean?
Over the years, Hilton has engaged in all manner of online feuds with world famous celebrities.
These rivalries are what endeared fans to his posts, but it seems that on reflection Hilton has sympathy for those who came under his glare.
"Over the last 10 years, it's been this ongoing process of making constant changes, finding out what the line is, and making mistakes along the way," he told the BBC.
"It's been a whole variety of changes from not outing people to no longer drawing inappropriate doodles on photos and no longer having nasty nicknames.
"I don't share photos of people grieving leaving a funeral or outside of a hospital when a loved one is sick... You can do your job and have an opinion and have it be strong, but not be hurtful or cruel."
What happened between Perez Hilton and Lady Gaga?
One of his most public feuds saw him take on ex-friend Lady Gaga, allegedly responding to news of her world tour’s cancellation through hip injury with a picture featuring a wheelchair, the word “Karma” and Madonna pointing a gun.
Previously, the two had been friends, but following their fallout, Hilton began posting illegal download links to Gaga’s singles on Twitter, and commenting on the singer's ‘lack’ of success.
What other scandalous things has he done?
A number of controversies have dogged Hilton over the years, usually at his own creation.
Shortly after Michael Jackson’s death, Hilton claimed the singer's illness was a publicity stunt in an article, encouraging people to "Get your money back, ticket holders!!!!”
When he realised Jackon’s death wasn’t a hoax, he replaced his original post with a short message and a link to a TMZ, which said the singer had in fact gone into cardiac arrest.
A year later, the blogger posted a link to Twitter which took users to a picture of Miley Cyrus which allegedly showed the singer not wearing underwear.
Cyrus was underage at the time, and when questions were raised as to whether child pornography charges could be raised, Hilton responded by saying the controversy was "fake" and that Cyrus was in fact wearing underwear in the photo.
As proof’, he linked to another image of Cyrus – purported to have been taken on the same occasion – to demonstrate she had worn underwear.
"I have a ton of regrets, particularly because I now see that I never needed to be so mean or cruel," he writes in TMI: My Life in Scandal.
"One of the many things I regret is that I hurt so many people by giving them nasty nicknames, and above all that I was unkind to the children of celebrities."