Infamy and Family with Perez Hilton
PRIDE
PRIDE

Episode · 3 years ago

Infamy and Family with Perez Hilton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Perez Hilton, creator of Hollywood’s Most Hated Website, is not all gossip and insults. Now he’s a devoted father or three and gradually making amends.  Be sure to follow Perez on IG. Your host is Levi Chambers, co-founder of Gayety. Follow the show and keep up with the conversation @Pride. Want more great shows from Straw Hut Media? Check out or website at strawhutmedia.com. Your producers are Levi Chambers, Maggie Boles, Ryan Tillotson and Edited by Sebastian Alcala Have an interesting LGBTQ+ story to share? We might feature U! Email us at lgbtq@strawhutmedia.com. *This podcast is not affiliated with Pride Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

STRAWUT media. Res Hilton is an enigma. Many of us have loved to hate him since he first started blogging in late two thousand and four. Some people blamed him for kicking off an era of toxic celebrity gossip and cyber bullying. Fergie even wrote a hate song for him in two thousand and six pedestal. Some of the lyrics go you think I don't see you on the Internet, I read it. Don't think I won't forget. There are so many ugly moments in Perez Hilton's earlier career when he was saying, doing and publishing very, very problematic things for the sake of clicks. He posted a lot of things that simply wouldn't fly today. The world is a slightly better place now that fat shaming, outing actors and other awful Perez practices are out of Vogue. I think it's important to say going into this interview that there's no getting around it. Perez Hilton was a bully in the most awful way. But weirdly enough, when I spoke to Perez this week, I didn't meet that person. The Perez I spend time talking to is a hard working family man raising three kids on his own and taking care of his mom. The Perez I met was self reflective and penitent, but still fierce. Love him or hate him, he's here today. I leave by chambers, and this is pride. Hello, hello, hello. Perez is a very busy guy. You'll hear all about it a little later when he talks about his daily routine. So, even though he lives in La we decided to do our interview over the phone to save him the commute. Perez would record his audio on his side, then we'd put the two together and it would sound perfect and seamless. Obviously, I'm telling you this now because that's not what happened.

Okay, let me just do a test here. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Oh, okay, we gave it a lot of effort. Okay, let's try this again. No, hello, hello, hello, hello, but in the end we just had to make do with what we had hold on. Sorry, can you hear me? Yes, amazing, okay, great, all right, that took a minute. Hello, I am Perez Hilton. Outside of being Prezz Hilton, I am a perpetually tired father of three and son of a very big personality, Latina, who lives with me. Perez has three kids now, one son Mario and two daughters, MIA, Alma and might they a'Moud. But before we get into Perez the loving father, let's spend a little more time with the Perez Hilton we already know. I think I was always Perez Hilton, even before that name existed. What was that? The catalyst? What made you become it's almost like Batman really. Yeah, no, the catalyst was starting my then blog, which I now call a website, and just a variety of different factors pushed me to having an alter ego, and I just instantly loved that name because it kind of gave you a sense of what I was all about when you heard it for the first time. Like Perez and Hilton, there's a something off about it. A lot of younger people may not be as familiar with Perez Hilton as those of us who watched so much of the drama unfold in real time, but through all of his blogging about famous people,...

...he actually became pretty famous himself. I don't even like using that word famous because that word is fickle. As somebody who's been working in various entertainment industries. Now for fifteen years I've seen firsthand fame can come and fame can go. What matters is that you do things, and I still do a lot of things. You it both because of joy, I love what I do, and also because of necessity. You know, I'm very honest. I've got three kids and my mom that I also support. I don't have a few money in the bank in order to cover all of those expenses for the rest of my life, so I have to work. You would think maybe, you know, as you get older, you might have the luxury of working less. Not Me. I still work just as hard as I have ever had, but I still love what I do, so I consider myself really blessed. You can go from zero to a hundred online or on social media, but while you may be able to luck your way into success, the only way to sustain it is through working hard. You know a lot of the people that I was writing about when I first started. I don't talk about them anymore, but I don't know. I would say there were a few milestones that were meaningful for me. In March of two thousand and five, only about five months into his blogging career, Perez was invited to appear on television and I was on a TV show that doesn't even exist anymore. It's called what's called the insider. On the insider they did a segment called Hollywood's most hated websites. The producers asked to press how he would...

...feel not only being included in the list but being named number one, and I said, well, I don't think I'm the most hated, but if you're going to put me on your show and make me number one, I'd rather be number one the number two, so let's do it. So for the longest time I use that branding on my website. The logo said underneath my website for resultoncom Hollywood most hated website, traffic kept increasing and then a few months after that the site actually crashed when Perez Hiltoncom became the first media outlet to share photos of Brad Pitt and Angelin or Joelie as a couple. I think what would really helped me from the very beginning achieved success was the fact that while I was this new media personality, the traditional media was giving me a lot of coverage, and that's not often the case with a youtuber or an instagrammer or now a tick tocker. Things keep changing and evolving, and you and I have to keep changing in involving that's why I, like you, have got my own podcast. That's why this year I joined Tick Tock. I'm that. Oh, I'm the GRANDPA. Actually, there's a name for it. The kids call old people on Ticktock boomers. Okay, boomer, that's the phrase. I'm like, I may be a boomer, but I'm still fair, so okay. On top of his podcast, Perez has two youtube channels. His Perez Hilton Channel covers the pop culture, her and gossip, and his other channel, Perez Hilton and family, is where he posts personal videos about his kids. He creates content every single day and he's a single father of three, which made me curious. What does a day in the life of Perez Hilton Look like? I guess we could call it the not so simple life. Adam, I'm really focusing on my health as well. So what typical day begins? Five hundred and fifteen am when I wake up to go to the gym. I'll usually take a six am class, a group fitness class, as the world knows, for the longest...

...top from basically my whole life I've struggled with my weight and I was very publicly very unhealthy for a long time. I don't even like to use that's why I phrase it. You know I was very unhealthy and now I'm really focusing on my health. After the gym he heads home, I'll take a shower, I'll take my kids to school. Then he goes back home and gets to work, start uploading videos, creating content, seeing what's happening. Then in the afternoons it's kind of when I usually do other things, like I'm a guest on a lot of podcast like what we're doing now, or I'll go and I'll film something, like I recently did a talking head thing for a show about the S, or I did one that's airing this weekend for channel five in the UK about Britney Spears. Do you still write a lot of the content that ends up on the website? All write some of it. I don't write all of it, of course, because we're posting so many articles every day, but I'm the one they're saying, let's write about this. Why do we do this? Why do we not do this? We got to get this up quicker. So yeah, no, I have a staff. I never make a secret of that. But also, like the website has its own social media accounts and I have my own social media accounts, and if you follow me on my personal accounts, you'll see how much I'm posting as well. So it's it's exhausting. Like, honestly, I love what I do. I love creating. I don't love all the steps that come along with it. Like I love making videos, I love writing, I love sharing things with people, but I don't love that. Then, Oh, I've got to upload it onto twitter, the video I've got to upload onto Instagram, story, I've got a podcast clip, I got to promote it everywhere, well, a lot, and I feel like I have to do all of that myself because my website steps already so...

...busy doing the website stuff, like anything else, is on me. Like I work so hard. I've I'm averaging these days about four and a half hours of sleep if I'm lucky, which I know is unhealthy, but anxiety and fear, sometimes not, not, sometimes, often, usually daily, get the best of me and it tells me they got to keep pushing it, I got to keep working hard because I'm money obsessed in a way that I never used to do after having children, you know, and I didn't have kids. Oh, I don't care, like all this that whatever. Now it's like how can I make more spend less? Like I am that person, especially because I'm doing it by myself. I don't have a partner to help financially, emotionally, time wise. My mom is a big help, but I make sure to to let her know and she knows and it's a clear delineation. She's the grandmother, she's not my children's mother, so I don't ever expect of her to do anything. She helps. That's always great, but it's always like on a volunteer basis. Never like I'm forcing you to do this, not ever I need you to do this. So, yeah, I don't know. I'm life is like is like a roller coaster. Man, when we come back the best part about being Perez Hilton, the Perez Hilton Porns Dash and the top thirty seven or so reasons that the queer community is not his biggest fan. When I asked Perez what the absolute best moment in his life so far has been, I have to say I was a little surprised by the answer. He didn't mention any moment of fame or attention or a big paycheck. Instead, he said his highest high was when he got to the point in his career that he could employ his family, and that happened a long time ago now. It was I think two thousand and seven. I got to a point then, after three years of doing it all by myself, that I said, you know, I...

...need help. So my mom was struggling because my dad passed away a long time ago and she she was in many ways like a shift a ship adrift at Sea after he died. So I was able to help my mom financially and also help my sister, who both work for me now, and I'd say that was the best thing because I can trust them both implicitly and also it made my family even closer, like they that they live in Los Angeles now instead of having remained in Miami. And you know, coming from about the you know family, family is so important, and for me, family is everything really. You know, that's why I decided that I wanted to have my own family and create that for myself. When his mom first came to Los Angeles, Perez sent everybody up with apartments in a building where he knew he could find more than one unit. It's this place that a lot that people are always moving into. It was called the villas and I spit the see people that own the Palazzo like there's just a lot of vacancies there. So we all moved there and we lived there for a couple of years. After that, Perez bought his first house and rented his mom an apartment across the street to keep her close. Even when he moved to New York for three years, he took his mom with him and found her an apartment in his building. And then when I moved back to Los Angeles, it just felt since I already had my son by that point, and just felt right to make a get her, to get us a place where I could have a guesthouse and she could live at the guest house. Family is the most important thing in Perez's life, hands down. It's number one in the eight pillars of the Hilton family, which, by the way, is not technically the Hilton family. Perez Hilton's real name is Mario Lavandeida, so technically they're the eight pillars of the Lavendida family, but that sounds weird and actually, before we get into the warm and fuzzy family stuff. When I went away to college, my sister got my old bedroom because my old bedroom had...

...its own bathroom and my sister's bedroom didn't have its own bathroom and I didn't know that that change was happening, so I didn't make changes or adjustments, meaning I had a gay horn stash at eighteen, back when it wasn't just a I didn't have a computer at eighteen. Actually I was at that I'm a dinosaur. So I had actually like physical magazines and videos that my sister found, who was a lot younger than me, and then she told my mom and we never had a conversation about that, but I but I knew that it ended up happening. So yeah, that's another thing about that. Pin know families like there's a lot of like. It's like the old military policy, don't ask, don't tell, which we're all very familiar with because of last week's episode with military veteran on that as her name is. But eventually the personal don't ask, don't tell was overturned and Perez decided it was time to officially come out to his mom and I remember the conversation vividly it happened in a car, in her car. I don't know why. A lot of important conversations happen in cars, maybe because it's just like some safe space and it takes you out of the environment that you're at your home or wherever. And I told her mom I'm gay, and then her response to me was, well, you're my son and I love you no matter what because you're my son and I have to love you, which stung a little at the time but in hindsight was really progressive for her cultural background and her religious upbringing and the society we were in at the time and everything. You know, I would have loved it if she said you're my son and I choose to love you and I love you no matter what. But she didn't. She didn't cast me aside, she didn't reject me, she didn't abandoned me, which you know in the s that was still happening, especially in...

...communities of minorities. You know about the you knows black communities, very religious communities. I think in her mind there was a lot of fear, you know, fear that I'd get AIDS, fear maybe that I would never settle down, fear that I wouldn't have kids, and thankfully at least two of those three ended up not happening. We're thankfully I don't have AIDS and I did have kids, but I'm still very single. So, Hey, I don't know if you've gotten the message yet, but family is the number one thing on Perez Hilton's mind. It's it's the most it's what I tell my kids every day when I drive them to school. We go over our eight family tenants, the eight most important things in life, and number one is family. I'm trying to program them, you know, like they're like, they're like animals, are like dogs. If, hopefully, if you train them the right way, they'll end up, you know, not like, not like exactly how you may want them for see, because they're still their own people, but they will hopefully have the core values that you instilled in them. So, yeah, families number one, and then number two is to work very hard. So, like you know, I love my kids and support them no matter what. Dot Dot dot. There's only one thing my kids could do that I would not support or approve or. I mean, I always love them, of course, but I just would not will not tolerate my children being lazy and anything that they do. So you know, I I definitely model a killer work ethic and I and I'll support them and whatever they want to do. But you have to you have to work hard, and that's just because that's what that's what life has taught me.

It's so cliche, it's such it's such a trite expression, but hard work does pay off. I do believe that life has taught me that. So number two is work very hard, number three is listen, number four is don't lie, number five is be healthy, number six is gratitude, number seven is have fun and number eight is breathed. So I feel like that those tools my kids can be successful in any situation throughout the rest of their life. We can't have an interview with Perez Hilton on a podcast about pride without addressing something pretty major, and that is the fact that most queer people, and especially gay men, are not Perez Hilton fans. I know, I'm not going to say I think, I know, that the majority of gay men do not like me, and that's for a variety of reasons. One for purely shallow reasons. If I was extremely good looking, even if I was quote awful, if I was supermodel hot, I could get away with a lot more. And you know, I'm sure the same applies to women as well. If you're a super gorgeous woman, you can get away with a lot more. But I'm not super hot and that works against me a lot in the gay community. Pretty privilege noted. Not only if I was better looking would my relationship with gay men be different, but if and I just and it, you could just, you could. You could correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I'm wrong. Let's say, all of a sudden, tomorrow, and I'm very well aware of what that has to be, but let's say tomorrow I'm on a talk show, either a panel talk show or my own solo talk show, or I'm on a...

Sitcom, and if the talk show or the Sitcom all of a sudden becomes a huge hit, and I'm not just talking if it does, okay, if it becomes a huge hit, then all of a sudden gay men's relationship with me is going to change and it'll be a lot easier to be dating again because I'm quote unquote, hot or extremely successful. Lack of extreme success, I get that. Another reason is because a lot of gay men don't like what I do for a living. They they look down upon it. There's different elements play. It could be elitism, it could be there embarrassed by me. They don't want me speaking for the gay community, like I'm some spokesperson for the Gay Community, which I'm not. I'm just being me and doing me bad spokesperson for the community not wrong. There's also probably some gay men who remember my past when I used to out other gay men, which I don't do anymore and I regret and I wish I could go back in time and not have done that. So I acknowledge that outing is not cool. Glad to hear it addressed. There's also other gay men who probably are big fans of maybe a certain diva or two or three that I've had a falling out with, and therefore they're going to pick sides. Conflicting loyalties. Interesting. Maybe there's still there's also some internalized home of there's some self hate going on, like there's some gay men who think I'm too gay, like if I post a silly video of myself dancing, gay men will lead me the most homophobic hateful comments like electric care or this is what I see when I have sleep paralysis or I want to pour bleach into my eyes,...

...and so on and so forth, and I could keep going, but I just giving you a ton of reasons why most gay men don't like me. And I have can I own it and I accept it and I know that most of it is my own doing, self reflection. I like it, but I do remain hopeful and optimistic that love is out there for me and I know that I am a good man. I know that I'm a great partner. I have been in the relationship and ships that I've been in and I'm just going to wait and that person who's really strong, who will who will be able to weather the judgment and persecution of even his own friends for dating me and get to know the real me. I'm somebody who is kind, loving, a great, thoughtful, considerate, loyal partner and and I'm and I'm and I'm excited for that to happen, when it happens, if it happens, and I also am comfortable with the possibility of that never happening. That's fine. I live a full life. I've got kids that adore me and I adore them. I've got five hundred jobs that I love. You know, I I'm I'm not perfect and I still make mistakes, but I think I've grown and matured and I I do better and I'm constantly trying to do better. In a minute, what the future holds for Perez, plus failures from the past and a quote from a previous interview, borrowed and bedazzled on pride. So what are you working on right now in addition to...

...all of these? You know you have a lot going on, but is there anything that you want to talk about right now that you are in the process of working on? Well, in addition to my two youtube channels and my podcast, I'm also working on a book, which it's just like everything else in show Biz. I'm working on a book and I'm working on three potential TV deals. I've been around the block long enough to know that of all those four things, none of them may end up happening, but I just pray to God that one of the four ends up happening. You know, out of the three TV opportunities, one seems very promising, so fingers crossed, and hopefully the book can happen as well. Some people like to keep hidden their failures not me. I failed consistently repeatedly throughout my career and frankly, a lot of people consider me just a one big failure. But Hey, fifteen years later I'm still here and I'm chatting with you, so thank you for the opportunity to maybe be understood better or just have whatever negative perceptions people have, I'm made reinforced. I don't know. It could be one way or the other, but I'm still here, I'm still doing what I love, I'm still able to make a living and having fun along the way. But but yeah, I don't know. I would love for this book to happen because last year I tried to sell a book that didn't happen. So you know, that goes back to what I said. Like I'm not a quitter, I just believe in hard work. Okay, last year's book on health and Wellness and fitness didn't work out, which I was very passionate about. This year I'm working a book that's, let's say, a little more scandalous, a memoir of autobiography that will have a lot of juicy celebrity stories in it, and hopefully that that will get some bites. But if none of that happens. You know, I'm just going to keep going.

Last November, Justin Moran Interviewed Perez for Paper Magazine. The article ended with a quote that when something like I know this is going to Piss a lot of people off, but I'm always going to have a career, I'm always going to work, I'm always going to be around because I'm Perez Hilton, and not that to my own horn, but I'm a fucking icon. That's the first time I curse. But just to make a statement, I don't really take myself that seriously. I don't really think my shit don't stink. My Shit stinks. I'm very well aware of it, but I also know I do have talents. I am good on radio, I'm good on my podcast, I'm good on television. You can take me out of the context of what I do, and I work live. I work in many different ways. I've also done a lot of acting recently. I tomorrow I'm going to go and work on a song. This for Shits and Giggles, I'm releasing a song. Hopefully I think it'll happen. The guys are legit songwriter, producer who hit me up and I'm like God, that sounds like a lot of fun. Let's do that. So yeah, I feel blessed. I feel blessed and and you know, accepting of my baggage. Everybody has baggage. Mine is just maybe more public and heavier than a lot of other people's. How do you feel about Perez Hilton now? Still Love Him? Still hate him? Has He redeemed himself? If you want to keep up with him out of support or out of anger, there are a lot of different mediums to get your fix. Check out pred Sultoncom every day, because I think people are having information overload in this day and age. There's just so much social media and I still believe my website is important, even more important than ever, because it could be your onestop destination for everything pop culture. That includes politics and current events and silliness and wackiness. And if...

...that's even overwhelming for you, I launched a newsletter this year so you can get it all directly to your inbox. Perez newslettercom. Sign Up. Obviously everybody listening to your show likes podcast. You could check out mine, the pered Sulton podcast with Chris Booker, on Apple podcast or directly at Perez podcastcom. We talked about everything pop culture. But what's great about it is that usually on podcasts you if you have a cohost, it's somebody who is a like minded individual talking about your shared common interest. Well, my podcast co host is this straight dude from West Virginia and we disagree about everything basically, which makes the really compelling contents. You can listen to the present podcast Chris Booker, on Apple podcaster directly, a press podcastcom I've got my pop cup, my pop culture youtube channel, which is youtubecom Perez Hilton, where I do daily recap videos, and then I've got a family and personal channel which shocking crazyly, my my pop culture channel on Youtube has hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but my family channel, with less than Fiftyzero subscribers, gets more views. Family content does really well on Youtube and I also talk about wellness, on their dating or lack of dating. I talk about, you know, anything that I may be going through just personally. And of course I'm on every single freaking social media platform myself and the website. I'm the Perez Hilton and the Websites Perez Hilton. We're on Instagram, facebook, twitter, Tumbler, snapchat, and tick tock and I'm obsessed with Tick Tock. I'm are you on Tick Tock? I am, I just need to get better at it'm on there to follow me? I'm I'm at Perez Hilton. On there. That's the only one where it's I'm using my at Perez Hilton One. Everyone else, I'm on the Perez Hilton. I love it. I love it because what's different about it is it really makes everybody almost equal.

Like on the discover page, I get fed quote non selebs just as much as I do the selebs that I follow on Tick Tock, and I love that and it really inspires people to be creative and create content. Super Fauna. I'm the okay boomer on there. Thanks for listening. Pride is a production of Straw out media. If you like the show, leave us a rating and a review on Apple, podcast, spotify or wherever you're tuning in from. Share us with your friends, subscribe and follow us on Instagram, facebook and twitter at pride. You can follow me at leave by chambers. Pride is produced by me, Maggie Bowls and Ryan Tillotson, edited by Sebastian Alcohom well, you got to be active on Tick Tock. INSTAGRAM is dying. Don't say that.

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