Perez Hilton "carries great shame and regret" for the way he treated Britney Spears. Following the musician's emotional testimony this week amid her ongoing conservatorship battle, which she said "is doing me way more harm than good," Hilton publicly apologized for his treatment of Spears during an interview with Sky News. The blogger had frequently target Spears amid her mental health struggles, in 2007 calling her an "unfit mother" and even making shirts that said "why wasn't it Britney?" in 2008 following the death of Heath Ledger.
Speaking out about his past behavior, Hilton said he takes "full accountability," adding that he "can't say I was just young and dumb." While he believes "we know a lot more now," he said he and "many others" initially were "shocked and alarmed and especially concerned for her young children." He acknowledged that he "did not express myself as well as I could have," saying he did not "lead with empathy and compassion, which thankfully seems like most people now are understanding the severity of Britney's situation." He added, "I absolutely apologize and carry deep shame and regret." In a video titled "My Message To Britney Spears And The Free Britney Movement," which was uploaded Wednesday, Hilton went on to address some of the backlash to his apology.
"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!" he said. "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."
Hilton's apology and subsequent address of the backlash, however, has mostly fallen on deaf ears. In the hours since his comments, social media users have slammed him as "a bully," with one person saying that "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." Several have pointed out that Hilton's controversial and harmful remarks regarding Spears didn't just occur in the distant past, as he called Spears "an embarrassment" and said her struggles were the result of her "party lifestyle" rather than mental health struggles in his memoir, TMI: My Life in Scandal, which was released last year.
Amid his apology, Hilton has also refrained from removing past blog posts about Spears from his site. In a statement to Newsweek, the blogger said he would keep those blog posts as a "reminder and a warning" to readers. He added that in the past, he has removed posts in instances where "celebrities have reached out and said, 'That article caused me pain.' Or their reps have reached out." He said that "typically, I have left my past awfulness up to speak for itself and serve as a reminder and a warning." Hilton said that while he is "ashamed of my past," he is not going to attempt to "scrub it from the internet or pretend it never existed."