Perez Hilton feels guilty for giving Britney Spears a hard time in the past.
via Page Six:
The notorious gossip columnist has expressed regret over his brutal past treatment of Britney Spears following the release of the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary chronicling the pop star’s portrayal in the media. Social media was incensed after the series showed Hilton’s actions while the “Baby One More Time” singer was at her lowest point.
“I regret a lot or most of what I said about Britney,” the media personality, 42, told “Good Morning Britain” Monday. “Thankfully, hopefully, many of us get older and wiser.”
The Twitterati had recently eviscerated Hilton for his scathing coverage at the height of his gossip blog popularity, which included calling Spears an “unfit mother” after the umbrella incident with paparazzi in 2007. He had also infamously featured T-shirts sporting the message, “Why couldn’t it be Britney?” on his site when actor Heath Ledger died in 2008.
“Perez Hilton commenting on the Britney situation is wholly inappropriate when he was the frothing cheerleader in chief,” tweeted one critic.
“Once we free Britney, we must imprison Perez Hilton,” another wrote.
Some accused Hilton of only apologizing after his dirty laundry resurfaced. “@GMB it’s no good everyone apologizing to @britneyspears now that this documentary has come out,” they wrote. “This is the problem! I just feel so sorry she’s had to deal with so much hate. @PerezHilton was one of the worst!”
Later on in the interview, Hilton defended veteran journalist Diane Sawyer over a resurfaced 2003 interview in which she grilled Spears over her breakup with then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
“Someone who was talked about in this documentary briefly, Diane Sawyer — a respected journalist, a good woman — but many people are painting her out to be a villain,” said Hilton, whose real name is Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr.
He continued, “I think a lot of fans and folks just want to blame this person and that person, but it’s not as simple as that. There are real, mental health issues at play with Britney Spears.”
The columnist added that the criticism was hypocritical given the less-than-compassionate reaction to rapper and former presidential candidate Kanye West’s recent mental breakdowns.
In the most highly publicized mea culpa, Justin Timberlake said he was sorry for his “ignorance” surrounding the media treatment of Spears following his breakup with the “Toxic” singer in 2002.
Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” video pushed a narrative that Spears, 39, cheated on him and broke his heart.
Speaking from experience — tabloid culture, the media, and everything that came with it in the early 2000s was vastly different than it is now. People live and they learn.