Perez Hilton has admitted he ‘regrets’ the way he reported on Britney Spears following the release of new Hulu documentary about her tumultuous time in the spotlight.
The blogger, 42, expressed guilt over how he covered her breakdown in 2007 and insisted he’s become ‘older and wiser’ since the height of his career as he appeared on Monday’s Good Morning Britain.
Framing Britney Spears explores the dark side of the 39-year-old singer’s fame – detailing her rise as a child star, her mental health issues and her father Jamie’s controversial 13-year conservatorship, which launched the #FreeBritney movement.
‘I regret a lot or most of what I said’: Perez Hilton expressed guilt over how he reported on Britney Spears as he appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday
After being met with criticism from fans, presenter Charlotte Hawkins asked whether the columnist regrets any of the comments he’s made about the musician over the years.
‘I regret a lot or most of what I said about Britney as I’m sure Piers [Morgan] would if he were here about things he’s said in the past,’ the media personality said.
The writer claimed he’s grown over the years as he added: ‘Thankfully, hopefully, many of us get older and wiser.’
Furious viewers took to Twitter to hit out at the TV star’s past remarks, in which he called her an ‘unfit mother’ and featured T-shirts emblazoned with ‘why couldn’t it have been Britney?’ on his site when actor Heath Ledger passed away in 2008.
Controversial: The release of a Hulu documentary about the 39-year-old singer’s tumultuous time in the spotlight has sparked debates about her treatment in the media (pictured in 2019)
Troubled past: Framing Britney Spears explores the dark side of the 39-year-old singer’s fame – detailing her rise as a child star and her mental health issues (pictured in 2007)
Candid: The blogger, 42, touched on how he covered her breakdown in 2007 and insisted he’s become ‘older and wiser’ since the height of his career
They wrote: ‘It went beyond bullying though. I remember Perez showing and laughing at t-shirts that said, “Why couldn’t it have been Britney?” when Heath Ledger died. That’s beyond bullying.
‘Perez Hilton commenting on the Britney situation is wholly inappropriate when he was the frothing cheerleader in chief.
‘Questionable if this is even a celebrity, but @PerezHilton tried selling T-Shirts when Heath Ledger died that said “Why Couldn’t it Be Britney?” and called her an unfit parent.
‘Serious question… Why wasn’t @PerezHilton canceled for his s**t?… PEREZ HILTON owes Britney an apology. WE ARE SORRY BRITNEY.
‘@GMB it’s no good everyone apologising to @britneyspears now that this documentary has come out. This is the problem! I just feel so sorry she’s had to deal with so much hate. @PerezHilton was one of the worst! #FreeBritney.
Harsh: Perez (pictured in 2007) previously called the musician an ‘unfit mother’ and featured tops which read ‘why couldn’t it have been Britney?’ on his site when Heath Ledger died
‘It went beyond bullying’: Furious viewers took to Twitter to hit out at the TV star’s past remarks
‘I remember going on Perez Hilton daily. But when the Britney stories became videos of her crying outside her home with her begging paparazzi to leave her alone i stopped going on the site.
‘I would of been about 17/18 and thinking magazines and blogs were killing her! It isn’t enough to hold Justin Timberlake accountable for pushing the narrative of Britney Spears as a cheating GF who he deflowered…
‘But let’s not forget how horrible Perez Hilton was to Britney during her meltdown in 2007. Because he ruthlessly mocked her through all of it.’ (sic)
Elsewhere in the interview, the TV star defended journalist Diane Sawyer after she was accused of ‘sl**-shaming’ the artist.
Perez – real name Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr. – said: ‘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.
Accusation: A large number of viewers have accused Justin Timberlake, 40, of having a hand in tarnishing the blonde’s image following their 2002 split (pictured in 2001)
Cutting: Viewers branded Diane Sawyer, 75, a ‘sl**-shamer’ for her interview with the artist, in which she questioned her about the breakup and her ‘revealing’ clothes’ (pictured in 2019)
‘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.
‘We need to hold a mirror to ourselves because I look back as recently as last year, Kanye West had several [mental health breakdowns]. Last year, people weren’t leading with compassion towards Kanye West.’
Britney had split from fellow songwriter Justin Timberlake in 2002 following a three-year relationship, and he had accused his ex of cheating on him when he released his hit track Cry Me A River.
And while the Mississippi native had continued to publicly maintained that she was still a virgin, Justin suggested otherwise in post breakup interviews.
Britney was widely seen as the one responsible for the split and interviewer Diane, 75, took an accusatory tone during a past discussion, asking her: ‘What did you do?’
In 2003, Britney sat for an interview with Diane – who played a clip of Maryland’s First Lady Kendall Erlich saying figuratively that ‘if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears I think I would’, a remark for which she later apologised.
The veteran broadcaster appeared to gently justify the harsh and shocking statement – which was made in reaction to Britney wearing ‘revealing’ clothes, which was cited as a bad influence on children.
MailOnline recently contacted Justin and Diane’s representatives for comment.
Justin, 40, apologized to his ex-girlfriend on Instagram earlier this month, 19 years after publicly blaming her for their break up and using his ‘heartbreak’ to promote his music.
In the long post, the Rock Your Body hitmaker said: ‘I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.’
Legal issues: Britney is locked in a legal battle to remove her dad Jamie as her conservator – a role he has had since 2008 after her notorious meltdown