Pop Culture Spotlight

Perez Hilton Won't Shut Up

...even though will.i.am, the former Miss California, and every publicist in Hollywood desperately wish he would. Instead, the notorious blogger and controversy magnet is hell-bent on expanding his gossip empire

Perez Hilton | PEREZ HILTON Photographed on June 2, 2009, in Los Angeles (doodles courtesy of Hilton himself)
Image credit: PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFF MINTON
PEREZ HILTON Photographed on June 2, 2009, in Los Angeles (doodles courtesy of Hilton himself)

The most hated man in Hollywood still has his mother make his bed. And do his laundry. And clean his room. Perez Hilton (né Mario Lavandeira) employs his mother, Teresita, as his ''professional mom,'' while 25-year-old sister Barby is his administrative assistant. (His father, Mario, passed away in 1993.) These two help keep the Perez Hilton Gossip Machine running out of his two-bedroom condo in L.A.'s Miracle Mile, a generic domicile coincidentally located in the same complex used on The Hills, one of his favorite targets. But the living room filled with fan paintings of Hilton makes it clear that this is Perez's world — mom and sis just live in it. One portrait pictures the self-proclaimed ''Queen of All Media'' hip-hop style, with a large gold chain that says ''Bloglovin.'' And over the fireplace is the pièce de résistance, a garish painting of Hilton sandwiched between Britney Spears and Madonna, both clad in Marie Antoinette garb, bosoms heaving. Her Madgesty is his role model, says Hilton; when in doubt, he asks himself WWMD — What Would Madonna Do? ''For the majority of her career,'' he explains from his floral brown La-Z-Boy, ''she was as equally hated as she was loved.''

That certainly could be said of Hilton, particularly during the first half of 2009. When he questioned Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean about gay marriage during the pageant this past spring, he became an unlikely hero in the fight for gay rights. But two months later, Hilton was right back to being a villain, after hurling a gay slur, of all things, at Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am and suffering possibly the worst backlash the blogger has seen. Yet with major announcements coming this summer including a record imprint and a new website, the undaunted Miami native is more resolved than ever to move forward and grow his bright pink empire. ''Whether you like me or not, I'm not going away anytime soon,'' says Hilton. ''And I don't care if you like me, I just care if you read my website.''

NEXT PAGE: ''I realize I said the most hurtful word. I don't believe being gay is bad. I'm not homophobic. I couldn't be any gayer and I couldn't be any prouder. I've got rainbow flags shooting out of my eyes.''

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