Perez Hilton on His "Kardashian Kleanse," the Grown-Up Gawker and All the F—s He Doesn't Give
Ahead of his Kim K. hunger strike, the gossip king still has plenty to say about America's first family — Kim's hormones even get a mention.
Move over, gluten. It's now all about the Kardashian-free lifestyle. Blame it on Perez Hilton, the Walmart of celebrity gossip, and his much-ballyhooed "Kardashian Kleanse." Hilton has proposed a five-day media blackout (beginning Aug. 17) on the extended Kardashian-Jenner clan. He maintains there is no animus behind the decision — he was just in desperate need of a detox. But Kim Kardashian has failed to find the humor in the campaign. After hearing of the Kleanse, she unfollowed Hilton on Twitter and later approved a social-media poll asking if his character should be deleted from her smartphone game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter had a few questions for Hilton on his Special K diet, the Kardashians themselves and — while we had him — his thoughts about the kinder, gentler Gawker.
What spurred the Kardashian Kleanse?
Well, it all started to really percolate for me with Kylie Jenner’s birthday, and I found myself guilty of excessive coverage of her birthday. Everything from the birthday dinner or Caitlyn and Kris Jenner reunited to [rapper boyfriend] Tyga giving her one car or another car. The party itself. All the guests and, like, the evolution of her look and all of these things about her damn birthday. And then I saw the video of that news anchor in Florida refusing to talk about the Kardashians, and that’s what really struck a nerve with me.
I actually am a Kardashian fan. But I found myself at a point where I started to become sick of it. And I realized I need to do something about this. I know Kim has not been a fan of this.
When did you first sense you'd angered her?
When she unfollowed me on Twitter. But me, being Perez Hilton, knew that that was actually an awesome thing. I was like, "Oh my God — she unfollowed me on Twitter. I need to let everybody know this happened, because that makes my Kardashian Kleanse even bigger!" And it did. It made it into an actual story and not just me going rogue for a week. Then after that it was her video game posting on their social media that they were putting it up to a vote of their players to decide on whether or not to remove me from the game, which I thought was equally awesome, if not more awesome, because that heightens it even more.
Were you surprised at her reaction?
They’re missing the boat completely, and the boat was the opportunity to have fun with it all. To me, this is all in celebration and fun and also important and healthy and needed. Cleansing and detoxing is a part of a healthy diet. Once this week is over, my goal is to reintroduce them to my diet in a more balanced way. This isn’t anything new. I remember back in 2007 or 2008, the Associated Press decided to do something very similar with Paris Hilton. Although theirs was not a temporary cleanse: Theirs was a permanent ban. I don’t want that. But I don’t need to f—ing be reporting that Kylie Jenner got a f—ing pet — you won’t use all of this cursing — but I don’t need to be reporting that Kylie Jenner got a pet bunny and named her bunny Bruce.
But isn’t that kind of stuff your bread and butter?
Yeah, but I am also an arbiter of what I think the people want, and the thing is that people are telling me, "Hell, yeah, I’m down with this." After I made this declaration, I would say 90-plus percent of people have been supporting my decision.
What’s going to fill the void?
It’s just going to happen organically and naturally. Other things will fill the void. This isn’t anything new. It’s how news works. I remember when I first started blogging 11 years ago, it was all about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, every single day for years. And then that died down. The Kardashians are in that white-hot heat thing right now, for a variety of reasons. It's the fact that Kim’s pregnant. I think her getting together with Kanye really turned their ship around. Not that it was going south, but it could’ve just kept going, you know …
Into the sunset …
But because of Kanye, it elevated them to a whole other level. I mean, Kim used to be a leper in the fashion community, and now they embrace her and she’s on the cover of Vogue, and that’s all thanks to Kanye. And her being associated with him was good not just for her, but for her entire family. It’s this whole tribe. It’s actually a little overwhelming. But like I said, Brad and Angelina were all over the place and nowadays we barely talk about Brad and Angelina. Other things will pop up. Other things will be eventful. And on my site, I’m going to feature women from all over the world doing inspiring work.
Do the Kardashians do any kind of legitimate philanthropic work?
It’s easy for one to be cynical. Because they document everything, one questions motives. You know, like Kylie Jenner for her birthday weekend, she kicked off things by volunteering somewhere. But of course, E! News instantly ran an article on it, and it was, I’m sure, all arranged ahead of time to give her positive press. Kylie Jenner truly was the breaking point for me. Not just her appearance. It's more about her attitude. And I found myself sucked in too much.
I started following her on Snapchat because she got a Snapchat this year. I kept telling myself, "Why am I watching this? I don’t like this girl. In fact, I find her obnoxious." I’m not saying she’s a bad person. I’m not saying anything other than I personally don’t want to follow her on Snapchat. It’s literally annoying the f— out of me, and it’s like a toxic-ness in my life.
Did you see when she posted about chemtrails?
Chemtrails? What are you talking about?
It’s a conspiracy theory. Toxic agents in the atmosphere spread by airplanes.
Oh, no. I f—ing never followed her on Instagram. I only followed her on Snapchat. I didn’t hear about that, but I’ve talked about this on my podcast: Kylie, to me, is screaming "Help me!" to her family, and nobody seems to be helping. She’s crying out for attention in an unhealthy way. In my un-expert opinion, she is a lot like Kim, or has learned from her playbook, and she’s like, "I need to do all of these things to get talked about." And, in many ways, it’s working. Oh my God, I’m f—ing over this conversation already. Like, talking about them this much is making me a little queasy.
You’ve got to binge before you’re cleansed.
I know. I said that, too, and people were like, "Let’s start the Kleanse now!" I cannot wait for Monday.
What’s going on with Kim’s marriage to Kanye?
I don’t know the ins and outs of their relationship. I can only speculate. But I always said this: If you go back and Google or search interviews that I’ve done, I always said there was no way, guaranteed, that Kim would divorce Kanye until she got a second baby out of him. And after the second baby comes, then there might be a different scenario that plays itself out in the future.
Why two babies?
I just know her so well. She’s like, "I need two out of him." For many reasons. Like, one, the cynical reason is she wants more money from Kanye if they were to ever break up. And two, the more altruistic reason is Kim has always wanted a family. So one kid would not have been enough for her.
Are they in love?
They seem in love, but like so many superstar couples they spend so much time apart and they spend so much time traveling, and it’s really difficult to sustain a relationship when you spend so much time away from your partner.
Is Kim changing, physically?
She has, over the years, yeah. The interesting thing is that nobody has asked Kim if she’s had any work done recently. I don’t think she’s ever revealed what work she has had done, and it’s almost a little hypocritical because the media has harped on Kylie getting all this work done, but they haven’t asked Kim, "Have you gotten your nose done, have you gotten your lips done?" I don’t recall her ever being specifically asked those two things in interviews. But what I think she has said in the past is that a lot of what she does is contouring and makeup.
Didn't people spend a lot to see her makeup artist demonstrate on her?
Yes. It was very expensive. (Laughs.)
So she says it’s all makeup.
I know that she has said that. I think in the past, the very early beginnings of her rise to fame, she was asked about having butt implants, which she denied. But a lot of people are dubious about her denial. Denials, plural.
Are the Kardashians ultimately bad or good for the greater cause of transgender acceptance?
I think it’s been nothing but positive for the transgender community, but like anything, the newness has worn off, and there seems to truly be this collective moment in the world, or this collective consciousness moment of everybody saying, "We need a break from the Kardashians and the Jenners."
Do you talk to any of them?
Yeah. I mean, Kim and I would chat regularly. We haven’t talked about this, and I didn’t feel the need to reach out to her after she unfollowed me on Twitter. I don’t care.
Do you think she’ll reach out?
No, and I don’t care if she does or if she doesn’t. To me, I didn’t do anything bad or mean. If I did something hurtful, that in hindsight I could think how she would see it as hurtful, then I would reach out. But to me this is just silly, good fun and a real moment to take stock.
It’s seems very sensitive of her to react that way.
Well, she’s pregnant, so she’s extra hormonal. You know, I genuinely am not hurt by it and don’t take it personally and I’m not upset at her in any way, just like I hope she’s not upset at me in any way.
How about you and Lady Gaga? You've had your issues. Are you guys OK?
I wouldn’t say we’re OK. After I got out of that Celebrity Big Brother house, I texted her and I emailed her. I was like, "You know what — I’ve been through something very traumatic and I’ve left this experience with a lot of empathy for people and those dealing with difficult situations." A few years ago she was dealing with a very difficult situation of being "it." She was the most famous person on the planet and she was the hottest thing in music, and it can be a really hard adjustment process for folks, dealing with fame at that level. Not everybody is equipped to handle it as well as others. Somebody like Taylor Swift, who is that now, has had years to get accustomed to fame and to get to that level. It didn’t happen as quickly for Taylor Swift as it did for Lady Gaga. So yeah, I reached out to her and I was like, "Listen, we’re cool. I don’t have any ill will toward you. I’ve let go. I forgive you and I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt you likewise, so be it."
Is there anyone else you would cleanse from? Taylor Swift, for example?
No, I can’t get enough of Taylor Swift! Until I reach the point where I might think I need one. (Laughs.) But until then, I live for Taylor Swift.
How much are you blogging the site yourself these days?
I have a staff, but I still work insanely hard. And it’s really difficult, the more things I do, like the podcast and [Full House! The Musical in Toronto]. I literally am glued to my phone, sending notes, texting, because sometimes, I can’t even get to email, so I’ve taken to just texting my notes.
What do you make of Gawker becoming "20 percent nicer?" Would you say you were way ahead of that curve?
I’m happy about that. I applaud them. I mean, I also was baffled slightly — not even slightly, f— that shit, I like to keep it real — disgusted by Gawker's staffers. They have this super-elitist, snobby, holier-than-thou attitude. Like, there is no other job where the employees think they’re above the bosses. Bosses are the ones calling the shots, as they should in any organization. And if you think you’re above your boss, that’s not reality. That shit ain’t going to fly anywhere else.
So if Nick Denton decided — the man who f—ing founded Gawker — if he decided, "This is what I think is best for my brand, my company, my baby," then that is awesome and I applaud him, because he’s older than me. Everybody reaches a certain point on their own, organically, or they don’t. I applaud him for quote-unquote growing up.
A lot of people choose to be Peter Pan for their whole lives. I am childlike and playful, but I grew the f— up. I grew up. I realized, "You know what? The way I’ve been doing things isn’t right anymore," and I was listening to the universe and listening to how people were responding to what I was doing and made a change. And I applaud his change and I think it’s awesome and I encourage him. And it’s disappointing that his staffers were not encouraging of that. So f— them. But I applaud Nick Denton and I think it’s great.