Perez Hilton launches celebrity family website
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton is in a family way, sort of.
On Tuesday, Hilton is expanding his work of serving up the latest dish on Hollywood stars by launching a new website focused on celebrity families and kids called Perezitos.com.
He will offer parents advice from pediatricians and a wide variety of people he calls "mommy experts" to create original content. He sees the new website as a natural next step after toning down his rhetoric about the stars and broadening his blogging into other domains of health, fashion and fitness.
"It's very exciting because it's just another example of how celebrity news doesn't need to be negative. People love babies and children and pregnancies. People love weddings; people love new couples. It's not just about train wrecks and out-of-control celebrities," Hilton told Reuters.
Hilton, 33, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, rose to fame after launching his celebrity blog, PerezHilton.com, in September 2004. It now averages 200 million page views a month, and Internet traffic monitoring site Alexa.com ranks it 310th out of all U.S.-based websites.
Initially, Hilton made his name by addressing celebrities in a vicious manner, drawing over their pictures and often giving them self-styled monikers such as the term "Maniston" for "Friends" actress Jennifer Aniston. He has also outed gay celebrities like actor Neil Patrick Harris.
But in October 2010, responding to a spate of gay teen suicides and bullying across the U.S., Hilton toned down his malicious style. The change has worked wonders, he said, not just on his site but on his own personality.
"I've had some people say they miss the old Perez but thankfully, the majority of the comments are people embracing this change and direction, and at the end of the day, the reason I made the shift was for myself," he said. "I can still be critical, and I am, and I can still talk about celebrities, but I can do it in a way that's not mean and hurtful and nasty. My new motto is 'be sassy.'" Continued...