Notorious gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who rarely hesitates to gleefully post embarrassing celebrity pictures, says the Jennifer Lawrence photo hacking incident has inspired him to no longer publish nude images of stars on his website.
That’s a surprising move for Hilton, whose extremely popular blog thrives on illicit images of Hollywood figures. In other words, it wasn’t too shocking when his was one of the sites to publish the stolen nude photos of Lawrence over the weekend, which made their way around the Internet after first surfacing on Web forum 4chan.
But Hilton wound up deleting the pictures on Sunday evening after an outcry from readers. He apologized via Twitter: “At work we often have to make quick decisions. I made a really bad one today and then made it worse. I feel awful and am truly sorry.”
Late Monday, Hilton also elaborated with a long apology on YouTube. He explained that he felt pressure to get the photos up quickly when it was clear this was going to be a big story. When people started calling him a “rapist” and “sex offender” for publishing the pictures, he realized it was the wrong move.
“I was never contacted by her publicist or her lawyer,” Hilton said in the video. “I genuinely took the photos down because I stopped and thought about it – and because of you. A lot of you let me know that my actions were wrong. I didn’t even stop to think about my actions.”
(Lawrence’s rep said in a statement there were plans to legally pursue anyone who distributed the photos.)
Hilton said that as a result of what happened to Lawrence, he will no longer post “intimate” photos of celebrities on his website.
He used the example of just last week, when he published a nude Snapchat of 18-year-old Calum Hood (of pop band 5 Seconds of Summer) that went viral. Hood joked about the incident on Twitter, writing, “I’m still just a teenage kid learning from mistakes :)”
Either way, Hilton said, those types of photos are now off-limits. If he sticks to that statement, it would be a rare move for the tawdry celebrity blogging world, particularly for the likes of Hilton’s site, known as the place that publishes anything and everything (with his signature white scribbles all over photos).
“I will just reiterate that I’m genuinely sorry to Jennifer and anybody I’ve done this to in the past. And as a result, I’m going to make a change going forward, because I want to,” he said. “If I wanted all this to go away I would ignore this. . . But I want to do what’s right, I want to be better. I want to do better.”