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Perez Hilton has publicly expressed regret over the way he treated Britney Spears during the height of her fame and media attention.
New documentary Framing Britney Spears has shed new light on the way Spears has been treated over the years, including by members of the paparazzi.
A notoriously ruthless gossip columnist, Hilton was particularly vicious when it came to Spears. Following the tragic death of Heath Ledger in 2008, Hilton flogged cruel T-shirts on his website bearing the slogan, ‘Why couldn’t it be Britney?’
Watch the trailer below:
In another grotesque incident, Hilton blasted Spears as an ‘unfit mother’ after she used an umbrella to strike cars belonging to the paparazzi back in 2007.
In the aftermath of the documentary – which has seen a long awaited apology from Justin Timberlake emerge – Hilton has also expressed regret about the way he treated Spears during what had been a difficult time in her life.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Hilton said:
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.
He went on to suggest that he has undergone personal growth in the years since, remarking:
Thankfully, hopefully, many of us get older and wiser.
Elsewhere in the interview, Hilton defended journalist Diane Sawyer, a media figure who has also been widely criticised for her behaviour towards Spears following the release of Framing Britney Spears.
A throwback clip from when Spears was still in her early twenties shows Sawyer grilling the pop star about her relationship with Timberlake. Many of those rewatching the clip felt uncomfortable, regarding Sawyer’s questioning to be disrespectful, as well as an example of sl*t shaming.
Coming to Sawyer’s defence, Hilton said:
Somebody who was talked about in this documentary very briefly was Diane Sawyer, respected journalist, a good woman, but many people are painting her out to be a villain.
I think a lot of people just want to blame this person and that person and 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.
Framing Britney Spears was released in the US on February 5 as part of season one of The New York Times Presents….
The documentary looks at how Spears was treated by the media from the start of her career up until now, with a particular focus on difficulties she experienced in 2008, after which she was placed under a conservatorship.
Framing Britney Spears will be available to watch in the UK on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV on February 16 at 9pm.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
Good Morning Britain/ITV
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