Perez Hilton, online gossip guy, signing copies of Red Carpet Suicide
- 1/6/09 7:00 PM at Borders Books – Columbus Circle. New York, NY.
- 1/10/09 3:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Mall of America. Bloomington, MN.
- 1/11/09 4:00 PM at Borders Books – 16th Street. Oak Brook, IL.
- 1/14/09 7:30 PM at Barnes & Noble – Grove Drive. Los Angeles, CA.
Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr. (born March 23, 1978) is an American blogger and television personality. His blog is Perezhilton.com (formerly PageSixSixSix.com), which he writes under the pseudonym Perez Hilton. On his website, Lavandeira posts gossip items about musicians, actors and celebrities. He often posts tabloid photographs over which he has added his own captions or “doodles.” His blog has garnered both positive and negative attention for its brash attitude, its active “outing” of alleged closeted homosexual celebrities and for its role in the increasing coverage of celebrities in all forms of media.
Lavandeira was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents of Galician ancestry. He graduated in 1996 from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and received his BA in drama from New York University. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he has lived since 2002. He was honored by People Latino in 2007.
Mario Lavandeira graduated from New York University in 2000. Before beginning his blogging career, Lavandeira attempted a career as an actor.He briefly worked as a media relations assistant for LGBT rights organization GLAAD, was a freelance writer for gay publications, worked as a receptionist for NYC gay events club Urban Outings, and was briefly the managing editor of Instinct, a gay men’s magazine. He says he started blogging “because it seemed easy.”
Lavandeira’s angle on celebrity gossip includes an unapologetic desire to mingle with and be a part of celebrity culture. He often describes celebrity awards shows, clubs, and private events he has attended, and posts photographs of himself with the celebrities he writes about under the “Personally Perez” category of his blog. Some have suggested, however, that Lavandeira’s proximity to the celebrities about whom he writes has led to biased coverage on his blog. He purports to have befriended Paris Hilton, the source of his nickname and frequent subject of his posts. It has been noted, for example, that Lavandeira rarely reports on stories or rumors casting Hilton in a negative or unflattering light, and that, unlike most gossip blogs, he often acknowledges and praises her positive achievements. Additionally, Lavandeira has been known to speak out publicly against the discriminatory behavior of celebrities and other public figures. For instance, he called for the firing of Isaiah Washington from ABC television series Grey’s Anatomy for making homophobic remarks and called for his readers to do the same. However, in early 2007, Lavandeira was criticized by the blog The Hollywood Gossip for ignoring racist and homophobic remarks made by Paris Hilton.
Lavandeira often promotes his favorite up-and-coming musicians by posting streams of their songs under the “Listen To This” category of his blog. London-based singer Mika’s 2007 rise to popular success in North America has been partially attributed to Lavandeira’s frequent support. Lavandeira and Mika also claim to be friends.
Success and infamy
On March 11, 2005, within the first six months of Lavandeira’s blogging career, PageSixSixSix.com was named “Hollywood’s Most-Hated Website” by The Insider, catalyzing an initial surge in its popularity which temporarily crippled its server. Lavandeira claimed that on July 30, 2007, a seemingly “ordinary day,” Perezhilton.com had over 8.82 million page views in a 24 hour period. Other sources dispute the reliability of Lavandeira’s traffic claims.
Pop singer Fergie has confirmed that she is referring to Lavandeira in her 2006 song “Pedestal,” in which she criticizes an unidentified person for making negative remarks about her on the internet.
On August 17, 2007, citing exclusive sources, Lavandeira announced the death of Cuban President Fidel Castro, claiming that he was the first media outlet in the world to do so. Although Lavadeira claimed that U.S. officials would be making an announcement within hours, no announcement was made, and no major media outlets verified Castro’s death. The Associated Press later determined that rumors were sparked by a meeting of Miami officials who were to discuss the city’s plans when Castro passes away. Rumors were further fueled by a road closure in the Florida Keys that was due to a police standoff. Castro appeared in an interview on Cuban television on September 21, 2007, “looking frail but sounding lucid,” and mocking rumors of his death.
On September 15, 2008, Terra.com named Perez Hilton as the Hispanic of the Year in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Thank you to Lee, who runs the CELEBRITY BOOK SIGNINGS & EVENTS Yahoo page.
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