MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has stepped out from behind his computer and ventured into the literary world.
He’s penned a children’s book titled “The Boy with Pink Hair.”
Last week, he had a book signing at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. But before that sat down with CBS4’s Shannon Hori to talk about how far he’s come, and his humble South Florida roots.
Perez was born Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr. at Hialeah Hospital 33 years ago. He grew up in Little Havana and Westchester, later attending Belen Jesuit Prep School.
“I was picked on more for being fat than I was for being clearly gay, but in the closet,” Perez said. “You know I went to this all boys school in Miami, no way I could ever have been out.”
He went to New York University on a full scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles, where he was one of the first bloggers, writing and poking fun of celebrities.
He now has five websites, radio shows, a production company, and what he’s most proud of, his new children’s book.
He says the book is about finding what makes you special and then sharing that quality with the world.
Perez says what he misses most about Miami is the food, but has recently changed his diet. He only eats healthy food and watches his portions. He’s lost 80 pounds and even while in Miami, had healthy meals delivered and hired a trainer to help him work out.
He’s also made a change to his popular website PerezHilton.com. After the rash of teen suicides he started reevaluating what he was writing about celebrities on his site.
“After enough people were saying you’re a bully, you’re a bully … it’s a life changing moment,” Perez said. “If this is how I am perceiving the majority of people viewing me, then that must be the truth and it doesn’t jive with my truth.”
He went on to say, “What matters to me is people don’t think I’m making the world a worse place.”
After finding success, he is taking care of the people who mean the most to him.
Perez’s mother and sister live with him in Los Angeles. He even surprised his mother by flying her to Miami with him for the book signing and then treating her to a day at the spa.