Perez Hilton’s cash grab memoir: The shadiest details to boost his net worth
Perez Hilton is no stranger to controversy. The blogger has made a career out of airing out celebrities’ dirty laundry, and his new memoir TMI: My Life in Scandal is right on brand. The memoir features hair-raising stories involving some of the biggest actors & musicians in the world, which is why some fans are deeming it a “cash grab” release.
Cash grab or not, TMI is going to boost Hilton’s bank account. Hilton has an estimated net worth of $20 million and Celebrity Net Worth confirmed that most of his earnings came through ad revenue & site traffic. At his most popular, Hilton’s ad prices were as high as $45,000 per week.
Hilton’s decision to release a memoir is a guaranteed payday. His insight into celebrity culture and his salacious accounts of celebrity meltdowns make him the perfect source for gossip-ready readers. The fact that TMI is Hilton’s first memoir makes it even more valuable for publishers.
Memoirs for money
Trish Boczkowski, the editorial director for Crown Archetype, stated that the celebrity memoir is a wildly lucrative business tool in 2020. Some celebrities are able to secure a $1 million advance if they promise to discuss particularly salacious periods in their lives. “The unguarded nature of this new brand of tell-all takes a relationship with a celebrity to a deeper level,” Boczkowski explained.
“There’s something you can get out of a book that’s really personable and relatable,” Boczkowski added. “It’s a [singular] experience to engage with an idol like that. It’s become kind of a tried-and-true formula. If you just look at the numbers on [Nielsen] BookScan between Lena Dunham & Amy Poehler— they all hit the high-six-figure-to-one-million-copies [sales] mark.”
Wild celebrity encounters
TMI is not the first time Hilton has tried to write a book. He told BBC that he originally pitched a book on health and wellness but publishers failed to see the appeal. “The book came about because I was trying to sell another book, unsuccessfully, about health and wellness,” he revealed. “That’s when I tried to turn my lemons into lemonade.”
Hilton’s experiences are more akin to tea than lemonade. The blogger claimed he went to a club with Jessica Simpson & John Mayer in 2007 and that the latter came on to him in front of Simpson. “Everything happened very quickly after that,” Hilton wrote. “John leaned in close and pushed his tongue into my mouth, and before I knew what was happening, he was full on making out with me. I decided to play along.”
Hilton also recounted an instance where he got into a yelling match with Miley Cyrus in 2010. Hilton posted an upskirt shot of the teenage Cyrus on his blog and she confronted him about it at a Los Angeles theater. “‘What the f–k were you thinking?’ she shouted, making everyone around us turn and stare,” Hilton wrote. “She continued, telling me exactly what she thought of me and my website, and I replied as best I could.”
Despite its salacious material, Hilton expects TMI to underperform. “I expect my book to not do well, in terms of sales,” he claimed. “And I’m fine with that, because it’s not a reflection on me at all.” The blogger-turned-author explained that he’s on the other side of fame and is no longer part of the cultural zeitgeist in 2020.
TMI is Hilton trying to establish the second phase of his career as an elder statesman. He told BBC that his mistakes and his scandals have made him wiser than his teenage competitors. “I get it, I’m not hot right now. I’m sixteen years into my career,” he added. “But while I might not have the heat, I have a lot more to offer. I have a whole life that [teens] haven’t quite lived yet.”