ToDiForDaily.com‘s Kinsey Schofield talks to entertainment news vet Perez Hilton about Tom Bower‘s new Meghan Markle book, Revenge. Perez believes Prince Harry always wanted an out and Meghan isn’t necessarily to blame. Plus, the blogger and podcaster gives us the scoop on a new Princess Diana exhibit in Las Vegas.
You can listen to the full interview wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Otherwise, we are still on YouTube!
Kinsey Schofield: Hi guys, thanks so much for listening to the To Di For Daily podcast. I am so excited to be talking to Perez Hilton. When I started following you, you were blogging at a coffee shop… and now you are a TV personality. You are a podcast host, you’re still a blogger. You’re a dad, you are an author. You’re a fitness enthusiast. Your life has evolved so much. It’s so exciting to see this journey for you, Perez!
Perez Hilton: Well, first of all, you’re a real OG. Thank you. I appreciate you so much. And for those of you watching, I’m staying at an Airbnb in Las Vegas right now. So I don’t have a fancy background, but I’m very happy to be chatting with you.
KS: Oh, I think it’s fancy enough for me. I’m just so excited to talk to you. You’re not going to remember this but you uploaded a picture of me brushing my teeth with an Edward Cullen cut-out that said we love Perez on the side a million years ago.
PH: Oh, I remember I used to do those every Friday. Yes, yes!
KS: I woke up and I was thrilled. So what a treasure to get to talk to you. Can I ask you really quickly… breaking today… I want to talk to you about Meghan and Harry but Tom Bower has a new book coming out. He’s an investigative journalist in the UK. Super respected. He’s also an attorney and the subjects that have sued him when he writes about them… he’s never lost a case. He has written a new book about Meghan Markel called Revenge. And in the book, he says that the Queen said, when she found out that Meghan would not be attending Prince Philip‘s Memorial early this year, she said, ‘Thank goodness.’ Now, something we don’t typically hear from the Queen. Do you have a reaction to that?
PH: I would think that Her Majesty would, or could, say something like that because she is a traditionalist through and through and she would not want drama overshadowing that somber, special occasion. You know, even though he was much older in life, and I’m sure that they anticipated that it would happen, it was still her lifelong partner. And it’s fascinating a few things… first… since we are on a royals podcast… but we’re speaking in English right now… I thought it might be interesting for your audience to know that just like Americans are interested and fascinated by the British Royal Family… there are many Latinos and Spanish speakers that are also very interested in the Spanish Royal Family. And there’s a lot of drama there. Let me tell you, oh my God, they actually put the British Royal Family to shame. The former Queen hates the current Queen… the former King abdicated which Queen Elizabeth would never abdicate. Now he’s living in exile because he was a scammer. So much drama.
KS: Was crypto or Bitcoin involved in that scandal?
PH: I don’t think… it was a few years before that. I don’t know the exact details. I think maybe stealing from the government? I don’t know. I don’t know. So don’t quote me on that. I am not as obsessed as like my mother. But I know it through osmosis and chatting with her. So she fills me in.
KS: Hilarious. So, the very first time I interviewed you, thank you for that, by the way, it was when your book came out. You said, you know, Harry and Meghan might struggle here in America because they’re not necessarily exciting. They’re, they’re kind of boring. And I wanted to ask you, do you feel like Spotify and Netflix are thinking the same thing right now? When is the last time you saw a celebrity get handed such a big check for content and the content not come to fruition? For years upon years upon years? Is that normal?
PH: Well, I think that they got very lucky in the timing of everything. Because if Meghan and Harry tried to get a deal like that today… I think it would be near impossible for them. They both were able to secure huge paychecks from Netflix and Spotify in a time when both of those brands were giving out huge paychecks, as we’ve seen this year, both Netflix and Spotify are going through a lot of changes. And Netflix is no longer, especially, handing out those ginormous paydays because they’ve taken a huge hit.
And you know, they’ve got that show on Netflix that’s coming out which will be a great litmus test. Because I get what Meghan Markle is going for… inspiring women. But from the trailer that I saw, it looks boring, you know, and they are boring, at least. What, to my expert observation, what Meghan and Harry are doing is they clearly sat down, studied everything that Michelle Obama and Barack Obama have done over the last five years and are modeling themselves after that. Unfortunately for them, they’re not Michelle and Barack and I don’t think they’ve been making as smart decisions as the former president and first lady, for example. You know, Michelle released a program that was geared specifically for children on Netflix. So the expectation of how that will perform and what that would be is different.
I think, you know, the expectation for the Meghan Markel Netflix show is good and not boring. So if it isn’t good… and if it is boring… then that is very bad for her and the Archewell brand.
You know, I’m not being a hater. I am stating the fact. In America, Prince Harry and Meghan Markel are not royals to us. They are celebrities. And unfortunately, they’re boring celebrities. But there’s something about the two of them… and Harry and his family in the UK… the entire royal family that is able to engage people in a very passionate way, especially on social media.
Yeah. So they’re celebrities who are boring but that’s, I think, one of the reasons why their fan base is so passionate… because they make up stories, they make up conspiracy theories. They’re constantly speculating. And, you know, I think a lot of the stories about the British royal family in the UK and about Meghan and Harry… I think a lot of them are BS, to be honest, because, and some of them are true, you know, but a lot of them are BS and they have to be BS. They don’t have to but they are BS because they’re all boring.
I mean, like, how exciting is Kate Middleton? She’s boring too. But I think that that’s her role. It’s her job to say, yes, yes. It’s her job to be the future Queen Consort. And it’s her job to shake the hands and greet all of the people and have meaningless conversations, tons of small talk every single day.
I’ve said this before, you know, I would rather my daughter marry a billionaire than marry Prince George because you have so much more freedom to do whatever you want if you’re a billionaire’s wife as opposed to being the wife of the future king of England.
KS: True. Real talk right there.
PH: Yeah, and the fascinating thing to me is a lot of people want to vilify Meghan Markel. I don’t view her as a villain at all. I don’t particularly like her but I also don’t dislike her. I’m fine with her. She’s like, whatever to me. I don’t think she’s done anything awful. I believe her experiences. She just doesn’t speak to me. However, I think the British royal family knew the moment that Harry got with her… it was over. I think it has nothing to do with her being an actress… and I don’t even think her being mixed race is a huge thing because Meghan Markel is white-passing. Okay. Yes, she has a black mother but she is white-passing. If you didn’t know she had a black mother you maybe wouldn’t even think that she’s half-black herself.
KS: I look at her and all I see is a beautiful woman. Just a beautiful woman.
PH: But had Prince Harry gotten together with a British actress… I think he would still be part of the working royal family because a British woman, I think, would have felt allegiance to the Queen. Would have grown up also knowing what to expect… knowing what job she was signing up for and would not have married Prince Harry if she was not willing to do all of that. But there’s a reason Harry chose Meghan… he wanted an out and he had wanted an out for a very long time… even before her. She was his escape clause. So… I think all the people that, for years now, have been making her out to be this awful person… I think that’s awful. And, you know, families are dysfunctional. Families have drama. That’s normal. It happens that her family has a lot of drama. I do think it’s it’s interesting, though… unless I’m mistaken… you might know more since you’ve got a podcast dedicated to this… but I think Meghan Markel is not only estranged from her paternal family but I don’t know how close she is to her maternal family either. And that, to me, that’s really bizarre to me. Why? Why did you cut off your maternal family too? To their credit, the maternal family has done a better job of keeping silent. They’re not giving interviews, like her half-sister, her half-brother, and her father.
KS: I’m wondering what you see for Meghan in the future? Do you see political pursuits? Or do you think she might go back into acting?
PH: I definitely see her going back into acting. Absolutely. But, it will be: This is my passion project. You know, things that she’s also a producer on that she really wants to get out there into the world. You know, I also just do not see them lasting long… unless they patch things up with the British Royal Family. And after the Queen dies… that might be a moment of reckoning, you know? Who knows how the monarchy will change. But as I’ve said before, Harry has no family here in Montecito. He has no lifelong friends in Montecito. He has new friends, he hobnobs with David Foster and with Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom and with Ellen… I’m sure and with Oprah down the street but he’s in the honeymoon phase of moving. And that’s all fun now… and his children are still very young. I would think eventually there might come a time when he would want his children to have a meaningful relationship with his family… flawed as they may be. So, I do think eventually he will want to move back. The big question is, is she down for the move as well? I don’t know.
KS: My gosh, I’m loving your brain. This is so fascinating to hear you talk about the royals. You need your own Perez Hilton royals podcast… but don’t because then you’re competing with me. Do you think that the American media is is nicer to Prince Harry and Meghan Markel? Did they give him the benefit of the doubt way more than the UK did?
PH: Absolutely. Definitely. To us, they’re boring celebrities. You know, we’re not entrenched in all of that drama here. We watch it, we observe it, we are paying attention but the US media also… just doesn’t have the reach inside the palace and the connections that the UK media has, you know, the British Royal Family is ginormous. The senior royals… not that big… but there are so many cousins and so many people that are chatty and can speak. And also the employees of the palace, you know, speaking to the media. People Magazine here and all of the outlets just don’t have those ins. So we’re not constantly cranking out those stories.
KS: Now, I wondered if it was because they feel like if they are kinder to them… they might get access to them inevitably?
PH: I don’t think we care. I don’t think we care about access.
KS: Oh, really?! I love this. Now, one thing that Meghan was, well, not really accused of… we know now she had a hand in Finding Freedom. One thing that they discussed in that is her ringing up paparazzi and having them come take her picture in Toronto as she’s walking out of the yoga studio. Can you explain…
PH: Nothing wrong with that.
KS: Oh, no, not at all. But can you explain to my listeners, because that’s old school, Spidey and Kim K. For people not familiar with this strategy… can you explain that to to my listeners?
PH: You know, many years ago, Meghan Markel was fourth on the call sheet on a USA Network show. She was not a household name. She’s always been, to my understanding, ambitious, driven, and smart. Personally, I think doing things like that is smart. In fact, Kim Kardashian still does that. Still in 2022. And she’s an A-Lister! You know, we live in such a saturated, crowded, busy, online and social media world and people’s lives being busy that you need to be thinking globally, as you mentioned earlier, like, it’s not just about your TV show. You have to also, you know, market yourself and try to get attention in other ways as well. She had started her own blog too. Why did you start a blog? She wants attention. She’s always wanted attention. There’s nothing wrong with wanting attention.
KS: But do we feel like she no longer wants attention?
PH: I think that’s also a misunderstanding. I don’t think they ever said they were stepping down because they didn’t want the attention. They stepped down because they wanted to be able to call their own shots and make their own rules. Because if you’re a senior working royal, you have to do things how they’ve been done and how the palace does them. And frankly, I respect that. They’re a married couple. They’re their own individuals… they should be able to do whatever they want. And unfortunately, the palace the Queen, how things work… [they] weren’t willing to let them be modern royals and do what they wanted to do how they wanted to do it. So they decided to leave. I get that.
KS: I also feel like that is something Princess Diana would have encouraged too sometimes. Maybe not in the way that it happened. But she was talking about leaving and moving to America towards the end of her life too.
PH: What I don’t get… what’s really interesting to me… and something people don’t really talk about… I don’t understand their decision…. Harry and Meghan’s to quit social media. Why did they do that? And that makes no sense to me. You know, because like I said, they’re just celebrities now and it’s part of your business. It’s part of your brand to have social media. Maybe they did it as a favor to the Queen, or a favor to Prince Charles, or a favor to Prince William because it always entered my mind like… What would the optics be, what would happen if and when Meghan and Harry’s instagram account… let’s say surpassed that of William and Kate? Right? That’s not a good look if the little brother, the spare, has more followers now than the future king. That could be bad for the future king’s ego. [Editor’s Note: I think the Sussexes ceased using social media for their own mental health.]
You know, I think what complicates things too in this situation is ego. We’re dealing with boring people who have ginormous egos. And that’s an awful combination. If you are exceptionally talented, like Adele or Madonna or whomever, you know, I get it. You’re just phenomenally talented. You should absolutely have a huge ego because you are creating phenomenal art… you can sing your face off. But if you were just born into this family and didn’t really do anything to get where you are – other than be born into this family? And if you’re boring… you’re a normal person. Check yourself. You don’t need to have a ginormous ego but the British Royal Family is filled with ginormous egos. That’s one of the reasons why Prince Andrew, for example, you would think that he would happily just fade away into the night as the expression goes, is that how the expression goes? But from what I’ve read, he doesn’t want to fade away into the night. He wants to come back and be a senior working royal. He wants to be back in the mix. Why? Ego!
KS: I miss old Prince Harry. The Prince Harry that was like falling out of bars. I loved that guy. I loved that rebel prince.
PH: That’s still him but he’s grown up also, right? That was a phase he was finding himself and rebelling and he still does rebel. I mean, look, he left now he’s living in frickin Montecito. But I’m glad he’s not falling out of bars. He’s almost 40 years old. You shouldn’t be doing that.
KS: I’m being so tacky but I did I had a crush on that guy. He is a much different, different man. We are coming up on the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. Do you remember where you were when you found out?
PH: A gay bar! I was inside of a gay bar. And we were getting [details] in real-time. Because I remember it was really late at night when we found out and we just turned the music off. It was The Boiler Room in the East Village in New York City and we turned the music off and everybody was just watching the TV. Watching CNN and just crazy.
Actually, I think I have a scoop. I don’t know if it’s a scoop or if it’s been announced but somebody… I’m in Vegas – as I mentioned… somebody told me that next month here in Las Vegas they’re going to be opening a Princess Di exhibit. Allegedly it’s going to be the largest Princess Diana exhibit in the world. And it’s going to be coming out next month or starting next month around the time of the 25th anniversary. And I was talking to my friend and I said, ‘That clearly, probably, has not been approved by Harry and William.’ And that’s a big risk because imagine if or when Harry and William catch wind of this for-profit thing… they might say, ‘This is disgraceful. You’re exploiting our mother. This should be shut down.’ What happens then? But who knows… might actually help ticket sales! They might be doing them a favor if they do that. Who knows?
KS: How can people keep up with you, Perez?
PH: Well, I have a podcast… which is everything pop culture. I have a wonderful co-host who is a thorn in my side but it makes for great, great content. It’s The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker. And you can listen to that at PerezPodcast.com. And I’m all over social media. So just search for me and that’s how you can find me!
The To Di For Daily podcast cover art was designed by famed pop artist, Analy Diego. You can now listen to these interviews wherever you find your favorite podcasts and YouTube. Search To Di For Daily or Kinsey Schofield.