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Perez Hilton on Lady Gaga, Funny or Die, and why he's good for gay America

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For the past few months, it seems as if gossip blogger Perez Hilton was involved in a new controversy every week, from his public debate over gay marriage with former Miss California Carrie Prejean to his recent altercation with Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am in Toronto. Hilton, though, is determined to continue building his brand, with a new site and his own music imprint on Warner Bros. set to debut by the end of summer. “Whether you like me or not, I’m not going away anytime soon,” says the 31 year old. “And I don’t care if you like me, I just care if you read my website.” EW sat down with Hilton in his L.A. condo, filled with fan portraits of Hilton, for a revealing interview.

On his friendship Lady Gaga: “I consider her more than a dear friend. I consider her my wife, my sister, my daughter. I‘m so thankful for her success and I feel like I’m succeeding because she’s succeeding. It’s that close of a bond. I saw the potential in her from the very beginning before anyone else.”

On why he’s good for gay America: “I think I am just by the sheer fact of my existence. I know that I personally would have loved to have me around when I was a gay teenager. Because when I was a gay teenager there weren’t that many openly gay celebrities. And I would have loved to have been like, ‘Wow look at that dude. He’s gay. He’s REALLY gay. And he’s successful and he’s not apologizing for that and he seems really happy.’ So I hope that though they may not agree with everything I say that I inspire gay youth to be themselves and to say what they think and to be proud of who they are.”

On the Funny or Die spoof, featuring Breckin Meyer and Zac Efron, of his tearful post-will.i.am encounter video post: “It was funny, but at the same time it was making fun of a violent attack. I wasn’t hurt but I was surprised because I’ve been nothing but glowing about Zac Efron. Maybe I was hurt a little, yeah.”

For more on Hilton, including his much-criticized treatment of Michael Jackson’s death, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly hitting stands Friday, July 10.