Fifth Harmony star Lauren Jauregui has opened up about being “outed” by Perez Hilton in a new interview.
At the end of 2016, fans of the singer were surprised to see the hitmaker kissing her then-girlfriend in a viral social media post.
But rather than being shared on her own social media channels, the photo was tweeted by the gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
“Why are @FifthHarmony fans being so extra so over this photo of @LaurenJauregui (in the red) kissing another girl? NBD!” he wrote.
Shortly after the tweet made its rounds, Lauren publicly came out via an open letter to Billboard.
“I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it,” she wrote.
The singer opened up about the experience during her appearance on the latest episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans.
“I was at my uncle’s wedding in New Orleans and my aunt very innocently posted the photo from the photo booth on her Facebook page,” she explained.
“My fans are just a little wild and they found the pictures of me and my girlfriend kissing.”
Lauren went on to say that Perez “definitely outed” her and said that her “own process was violated”.
“I wasn’t ready. I’m also Latina, and there was that looming feeling of, ‘What is my community going to think about me? Are they even going to accept me?’” she said.
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“I know that my family obviously accepted me but was that something that they were willing to deal with on a public scale?”
Later in the interview, the Expectations artist said that she wasn’t out to everyone in her family before the viral post.
Shortly after the show aired, Perez released a statement to YouTube and said he isn’t “sorry” about tweeting the photo.
“When I apologize for something – it’s because I mean it and am genuinely remorseful. I am NOT sorry for that tweet about Lauren Jauregui,” he wrote.
“That was not “outing” her. All I did was send out a tweet talking about the leaked photo. I don’t regret that. I never claimed or presumed anything about her sexuality.”
The pop star has also released a statement following the release of the episode and said that she was “speaking about these things from a healed place”.
In a series of tweets and a separate comment on GAY TIMES’ Instagram, Lauren pointed out that she didn’t want to “rehash” drama but rather contribute to the conversation of cyberbullying.
“With that said, bringing awareness to such a topic would be completely in vain if we took this opportunity to send hate and nasty shit to anyone,” she said, seemingly referring to Perez.
“It doesn’t matter who they are or what was done, returning venom doesn’t solve anything and it contributes to this nasty culture of anonymously telling someone to harm themselves or sending them harmful things.”
Read Lauren’s comment below.
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Check out the full episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans below.