Julie Chen confronts liar Matt about his wife’s disease lie

Julie Chen repeatedly asked evicted Big Brother 12 houseguest Matt Hoffman about his lie that his wife has melorheostosis, and got him to at least partially concede that he’s a “scumbag.”

As usual, the version that aired on The Early Show was obnoxiously truncated and over-simplified, because CBS is controversy-averse and its news programs get off on misleading their viewers. (Try not to laugh when the host says that it was a “shocker” and calls Matt and Brendon “the two self-proclaimed geniuses who swear they had a formula to win.” Please.)

The extended interview, which is below, is kind of hard to watch because Matt’s in full-on “I’m the coolest cat ever” mode, slumped in his chair and showing off his camel toe. He’s not phased by a single question and while he is somewhat thoughtful, he still seems to be largely oblivious to how others actually perceive him and the impact of his actions.

Matt insists he was going to donate $50,000 “to the [melorheostosis] foundation,” and told Julie, “I figured maybe, like, awareness was raised, maybe I did something good, or maybe I’m just trying to justify my sleazy actions.” He added, “I kind of felt like a scumbag sometimes,” and says he will “try to make amends” with his fellow houseguests. “I think they’ll be pretty upset,” he said.

Matt said that he almost didn’t tell the lie, and when he did, “I was freakin’ out the whole time; oh man, she’s going to hate me for doing this.” But he took his wife’s letter as validation: “I am really happy my wife had my back because that was my biggest fear.” Obviously, he has no idea the she’s not okay with it.

Julie has proven herself to be a better interviewer in these long interviews, and she challenges him a lot, asking among other things, “you want to continue a friendship with Ragan, so why did you throw him under the bus?” Julie also returns to the lie twice, and even tries to get Matt to be introspective, asking, “Did you learn anything about yourself?” and asked him if he had “any regrets” many times. Matt would only say that he regretted throwing the HOH competition last week, and says the lie “would have gotten me that half-million.”

He also said that Britney is “just evil” and “you can see it in her eyes and her horns,” and Julie keeps pushing him on that, though he isn’t specific. Surprise.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.