Spencer Pratt Says He and Heidi Were Once as Big as Taylor and Calvin

The reality star admits he sometimes misses the fame

Photo: Andrew Southam

In 2009, there was TomKat, Brangelina and Speidi.

Spencer and Heidi (Montag) Pratt, the villainous stars of MTV’s The Hills, were ubiquitous in the Hollywood scene – gracing magazine covers, hosting nightclub events and followed by the ever-present paparazzi.

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris? That was us,” Spencer tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We were that for a moment, so to feel so different now, it’s like, ‘Wow.’ “

It was in 2009 that things began to go south for the couple, who also wed that year. Heidi and Spencer left The Hills and made a series of poor financial decisions that ended up nearly ruining them – and tarnishing their star quality.

“We were so famous, and now we’re so not,” says Spencer, 32. “To see both sides of it is really eye-opening.”

For exclusive photos and much more from Heidi and Spencer, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Now, “I almost miss the haters,” Spencer admits. “Because if I don’t see them I’m like man, I’m irrelevant for real.”

Still, he says he’s a champion for celebs like the Kardashians. “I love success, especially for reality stars,” says Spencer with a laugh. “So when I see Kim getting millions of dollars, I know it’s just eating haters alive. And I enjoy it!”

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