When Wendy Williams was going through the roughest parts of her divorce from her ex-husband, as is shown in the Lifetime documentary, “Wendy Williams: What a Mess,” she found that her greatest pillar of strength came from the staff of her talk show. “I rely on everyone here. This is my second family and all I could tell them while I was going through what I was going through is be patient with me. Just be go along to get along, be patient and I’ll make it worth your while,” Williams tells Gold Derby in our Meet the Experts: Television Documentary panel (watch the exclusive video interview above). But even with her talk show family, she still had navigate some tricky terrain during the whole ordeal. “I spent time looking crazy to my staff at my own show. I spent time dealing with a bossy husband who I’m sure people thought that I was, you know, in the worst place in my life, which really I wasn’t. I was plotting and planning.”
“Wendy Williams: What a Mess” chronicles Williams’s journey from a notorious DJ in New York to the leader of an empire that includes her syndicated show “The Wendy Williams Show” and several products including fashion, jewelry and wig lines. The documentary also shows how the host suffered two miscarriages before finally giving birth to her son, Kevin, as well as the turmoil that erupted in her personal life after it was revealed that her husband, Kevin Hunter, had a secret second family.
Williams also lamented how the culture of radio, and specifically New York City radio culture, has lost the status that the medium used to have. “I feel like terrestrial radio is a dying art and even the Sirius XMs and things like that, there are only a few people who are really successful in doing that.” In addition to outlets like Sirius, Williams cited things like podcasts and social media feeds that allow celebrities to build their own narrative and not have to do things like radio. “You know, there’s not enough respect for it. It’s odd. It’s weird. I never thought I’d see this day.”
Williams admits that she feels like she’s in a very good place right now. “Now I’m fully divorced, you know. My family’s back in love with me. My staff and coworkers and people around here, we love each other.” She maintained that she wanted to keep giving her son the best life possible which meant not moving out of New Jersey until after he graduated high school. While her son was the most important thing in that decision, there were some ulterior motives. “I thought that I’ll sacrifice for him now to make him feel bad about it and sacrifice for me later.”
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