Ever since her early days in the ’90s as a New York radio DJ, Wendy Williams has been telling it as it is. The self-made Williams has used her raw and unfiltered honesty to amass millions of fans (along with some haters), launch a nationally syndicated talk show (which has been airing since 2008), pen a bestselling autobiography (as well as six other books), and ultimately become the savvy media mogul and businesswoman she is today. Williams shares her life story — and she admits it’s a mess — this month on Lifetime in the two-hour biopic film Wendy Williams: The Movie (Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8/7c), and in a deeply personal documentary, The Wendy Williams Story … What a Mess! (Saturday, Jan. 30 at 10/9c).
“It’s my truth,” Williams tells us. “A lot of the documentary was done at my apartment here in downtown Manhattan, where I’m lying on the couch. I laugh, I cry, I eat Doritos and caviar. … It’s just being me.” Here she shares more.
After penning your autobiography, what made the timing right to make this movie and follow-up documentary?
Wendy Williams: It couldn’t have been more perfect. I acknowledged that I’ve written several books and I thought my autobiography was the diamond of all. I told it. I spilled my guts. I was very honest, and I said, “I’m never doing that again.” I liked it, because I gave of myself every day on the radio, and then now with the TV show. I talk honest. And then, this partnership came with Lifetime. Well, there’s not a woman alive that I know that does not enjoy a Lifetime presentation. So I’m a fan, and now I’m part of the family.
When you look back at your career and life, what times would you describe as the happiest or your fondest moments?
Well, in my personal life, it would be having our son [Kevin Hunter Jr.], who’s now 20. … And also, in my personal life, the day that I signed my divorce papers. We gave it a good run. We knew each other for 25 years. We were married 21 years. So, Kevin [her ex-husband] is a thing of the past, and I couldn’t be happier. He’s no longer at the talk show, interrupting, and just being Kevin. I no longer have to turn the key to come in the house and talk to somebody, unless I want to pick up the phone; or cook for somebody, unless I want to cook for myself, which I don’t. It’s always takeout [topics Wendy covers in “graphic detail” in the documentary]. … Another one of the happiest moments of my life was when I got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — and I’m in a good neighborhood. I’m not where dead people are. I’m in the Jason Bateman neighborhood.
On the flip side, what of your darker days will be shared?
Well, my happy days are also my darkest days. It was a dark time being pregnant with Kevin. I had already had two five-month miscarriages, and my husband was in the process of cheating on me. During both circumstances, I found out on my own. … I was on bed rest the whole time with Kevin, and I gained 103 pounds, but I didn’t care. I laid in the bed and watched Lifetime, and HGTV, and all the television stuff. And my credit card was my partner in bed because my husband was usually doing what Kevin does. And so, I’d roll over and order stuff for the baby, and order stuff for my new life, because they always say, “Motherhood changes not just the household with the baby, but it changes the woman.” And that was true. I knew I was going to lose that 103 pounds, but I knew that I wanted to be a good representation as a mother to my son.
Over the years, you’ve had your fair share of controversy, even with celebrities. How do you personally deal with that?
I’m very sensitive. I’ve been sensitive all of my life, but in terms of celebrities, no. You know why? Because I don’t really think of myself as a celebrity. … I’ve seen enough of the celebrity world where I don’t even want to be involved. … Viewers get so connected with celebrities, for whatever reason, maybe they have nobody else to connect to. This is such a celebrity-driven world. It’s scary. I’m not a role model. Now, if you see something that you like in me, then fine, but don’t look at me for the answer.