More: You have admitted to abusing drugs.
WW: Yes. It is all a part of the cleanup. You take a long hard look in the mirror and say, “You have so much potential—don’t waste it.” I was raised in a loving household in New Jersey. I had so many advantages that people don’t particularly have. A black woman, I had two parents who are not only college graduates but have master's degrees. My older sister is an attorney and my brother is a schoolteacher. I mean, I was raised in a solid middle-class lifestyle and yet here I was screwing it all up with a drug habit.
More: Many people might think, how did a kid who grew up in such a positive household get hooked on drugs?
WW: Access. I grew up in Ocean Township, New Jersey, where there were plenty of drugs. When you ask why did I do it, the answer is, because I could get away with it.
More: After the passing of Whitney Houston, you were quoted as saying, “It's been almost 15 years since I smoked last from a crack pipe and it's been almost 15 years since I waited on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx for my drugs.”
WW: Yes, that was my reality.
More: Did something happen that encouraged you to get clean and sober?
WW: I just looked in the mirror one day and decided I wanted more for myself, so I stopped. I decided I didn’t want that lifestyle anymore. I just stopped and never looked back.
More: Just like that?
WW: I have never been tempted to go back, and yes, I know I will always be labeled as that. I am fine with all of that. The more of us who get clean and pass the message, maybe the more people will follow in our footsteps and get healthy too.
More: Because kids learn so much from the Internet, have you shared your history with your son so he gets it from you and not from downloading a published report?
WW: My son knows the score with me. My husband and I sit and talk to him. We don’t give him more information than he can handle. If he comes to us with questions we give him a straight answer. When I talk to him about drugs, I tell him there is no way he will be able to pull one over on me if he tries them, because I did it and will be two steps ahead of him in terms of what to look for.
More: I read somewhere you said, “That is a period I can now laugh about.” Can you explain why this is now a laughing matter?
WW: The drugs are sad, but some of the antics and the time I sat waiting in my car or standing at a pay phone are comical to me. I remember being paranoid, which to me is now dark humor. Look, you have to find the humor in your escapades and know that is not the same person.
More: You are also being an advocate, encouraging people to steer away from drugs.
WW: I have spoken to many people about the perils of being caught up in addiction. I would love to be a national spokesperson for “Just Say No.” I want someone from Washington to call me up and point me in the direction they need me to go. Look, drugs are not a black thing or a white thing. They destroy anybody and everybody who uses them!
More: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
WW: With no ego being involved, just a woman who knows the struggles she went through to get to where she is today, I am very proud of myself. I am proud of what I have accomplished in my career, I am proud of the relationship I have with my mother and father. I am a responsible member of my community, I am a devoted wife and mother, and through it all I got people laughing. I really feel like a survivor, so no matter what you throw out at me, I will survive it!
More: I read a report that stated Howard Stern has been labeled the King of All Media while Wendy Williams has been labeled the Queen of All Media.
WW: Isn’t that fabulous? I’ll take it. (laughs)
The Wendy Williams show will begin airing new episodes on September 10.
Click here to read We Investigate Mary McDonnell from Major Crimes.