How Wendy Williams Got Fierce and Fabulous!

Today, she’s a soaring TV star and a happy wife and mother who’s lovin’ her forties. But to help others, she opens up about her early drug addiction. Read the edited version of our interview with her below

by Ilyssa Panitz • More.com Celebrity Reporter
wendy williams image
Photograph: Karl Giant

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.

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Comments

MaryRose Joyner09.19.2012

Haven't seen her show, but will take a look. Wendy is a strong woman who knows herself.

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