Out-there radio personality Wendy Williams, whose show, "The Wendy Williams Experience," is New York’s highest-rated weekday syndicated radio broadcast, has made a career out of offending her celebrity guests. She famously hinted that P. Diddy was gay, feuded with Whitney Houston, and told the world that Method Man’s wife had cancer (against his wishes). Now she has made the move to television, hosting a daytime show on Fox premiering July 14. She’ll interview celebrity guests, “from Kim Kardashian to Mario Lopez to Denzel Washington,” and focus on a variety of topics, including her own life. She chatted with New York's Emma Rosenblum.
What’s your show going to be like?
It’s going to revolve around my personality. One of the things that Fox keeps saying is, “We want you to be you.” Funny or quirky or whatever it might be — adjusting my wig, or coming in with one pair of shoes and changing to another. It’s not going to be funny — I’m not like a clown, ha-ha. I don’t laugh and tell jokes.
Will you have to rein in anything about yourself for the show?
That’s the last thing they want me to do. In all my years of radio, I’ve never had an Imus moment. I don’t curse in front of my parents! That’s just how I was raised.
So you’re planning to speak to guests in your typically confrontational way?
This is not the Jerry Springer show, so confrontational is probably the wrong word. I mean, confrontation happens when two people collide. When celebrities get upset, it’s because they’re not necessarily hearing the question correctly. It’s going to be a celebrity-friendly show.
But isn’t that going to disappoint your fans?
I ask questions that real people want to know. I consider myself a Hollywood outsider who has access and can bring things back to your average person.
Are you worried that because you’ve gotten in so many fights with celebrities — Whitney Houston, Method Man, 50 Cent, P. Diddy — no one’s going to want to come on the show?
If that’s true, I don’t know who they are. If you mean someone like Puffy, I talked to him on the telephone last night. He called — it was like talking to the president, 5,000 people patched us in — it was 11:30 at night, my hair was off, and I was watching Inside Edition. And he goes, “Hey girl, congratulations on your show.” And we’re talking about him coming as a guest.
Do you have any regrets about anything you’ve said on air?
No, no regrets. A career is like a house made of toothpicks, and if you remove one, the whole thing might collapse.
You talk a lot about your appearance. Are you worried about how you’ll look on TV?
I’m in pretty good shape, you know? I’ve got a very womanly body, and I haven’t gone on a TV diet. That said, I don’t want any monitors around the set. I don’t want to have to stare at myself and see a fat angle. I’m at the point at my life where I’m like, “Just let it go.”
What’s going on with the lawsuit against your husband, who works as your manager? It claims your husband sexually harassed a former employee of yours.
I would love to talk about it in details, but I can’t. It’s wrapped up in litigation. I can assure you that not one of those allegations is true. My husband and I are happier than ever.
Is it hard to work together?
We have a really good working relationship. On those nights when I come home at 3 a.m. and smell of Champagne and clearly look like I’ve had a good time, he doesn’t have to ask me where I’ve been. He was with me!