Wendy Williams Tears Up While Talking About Her Son, Kevin Jr.

Wendy Williams was honored at retailer Maggy London’s Maggy Loves Moms luncheon April 30, 2016, at the Chester restaurant in New York City.
Maggy London International
Wendy Williams was honored at retailer Maggy London’s Maggy Loves Moms luncheon April 30, 2016, at the Chester restaurant in New York City.
Maggy London International

Wendy Williams is no stranger to anyone. If you weren’t acquainted with her from her years in radio, then you’ve definitely seen her on your TV screen as the dynamic, opinionated and unpredictable host of The Wendy Williams Show.

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At the beginning of 2016, Williams tearfully announced the renewal of her show for the next four years. That easily ushers her into a 40-year career and 11 amazing seasons of her show. Williams has become her own major key. She’s a mogul: From her show to her jewelry line, Adorn, to being a seven-time best-selling author, to her HSN clothing line, to her stand-up (or, sit-down) comedy, Williams is a busy woman.

But of all the hats she fabulously wears, it’s being her 15-year-old son Kevin Jr.’s mother that’s the most fabulous “hat” of them all. Motherhood has its challenges, and Williams is not too shy to call them out, but she says that the rewards are greater.

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The Root caught up with Williams at a Maggy London Mother’s Day brunch, held at the Chester restaurant in New York City, where she was honored. She was very candid about her life as a mother and became super emotional when we chatted about her Kevin. Check out the interview below to see how Williams talks to Kevin Jr. about confrontations with the police, what he’s taught her and how she’s becoming her mother, despite how much she fights it.

The Root: What’s the most rewarding thing about being Kevin’s mom?

Wendy Williams: Having to care about something other than myself. It grounds you—most mothers say the same thing. You can be as famous as you want, but kids at the end of the day just want you to be Mom. My kid’s in the corner over there. [Motions.] He was actually the one who wanted to come along. I said, “Really? It’s a women’s thing,” and he said, “I love hanging out, it’s OK.” But look [Points at Kevin Jr.], he could give a damn, but I love that. He’s so over it. All he knows is mom and that’s really a gratifying thing. When I get home after a big day, I just want to return to normal, and there’s no faster way than a kid doing that to you.

TR: What have you done as a mother that’s something your mother used to do to you?

WW: Well, it happens all the time. I screech and yell like her. I don’t like that part of me. My mother was a screecher and a yeller when we were growing up and I think there are better ways to communicate with kids rather than screeching and yelling. I do negotiate with him—a lot of parents say they don’t negotiate with kids, but I do. OK, if you want this, then I need that. I don’t give allowance. We give trade-offs. I’d like to think my husband and I are fair and open parents with Kevin. He can talk to us about anything.

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TR: How do you explain #BlackLivesMatter to him?

WW: Real raw. Kevin is fortunate that he has a bunch of black men to look to as references, from uncles, to his grandfather, his father—they all represent different types of black men. My dad is like a Martin Luther King; Kevin’s dad, well, he grew up in Brownsville [in Brooklyn, N.Y.]. He’s a little rough around the edges, but Kevin’s got a fine example of various types of black men.

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But at the end of the day, we explain to him, that they all—including your grandfather with all his degrees—can be thrown down on the turnpike and arrested. Nana would have to go and do bail. What we explain to him is, there is no blanket statement when it comes to hate and prejudice. You can’t say all white people feel this way about black people; nor do all black people feel that way about white people.

The conversation about race is an ongoing topic in our house. We’ve explained to him that it’s fine to put your hood up, but if you’re walking from the bus stop and you get stopped, pull that hood down, take your hands out of your pockets, make direct eye contact—“Yes, sir; no, sir”—be aware that you are, as a black man, public enemy No. 1. There, I said it. It’s very scary.

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TR: How do you handle the pressure of being a black mother?

WW: One day at a time. [Laughs.] I march to the beat of my own drum. It’s not easy to be in a mom’s group talking about parenting when you’re a celebrity because it’s a whole ’nother trip. But at the end of the day, we’re still black, so one day at a time.

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TR: What’s been your most rewarding moment in being a mother so far?

WW: The cards, handwritten. He’s a really good artist. He’ll find a picture of me, draw the picture and then put it on the front of a Mother’s Day card. Then inside, he’ll say something—he’s a very, very beautiful writer. He will use words and I am like, "I didn’t even know you knew that word! OK!" I’m a cornball, I save them all. It matters a lot.

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TR: What have you learned about yourself as a mom?

WW: I couldn’t have done without this. [Tears up.] There’s a lot of women who go through times in their teens and they say, “All I want to do is be a mom,” and then by the time they get to their 20s and get their hearts broken, they’re like, “You know what, I don’t even want to be married, much less be a mom.” What I’ve learned about myself is that I couldn’t do without it. You will not make me cry! [Tears up more.] Can I get a tissue? It’s a soft spot. There’s no way … I would probably be out all the time, you know, that street life. OMG. [More tears.]

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TR: I didn’t mean to make you cry!

WW: [Smiles.] It’s OK!

TR: What has Kevin taught you?

WW: Him? [Points at her son.]

TR: Yeah! [Laughs.]

WW: That I’m really skinny. [Laughs.] Most recently, we were out eating and I’m like, “Ugh, I’m done,” and he goes to me and he’s like, “Mom, are you going to take it home?” I said, “Yeah, I’ll eat more around midnight.” He says, “I don’t understand how you maintain, and you don’t need to lose any more weight. You look really good.” He tells me!

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He’s taught me more responsibility. I was already responsible for myself and my career, but after a long day at work, when he needs to be picked up from chess club and taken to his math tutor, no matter how tired I am … I was literally parked at the math tutor the other night for an hour. There was no need for me to go home because I was going to fall asleep on the couch and go to sleep. I was so tired. I just wanted to take care of myself. I was like, “No! This is part of being a mom!” I pulled in the driveway of the math tutor, put the seat all the way back and slept!

For more of black Twitter, check out The Chatterati on The Root and follow The Chatterati on Twitter.

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Wendy Williams is no stranger to anyone. If you weren’t acquainted with her from her years in radio, then you’ve definitely seen her on your TV screen as the dynamic, opinionated and unpredictable host of The Wendy Williams Show.

At the beginning of 2016, Williams tearfully announced the renewal of her show for the next four years. That easily ushers her into a 40-year career and 11 amazing seasons of her show. Williams has become her own major key. She’s a mogul: From her show to her jewelry line, Adorn, to being a seven-time best-selling author, to her HSN clothing line, to her stand-up (or, sit-down) comedy, Williams is a busy woman.

Advertisement

But of all the hats she fabulously wears, it’s being her 15-year-old son Kevin Jr.’s mother that’s the most fabulous “hat” of them all. Motherhood has its challenges, and Williams is not too shy to call them out, but she says that the rewards are greater.

The Root caught up with Williams at a Maggy London Mother’s Day brunch, held at the Chester restaurant in New York City, where she was honored. She was very candid about her life as a mother and became super emotional when we chatted about her Kevin. Check out the interview below to see how Williams talks to Kevin Jr. about confrontations with the police, what he’s taught her and how she’s becoming her mother, despite how much she fights it.

Advertisement

The Root: What’s the most rewarding thing about being Kevin’s mom?

Wendy Williams: Having to care about something other than myself. It grounds you—most mothers say the same thing. You can be as famous as you want, but kids at the end of the day just want you to be Mom. My kid’s in the corner over there. [Motions.] He was actually the one who wanted to come along. I said, “Really? It’s a women’s thing,” and he said, “I love hanging out, it’s OK.” But look [Points at Kevin Jr.], he could give a damn, but I love that. He’s so over it. All he knows is mom and that’s really a gratifying thing. When I get home after a big day, I just want to return to normal, and there’s no faster way than a kid doing that to you.

Advertisement

TR: What have you done as a mother that’s something your mother used to do to you?

WW: Well, it happens all the time. I screech and yell like her. I don’t like that part of me. My mother was a screecher and a yeller when we were growing up and I think there are better ways to communicate with kids rather than screeching and yelling. I do negotiate with him—a lot of parents say they don’t negotiate with kids, but I do. OK, if you want this, then I need that. I don’t give allowance. We give trade-offs. I’d like to think my husband and I are fair and open parents with Kevin. He can talk to us about anything.

Advertisement

TR: How do you explain #BlackLivesMatter to him?

WW: Real raw. Kevin is fortunate that he has a bunch of black men to look to as references, from uncles, to his grandfather, his father—they all represent different types of black men. My dad is like a Martin Luther King; Kevin’s dad, well, he grew up in Brownsville [in Brooklyn, N.Y.]. He’s a little rough around the edges, but Kevin’s got a fine example of various types of black men.

Advertisement

But at the end of the day, we explain to him, that they all—including your grandfather with all his degrees—can be thrown down on the turnpike and arrested. Nana would have to go and do bail. What we explain to him is, there is no blanket statement when it comes to hate and prejudice. You can’t say all white people feel this way about black people; nor do all black people feel that way about white people.

The conversation about race is an ongoing topic in our house. We’ve explained to him that it’s fine to put your hood up, but if you’re walking from the bus stop and you get stopped, pull that hood down, take your hands out of your pockets, make direct eye contact—“Yes, sir; no, sir”—be aware that you are, as a black man, public enemy No. 1. There, I said it. It’s very scary.

Advertisement

TR: How do you handle the pressure of being a black mother?

WW: One day at a time. [Laughs.] I march to the beat of my own drum. It’s not easy to be in a mom’s group talking about parenting when you’re a celebrity because it’s a whole ’nother trip. But at the end of the day, we’re still black, so one day at a time.

Advertisement

TR: What’s been your most rewarding moment in being a mother so far?

WW: The cards, handwritten. He’s a really good artist. He’ll find a picture of me, draw the picture and then put it on the front of a Mother’s Day card. Then inside, he’ll say something—he’s a very, very beautiful writer. He will use words and I am like, "I didn’t even know you knew that word! OK!" I’m a cornball, I save them all. It matters a lot.

Advertisement

TR: What have you learned about yourself as a mom?

WW: I couldn’t have done without this. [Tears up.] There’s a lot of women who go through times in their teens and they say, “All I want to do is be a mom,” and then by the time they get to their 20s and get their hearts broken, they’re like, “You know what, I don’t even want to be married, much less be a mom.” What I’ve learned about myself is that I couldn’t do without it. You will not make me cry! [Tears up more.] Can I get a tissue? It’s a soft spot. There’s no way … I would probably be out all the time, you know, that street life. OMG. [More tears.]

Advertisement

TR: I didn’t mean to make you cry!

WW: [Smiles.] It’s OK!

TR: What has Kevin taught you?

WW: Him? [Points at her son.]

TR: Yeah! [Laughs.]

WW: That I’m really skinny. [Laughs.] Most recently, we were out eating and I’m like, “Ugh, I’m done,” and he goes to me and he’s like, “Mom, are you going to take it home?” I said, “Yeah, I’ll eat more around midnight.” He says, “I don’t understand how you maintain, and you don’t need to lose any more weight. You look really good.” He tells me!

Advertisement

He’s taught me more responsibility. I was already responsible for myself and my career, but after a long day at work, when he needs to be picked up from chess club and taken to his math tutor, no matter how tired I am … I was literally parked at the math tutor the other night for an hour. There was no need for me to go home because I was going to fall asleep on the couch and go to sleep. I was so tired. I just wanted to take care of myself. I was like, “No! This is part of being a mom!” I pulled in the driveway of the math tutor, put the seat all the way back and slept!

For more of black Twitter, check out The Chatterati on The Root and follow The Chatterati on Twitter.

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