For Wendy Williams, straight talk equals success

Wendy Williams: 'Women can't do it all'
Wendy Williams: 'Women can't do it all'

Wendy Williams makes no apologies for being Wendy Williams.

"I'm a little too long in the tooth now to change exactly who I am, and exactly who I am is exactly what got me to the first seat of my six-week sneak peek, and exactly who I am has gotten me to eight seasons," the talk show host recently told CNNMoney. "I'm not here as a popularity contest for interpersonal communication. I'm here to get on TV and entertain millions of people and make them smile every day. If that is all I have to do, then I'm fantastically happy."

"The Wendy Williams Show" launched with a trial run in 2008 and quickly became a nationally syndicated hit. Williams credits her appeal, particularly among women in her audience, to her "transparency."

"I've always been this way, so it's not something that I catered for daytime TV," Williams said. "I'm not here to go out for lunch with Mila Kunis afterwards, or go to Tyler Perry's wedding."

Williams got her start as a radio disc jockey in New York in 1989. Her afternoon drive show, which was full of celebrity fodder, brought Williams both recognition and controversy.

A public feud with producer Sean "Diddy" Combs, according to Williams, eventually led to her to losing her radio gig in 1998. Trial and error with multiple talk show pilots followed, before Williams found her voice and television success.

"I can't regret. What is the point in regretting?" Williams said. "I always feel like if you regret, it's like that Pick-up sticks game, if you move one stick from your past, maybe the whole house of cards will topple down. Are there things that I have done that maybe weren't so nice or said that weren't so nice? Probably. I didn't mean to, but I get caught up in the moment."

Related: Wendy Williams: 'Women can't do it all'

The daytime Emmy nominee has an unfiltered talent for chatter, especially about Hollywood.

"What do I care? What do I care when I get off TV? If you're going to make a messy life of yourself -- and I'm talking to all the celebrities -- if you're going to make a messy life for yourself, and I've got a show to do, then I'm going to report the story, and I'm coming with an opinion," she said.

Williams' opinions are in demand. Her television contract was recently renewed through 2022, she's a best-selling author and has an app about her life off-camera in the works.

What motivates Williams to keep talking?

"My ambition comes out of a fear of having nothing to show for it, when they turn off the lights in the studio and ask me for my microphone back," she said. "Being famous, being on TV, it's fun. It's very glamorous and I enjoy it, but it's not where my fear lies ... it lies with, 'Oh my gosh, if I don't have anything to give to my son, if I have to retire and eat cat food, after all this hard work, if I haven't saved a dime and I've got to sit in a studio apartment and eat cat food, then what the hell was it all worth?'"


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