“HUNTED” The King Behind the Purple Chair of Power

Kelvin Hunter, Sr and Sharina Hudson

Part 2

An Exclusive Interview with Kelvin Hunter

      To hear the ups and downs, ins and outs of Kelvin Hunter Sr.’s childhood is intriguing. Never judge a book by its cover or in this instance – tea by its cup. As fans, followers or admirers we like who we like, not truly knowing the root of their lives. Their colorful branches of success are often enough to draw us in. But what do we do when our heroes act human. How dare they fall in love, go to rehab, battle and sometimes kick drug habits, marry, birth a kid and take jobs for higher pay, like Wendy Williams did. God forbid they meet someone, embrace and protect them, grow a brand with them, empower them but also break their heart as Kelvin Hunter Sr. did. These common things are too much for us to accept, too fallible, like me and you. Surely Wendy Williams didn’t imagine the end of another marriage.

 Just as certainly the proclaimed creator of Hot Topics probably never dreamed he would become one.

Inside the mind of TV

     Pamela Smith was Kelvin and Wendy Williams-Hunter Personal Executive Assistant for around 20 years. A time which spans the Hunter-Williams marriage and Radio to TV career.

Pamela Smith: As far as the Wendy Williams TV Show is concerned, I was there from inception when it was just an idea of Kelvin’s. I worked with him on other projects and so he came in one day and told me he had a project that he wanted me to be a part of which was a sneak peek for The Wendy Williams Show. He actually set up the table and brokered the deal. Any part of it concerning Wendy, he spearheaded it. Sometimes they would sit down as a team and work different things out but it was definitely his idea.

Kelvin Cowans(KC): At what point did they bring you into their life?

Pamela Smith: I came in far before TV. Prior to TV, I was working with them on their events such as parties and comedy shows and I was their executive personal assistant. That also came as a package deal as I continued as their executive assistant for the TV show as well.

KC: Being a part of the day to day operations of The Wendy Williams Show, how vital was Kelvin Hunter Sr. to the creative process and production of the show.

Pamela Smith: He was very vital, decisions made on guest and the inception of who Wendy was, he made sure that the audience knew who she was and what she was about. He made sure that what Wendy was on the radio was the same they would get on TV.  Creatively he’s definitely a genius and an excellent business man. I learned a lot from him. From the wardrobe, to make up and to hair he had a huge part in. This man came from Brooklyn and sat at the table with some of the biggest and made sure his family was represented the way they should be. When I met him, he was a promoter and he took those skills to the next level. I also want to say that Wendy Williams is an amazing person and very talented. At the end of the day, they are like family to me. To me she remains the Queen of all media.

 Interview continues…

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: We had a vision and I didn’t want anyone at the show messing up the vision. They couldn’t hang money over our heads and tell us to just do something because we showed up with money. We were already iced out, already driving the Lamborghini and Ferrari or what have you. So their money didn’t make us, we made us. So early on during production Debmar-Mercury had no idea about the culture Wendy embodied. That culture that they use to frown on and say people didn’t want to hear about Hip-Hop and all that. However after a while Hot Topics, which I created, became nothing but about Hip-Hop Artist.  I told them quick that they were over killing it and that Hot Topics had to be more defined and we did that. To Wendy’s credit she was talented and had the longest monologue on TV including Daytime and Night time. Wendy’s monologue lasted between 18 to 24 minutes, that was almost the entire show. That’s a long time to just be sitting in a chair talking. Yo, the purple chair was her idea, dope idea and she held the audience for sure. When I look back at what we did for an entire decade it makes me upset.  

KC: Upset? You both became multi-millionaires and moved TV culture. There is now a thousand YouTuber’s giving the world daily ‘tea’, that are makeshift offspring of The Wendy Williams Show. Do you mean that rather you feel unappreciated?

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: It’s clear to say that after I left, the show tumbled hard. My intellectual property of the creation of The Wendy Williams Show and how it had to come across was key. They would not have experienced the success they had without me. Wendy brought in 1.3 to 1.8 Million viewers daily.  Once I was gone the people around her had her looking crazy sitting on that screen.

They certainly didn’t care that she kept getting the help that she needed away from TV, but I cared, I always cared. My heart was always in the right place about her. Yes, we had our problems but it was so personal of what I and she built. That’s why all the Hot Topics suddenly was about me. They tried their best to make her feel like, you can be tough and have power over him, to be really mean but she could not front and it was killing her inside. Wendy wasn’t built like that. When I was around Wendy’s day ended when she left that building but mine didn’t. There was always something that needed to be done or a call that needed to be took. I was the common denominator in every department, including decor, wardrobe and guest. You know Yo, my thing is this, with all of the things she accomplished and as influential as she was, they chose to make everything about the scandal. The Life Time Movie and the Documentary, it was all about the scandal and that’s pathetic.

     “There was nothing I liked about the final episode of The Wendy Williams Show…I had to watch it from home.” New York Post, Newspaper, July 2022 Wendy Williams

Action, Camera but no Lights

KC:  In Hollywood they say Lights, Camera, and Action! With your secret it was the other way around with plenty of action, away from the camera, and no lights as a lot of things were done in the dark. The scandal hit hard and Wendy Williams has millions of fans and it hit them to. Their online response reflects that it was as if you cheated on them as well. Although Wendy Williams admitted that she had known of your infidelity for some time she hadn’t made it a public thing. She stated that she didn’t want to affect Kevin Hunter Jr.’s life, that it wasn’t fair to him to speak up at the time. Still, it remains a Hot Topic, Tea or whatever you want to name it. Will you speak on that?

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: Wendy was coming out of rehab, we were going through a divorce and the news of my baby came out. I wasn’t going to miss the birth of my daughter and people saw me at the hospital. Truth be told we should’ve got a divorce ten years earlier. Even our son, Kevin said that to us. But anyway when the news was out I told her I would step down from the show and Wendy told me I need to stay because I was having a kid. I stayed, only to later be lined up.

I got fired from management, served divorce papers and  also fired from the show all in the same day.

     “I don’t want to be changing pampers, I want to be pampered.” The View, Television Show, September 2019 -Wendy Williams

 KC: You had to know that a celebrity divorce, a baby and a mistress would bring the heat in many ways.  

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: I get that the fans feel that I was sneaking around and that I hurt Wendy. But in reality Wendy had caught me years before with Sharina and I came clean then and I asked her if she wanted to end the marriage and she didn’t so we stayed together. I have often wondered would it have been better to just end it then. I was too afraid of what would happen to Wendy if I wasn’t there. Now that it’s ended in divorce I can say that I am healthier, happier and I’m no longer dependent on marijuana. I’m no longer hiding my relationship and I have a beautiful daughter named Journee.  It’s three years later, so I am not one to make excuses, but until a person has lived in a relationship with someone with multiple addictions it’s easy to say from the outside what a person should have done but until you live it nobody knows. In the beginning I had a wife who was a well-known radio personality and when I had the idea of taking her to television, neither of us were prepared for that level of success. I can honestly say that I was confident that the show would be a success but I had no idea what worldwide stardom would do. The amount of scrutiny and pressure that would come and the everyday stress and demands getting Wendy ready to do the show became a struggle.  I saw this every day and I was unable to help my wife kick these habits. Everyone else got to go home after the show. I had to prepare for tomorrows show, then go home and try to keep my wife from ending up in a position where she couldn’t work the next day. Looking back I now realize that I was living life like the countless spouses of mates with addictions. That’s a life that only another person in that position would understand. Because of addiction and stress I slowly transitioned from a loving husband who managed his wife’s career to the executive producer protector and manager of the Wendy Williams Brand. I didn’t have anywhere or anyone I could go to when I needed to just relax. The reason I gave credit to my lady in my recent post is because in the moment I was speaking I reflected on the heavy load I was carrying every day trying to just keep Wendy alive and functioning. And in that moment I saw that there is no way that I or Wendy would have made it if I didn’t have her to turn to. Where do you go when you are helpless and you can’t stop the person you love from hurting themselves and when watching them hurts you too?  

KC:  Is there anything you can share publicly about the business part of your divorce, or disagreement thereof? 

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: As the husband for 20 plus years and the creator of the Wendy Williams show I was entitled to my half of everything that we had just like any other couple divorcing. I went to the table in good faith and we reached what I thought was an amicable divorce. In fact it was one of the fastest celebrity divorces ever. I had a feeling that Wendy’s Wells Fargo advisor was up to no good but I was advised by my attorneys that everything was okay. Well in February of this year Wells Fargo decided to stop paying me what was agreed. I’m like how could you the bank stop paying me all of a sudden. Wendy was in rehab and these people just stop depositing my money cold turkey? Now I’m demanding to see all of the bank records from the time of the divorce until now and that will show what really is going on. My financial expert witnesses say they have never seen a financial institution fight this hard to keep from disclosing the records. These people have tried to starve me out. They have offered me a settlement at pennies on the dollar. I’m not going to let them get away with taking my money or Kevin Jr.’s. At the end of the day I earned that money and I’m not letting them take it from either one of us. They are going to have to show me those bank statements. Can you believe a bank as big as Wells Fargo would have the audacity to do this?

KC: Charlamagne the God (Lenard McKelvey) from the hugely popular Talk Radio morning show, The Breakfast Club, said that he introduced you to your current lady. Is that true?

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: Yes it’s true. We dug each other and ended up kicking it. She was there for me when I really needed someone to talk to and it blossomed from there. So, Charlamagne or Lenard McKelvey is a long story with plenty truths that haven’t come to light. I gave him his start by bringing him up from a South Carolina radio station and put him on Wendy’s radio show, which was the number one show in America’s largest market. She didn’t like the idea initially but as her numbers grew his name grew a lot as well.  Mind you, I let him live in my condo for free for like 6 or 7 years just helping him as much as I could, like a little brother. It wasn’t our family home or nothing like that so it was cool. In reality Wendy told me early on that Charlamagne was not who I thought he was. She turned out to be right. I’ll go deeper into his many stories in my book. For instance I didn’t know about the whole underage girl situation he got himself in that he admitted to on The Breakfast Club. I didn’t know about that until our friendship was over but I’m not even talking about that. You mentioned something earlier about destiny hunting and yes it hunts everyone. Just know that Charlamagne is not who you guys think he is. Yo, everybody got secrets.

KC: Only a couple of days ago it was reported that your former wife  was released from a wellness facility. This was a facility in which Ms. Williams had been in since August of this year. Do you have any comments on that?

Kelvin Hunter Sr.:   I will only say for now, that it breaks my heart to see what is happening to her. I know she is not in a good place and she is surrounded by people who are taking advantage of her condition including this so called guardianship. When our son stepped up as a young man to take on the responsibility of his mother’s care I was so proud of him. That didn’t last long once the people controlling her did everything they could to get her away from him.

I knew it would be a bad thing.  These people tried to say our son was taking advantage of his mother. That is a lie!

KC:  What are you working on now?

Kelvin Hunter Sr.: Right now I’m into my Book Publishing and Management Company for Radio DJ’s and Entrepreneurs. My publishing company is named

Hunter Publishing Group. We’ve put out “I Kick Ass at Work” by Sonia Alleyne and a cook book “Table Set Cooking with Tamika Scott: A Taste of The South in Your Mouth” of R & B royalty group, Xscape. Then we getting ready to put out the vigilante “The Larry Davis Story” told through the eyes of his widow. We’re yet working hard on my lady’s Sharina Hudson “Vegan Lifestyle” cook book. Also, you guys can definitely be on the lookout for a Memoir about my life, its coming and its coming hard. Lastly, I’m a Restaurateur with interest in Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar in Brooklyn and we’re getting ready to open a Caribbean Vegan restaurant in Williamsburg New York called Stush NYC. Most immediately you guys can catch me on my Instagram or Facebook on December 7, 2022 as I will be a Guest Speaker on a virtual event “The Business of Doing Business” Hosted by Maxwell Billieon.

    Multiple attempts to reach Wendy Williams, Wells Fargo Bank and Debmar-Mercury Production for comment were unsuccessful.

Kelvin Hunter Sr. can be reached on: Instagram: @therealkelvinhunter Facebook: Kelvin Hunter; Website: hunterpublishingbookstore.com

Kelvin Cowans can be reached at: (kelvincowans@hotmail.com or Instagram: @sixfour901)

About Carma Henry 24866 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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