Television personality Wendy Williams is speaking out this week about her alleged sexual assault decades ago by the late R&B singer Sherrick.
Williams, 56, told the New York Daily News that she was working as a radio DJ in the late 1980s when the alleged rape occurred. She was interviewing Sherrick, whose real name is Lamotte Smith, about his 1987 single “Just Call,” which was performing well on the Billboard R&B charts, she told the newspaper.
“He was in D.C. I was a cute radio DJ. He’d asked me, did I want to accompany him to his album release celebration in D.C. and I said ‘yes.’ I got off the air and went back to his hotel room with him,” she said. “He said he wanted to shower and freshen up and introduced cocaine to the scene. I was already familiar with cocaine so I was continuing to party while he was in the shower. And I was sitting on the bed minding my own business.”
Sherrick then raped her before the party, she said, according to PEOPLE.
“I left after that and went home and scrubbed my skin off, cried and that was that,” she recalled. Williams added that she never told anyone about what had happened in the hotel room.
Williams’ reveal comes ahead of the January 30 premiere of her Lifetime biopic. The movie, starring Ciera Payton as Williams, will follow her early days in radio and continue on to her talk show career, according to Lifetime.
“Wendy Williams: The Movie” will also shed a light on elements of her relationships and personal life. The alleged rape is included in the feature film, in addition to being a topic of discussion in the accompanying documentary, “Wendy Williams: What A Mess,” which is also premiering on January 30.
Speaking to documentary producers, Williams’ said that her experience with sexual assault helped to make her a more determined person.
“Thank God I am not dead and diseased,” she reportedly said. “If anything, it made me more focused and determined to move on with my life.”
Sherrick died in 1999 at 41, reportedly from unknown causes. He was survived by three children that he fathered with his wife, Lynne Conner Smith.
In response to Williams’ claims, Smith told Page Six that the host should let her husband “rest in peace,” as he is not alive to defend himself. She also questioned the timing of Williams’ statement.
“Sherrick was a beautiful man, a genius with a voice like an angel,” Smith said. “We have three amazing children. This is quite painful to not only us but his nieces and siblings.”
In a separate statement of their own, Sherrick’s family stated that they do not know Williams personally and are unaware of any relationship she may have had with him.
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