The 49-year-old Wilson Phillips singer appeared on The Talk Tuesday and claimed that she was secretly weighed and subsequently fat-shamed while visiting the shock jock’s show in 1999, just 9 weeks after first undergoing gastric bypass surgery to control her weight.
“I went to do The Howard Stern Show and when he was on E!, it was on camera,” Wilson recalled. “So when I walked in, the producer Gary said, ‘Step over here and wait for Howard.’ Well I didn’t know this, but I was stepping on a scale. And I looked up and in red, big numbers, 233 lbs. showed up on this thing. I said, ‘Wait a minute?’ and I looked down and all I could think was ‘Howard, ready to shame me?’ They purposely did it.”
Wilson went on to say that Stern, now 63, made offensive comments about her weight to her on the show, even questioning her husband Rob Bonfiglio (who was her fiancé at the time) about why he would want to be with Wilson at her size.
“I mean, he went nuts, just because he loves to fat-shame, he does,” Wilson said of Stern. “You know the way Howard is, always glamouring up all these thin women. But this is what happened, I always get Howard by the cajones. I said, ‘You know what, you’re really a piece …’ I gave it back to him. I said, ‘This man really loves me, and that scale can just [go screw].’ And he said, ‘You know what, I adore you.’ ”
“It’s like a joke to him, but it wasn’t to me,” Wilson said. “It was one of the worst experiences I ever had. I was so devastated and so embarrassed. Humiliated really. And Rob went down, bought me some yellow roses inside the hotel. But I literally crawled in bed.”
In audio from the Stern interview, Wilson talked about her decision to get weight loss surgery. “I was so desperate to lose the weight,” she said, adding that she was 296 lbs. at her heaviest and had dropped 50 lbs. since surgery. “I didn’t feel good. It’s not all about looks. When I would walk down the street I was out of breath, my feet were hurting … Morbid obesity is a clinical disease.”
Though both ended the interview saying that they loved one another, Stern did throw a lot of tough questions Wilson’s way.
“Your boyfriend Rob is thin. Why do you not go out with a fat person?” he asked her. “You have always said that fat is okay, fat is good. You used to say that, ‘When I was onstage with [Wilson Phillips], I hated that they looked at the other two girls and not me. I would have wanted them to have sex with me.’ But meanwhile, why are you not attracted to fat guys?”
Wilson stood up for herself, explaining that “it’s not that I’m not attracted to them, it’s just that the guys I have gone out with have been thin.”
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Still, Stern couldn’t help himself — even bringing Bonfiglio, 49, on the show and asking him whether he was gay or interested in Wilson for her money. “I love her for her,” Bonfiglio said, denying Sterns accusations that Wilson was “disgusting.”
Stern then predicted the relationship won’t work. “That is not fair,” Wilson quipped back. “You’re going to shove those words so far in your mouth. You don’t even know. That is such a croc.”
Wilson and Bonfiglio are still married and have two daughters together — Lola, 11, and Luciana, 7.
Weight has continued to be a battle for Wilson. In 2012, she opted to go under the knife again for lap-band surgery, when she struggled to keep the weight off after having Luciana. In March, she revealed on The Talk that she will have to undergo surgery to remove her ruptured breast implants, which she originally got after losing 150 lbs. from surgery.
The Talk airs weekdays in syndication (check local listings).