Steve Wilkos: 'My Stomach Was Turning' During Teen Incest Story, but No Regrets
By Rob Shuter Posted May 19th 2011 05:00PM
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Wilkos has come under fire in recent days for featuring a disturbing story of an 18-year-old girl who is having a full-blown sexual relationship with her biological father. They go so far as to make out on camera and the likes of Perez Hilton are asking how Steve "stooped down this far." Now, Steve, who cut his teeth as the bouncer on 'Jerry Springer,' is fighting back telling me he is proud of the show even though it made him sick to do it.
"I knew it was going to be a show people watched and we've gotten a lot of response to it. People found it hard to believe. I was nauseated and my stomach was turning, but we do shows to help people," Steve tells me. "We speak out. This stuff really happens. Would you rather I not try and speak some sense into this young woman? You could pretend it's not happening."
Adds Steve, "I chose to expose it and I'm not going to turn my back."
"What's sad about this story is that this young woman, who is sleeping with her father, was abused by other men sexually," Steve tells me. "She got bounced around and you would think when she reconnected with him, he would protect her. Instead he piled on and abused her too. She is seeking a man to take care of her."
At the end of the show, Steve gave Britney the opportunity to leave her dad and go and get professional help for the abuse she had suffered her whole life. But instead she took her father's hand and vowed to stand by him.
"It's pathetic and sad," Steve admits.
Steve was a familiar and lovable part of Jerry Springer's still-going-strong talk show and got his big break when Jerry did 'Dancing With The Stars' and Steve filled in as the host. He admits that producers didn't think Jerry would last long on the hit ABC show.
"They thought Jerry would be the first to get voted off. He ended up dancing for five weeks and I hosted a lot of shows that rated well," Steve tells me. "I still see Jerry once or twice a month and we have dinner or a cigar. He's one of the greatest human beings. No ego. He treats everyone with respect and has more manners than anyone I have ever met in my life."
Steve, who has just had his caricature added to the famous wall of The Palm restaurant, is having the time of his life and is thrilled his parents can enjoy his success. "I'm proud of my show. I hear critics, but I get people come up and tell me he all the time that I'm helping. People see I'm trying."
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