The women of ABC’s The View are used to on-air debates, but when the cameras stop rolling, so does the arguing. “If there’s something bothering us, we’ll go into each other’s dressing rooms and talk,” says cohost Sherri Shepherd, 47. “We’re not the Real Housewives over here.” Shepherd, who lives in New Jersey with her husband, Lamar “Sal” Sally, and 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, tells Erin Hill about family time, her shrinking waistline, and the changes brewing at her highly rated talk show.
PARADE: How do you feel about Barbara Walters leaving The View on May 16?
What am I going to do without Mother Bear? I’ve learned so much from Barbara. She’s taught me to stand up for myself and be curious. I’m going to miss that.
There’s buzz that your new cohost might be a man.
It’s really interesting: There’s a way you talk when a man is there and a way you talk when it’s just your girlfriends. I do like the fact that we’re talking as mothers, wives, girlfriends, and businesswomen, and it’s our point of view. But I also love when a man invites you to think a different way. We’ve seen a lot of cast changes, so I’ll trust whoever they bring in.
Have you and Elisabeth Hasselbeck stayed close since she went to Fox & Friends?
We text each other all the time. We bonded because her daughter is the same age as my son and we’re both Christians. I respected what she had to say politically, though I didn’t agree with some of it, and she was the same with me.
You and your husband are expecting a baby via surrogate. What has that experience been like?
The fertility process is a difficult journey, but I’ve got a great mate who’s really passionate. It’s exciting and scary, but we’re ready. Jeffrey will love being a big brother—until the baby poops!
You’ve lost an amazing 51 pounds—congratulations!
I’m a type 2 diabetic, and my mom passed away at 41 due to diabetic complications. I was told I would die if I didn’t change my life. You have to have a new relationship with food and you have to start liking exercise. I do Zumba three times a week and exercises at home with my son, who thinks we’re playing.
How do you spend Sundays?
I do my prayer and meditation and get us all ready for church. After that, Jeffrey has basketball practice and we sit on those hard bleachers and watch him! I do my homework for The View, and Sal cooks the Sunday meal; he makes a great kale salad. He says he prayed to God for a woman who could cook, and I prayed for a man who could cook. I won!
Click here to get the recipe for the kale salad Sherri loves.
What were some of your early jobs?
I sold Avon and worked in the catalog return department at Sears. I was a telemarketer and then a legal secretary for a long time. I used to sit in the break room of every job I had and dream about being in [show] business. I still feel like I’m going to wake up and there will be a lawyer standing over me going, “Why haven’t you filed those documents? Stop daydreaming!”