Wendy Williams announced on Monday (March 2) that she was followed by security in Bergdorf Goodman during her shopping trip in New York City with friends NeNe Leakes and Marlo Hampton, alleging racial profiling.
But during the “Hot Topics” segment of her daytime talk show on Wednesday (March 4), the talk show host let her audience know that she inadvertently left out “the most important part of the story.”
“Sometimes I get out here and I tell you a story and I leave off bullet points and I’m like damn I forgot to say that part,” said Williams. “I was told that we were followed by security.”
Williams originally stated they were “treated like the hood” while in the store, being followed by security as they shopped and ate lunch.
“You can earn what you want, you can do what you want,” Williams explained during the story. “But when you are what you are, you better not be surprised about how people treat you. We were followed like we were about to do something.”
Clarifying her story, Williams said she never actually witnessed security guards following her. She continued by pointing out that she might’ve confused the situation with a previous negative shopping experience she had.
“I was saying goodbye and one of them says, ‘You realize we were followed the whole time?’ That’s the part I left out of my story,” she added.
But she also noted that the sales staff treated the three of them with special care and that she had an excellent shopping experience. “I’m smart enough to understand when I was treated graciously. When I tell you gracious...I’d go back there. Today, maybe.”
Leakes responded to the claims earlier this week, giving her side of the story.
“I was there, but I didn’t see it like how she saw it, I didn’t see it like how Marlo saw it," The Real Housewives of Atlanta star said on The Breakfast Club. “I did see security, but I just thought security was just there, I don’t know... I feel like her and Marlo were playing a little bit in the store, like playing around laughing,” she explained.
“I didn't get it. Marlo mentioned it to me, she said, ‘Do you know security has been following us since we got here?’ I said, 'Really?' I didn’t pay them any attention and Marlo said, ‘I think they’re just fascinated.’ So I just thought, 'OK.' "
Hampton said in an interview with Essence.com that the store needed more training in diversity.
“We need people to really be better trained in diversity because my money is not black, it’s not brown, it’s not white–it’s green like theirs.”
A spokesperson from Bergdorf Goodman responded to the situation on Wednesday.
“Bergdorf Goodman and its parent company Neiman Marcus Group are committed to ensuring that all shoppers, guests, and employees are treated with respect and dignity in a safe and secure shopping environment. Our policies strictly prohibit profiling of any kind, and any claims will be thoroughly investigated.”
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic