Sherri Shepherd once learned the hard way that if you’re trying to keep a secret from Barbara Walters, it’s best not to involve Joy Behar.
On Wednesday’s episode of her daytime talk show, Sherri, Shepherd welcomed Behar, her former The View colleague, to reminisce about one particularly hot bit of gossip: Apparently, the late journalist once hooked up with comedian and actor Richard Pryor.
As Shepherd recounted Wednesday, comedian and writer Paul Mooney once told her that he’d walked in on Walters and Pryor—a shocking revelation she soon shared with Behar.
“I came and I told you, and I said, ‘Paul Mooney said he caught Barbara with Richard Prior—he walked in on them. And then I was like, ‘Don’t tell nobody!’” Shepherd said. “The next day, Barbara walks in and you go… something like, ‘So, you’re schlepping Richard Prior, huh?’” (Note: Behar clearly said “shtupping.”)
As Shepherd recalled, Walters turned around—“you know, Barbara’s head would swivel like that”—and asked, in a stern voice, “Who told you that?!” Shepherd, meanwhile, was “sitting there like, I done just got this job!”
The subject came up as Behar and Shepherd discussed the latter’s fear of Walters when they were colleagues on The View. As Shepherd has discussed before, the two shared a complicated working relationship.
Although Shepherd once confirmed to The Daily Beast that she saw Walters as a “big mentor” who was “instrumental” in helping her find her voice, she also acknowledged, “She was tough on me. She was really, really tough on me. But I’m glad because it helps me in this area right here.”
At the time, Shepherd recalled, “I was like, I can’t cry any more tears. Do you not like me? Every day, you are getting on me for something, lady!” But on the day Walters left, Shepherd recalled, “she put her hand on my face and she said, ‘I’m the most proud of you. You did the work, you did your homework, you did the research.’”
When Walters said “I love you, dear” before stepping into an elevator to leave, Shepherd said she began crying—to which her “big mentor” replied, “What are you crying for?!” That moment, she said, pretty much summed up their relationship.