I’ve always wondered what happened to the original Aunt Viv from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I found this article and all I can say is that if this is all true, I hope he’s not teaching his children his tactics of continuous success -
In an emotional exclusive interview with EUR’s Lee Bailey, Hubert (no longer Whitten) sounds more hurt than bitter as she paints a disturbing and unrecognizable picture of the superstar, and although she admits she doesn’t know him now, she speaks candidly about the man she knew then.
Without so much as a stutter, Hubert, who at times seems to be near tears, uses the one-hour and eight-minutes telephone interview to reveal vivid details of her claims against Smith, which include verbal and mental abuse on the set, hypocrisy, excessive egoism, blatant resentment, the insensitive spewing of “your mama’s so black” jokes, and ultimately, public slander – which Hubert says kept her from getting projects green-lighted and has banned her from work in the field she used to love.
“He had a lot of power. He had full power on that set! Maybe not the first season, but by the second, third season, he was basically running it,” said Hubert, her words escaping her mouth so fast, with no second-guessing herself; it’s as if she is in a time warp. “He knew what everybody was making because even on that V103 interview he said (mimics Smith using gangsta voice) ‘She made $250,000 – a quarter million dollars a year. Now she ain’t makin’ nothin’!’”
The interview Hubert refers to was one of the first, she claims, Smith gave following her removal from the show.
“I dug out the old tape - I call it ‘Vicious V103’ in Atlanta. When it all went down, (Smith) was in Atlanta, and he was with the DJs at V103, and he referred to me as a ‘Drive-by.’ When he had finished his session of lies and slander, he said (gangsta voice), ,you know, I feel like this is like comic timing, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s kind of like a drive-by; we should move on, you know what I’m sayin?’”
With the show still in reruns, fans are constantly reminded of the abrupt departure of Hubert’s Aunt Viv – and those who watched the show when it originally aired were arguably confused behind the networks’ decision to remain mute and just slip Daphne Maxwell-Reid into the role one day. Fine actor that she is, the difference between her “Aunt Viv” and Hubert’s was not a subtle one. But the decision to gloss over the cast change was, according to Hubert, Smith’s handy work: “‘We’re going to just act like nothing happened,’” she says, mimicking him.
More after the jump…