'Jerry Springer' security Steve Wilkos saw him a month before death: 'I think he was saying goodbye'

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By Asiya Ali

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Jerry Springer's former bodyguard Steve Wilkos has heartbreakingly opened up about the last time he saw the late TV host.

On April 27, it was announced that the iconic presenter - whose full name is Gerald Norman Springer - passed away "peacefully" at his home in Chicago, as confirmed by his publicist.

Springer was best known for his controversial TV talk show The Jerry Springer Show, which first aired in 1991 and lasted for nearly three decades.

The popular show became a staple in 90s pop culture as it welcomed members of the public to air their grievances on national television, which almost always ended up in chaos.

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Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos. Credit: UPI / Alamy

Wilkos was a familiar face on Springer's show as he was the director of security from 1994 to 2007 and even covered for him as host several times.

The 59-year-old - who was a retired cop when he was hired - went on to start his own talk show in 2007, but last met up with Springer just over a month ago. He has now recalled how his final encounter with the iconic broadcaster went.

Speaking to TMZ, Wilkos revealed that when he and Springer hung out, the latter didn't mention his pancreatic cancer diagnosis - which was revealed to be the cause of his death.

However, the former security guard said the Emmy-winning news anchor might have "been saying goodbye to me," as he "hugged me like he never hugged me before." The pair then went on to reminisce about their old times together, something they rarely ever did.

In another interview with Access Hollywood, Wilkos shared more details about their final meet-up and disclosed: "We reflected a lot and we shared a lot of old stories and he embraced me in a way that he’d never really embraced me. He gave me a hug and was telling me he loved me. I think he knew he was sick.

"I didn’t even know he was sick until this morning because he looked the same to me," Wilkos continued. "I knew there was something off, but I certainly didn’t know he had a terminal illness, or whatever he had. I think this was his way of saying goodbye to me."

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The late presenter was best known for his controversial TV talk show, which lasted for nearly three decades. Credit: London Red Carpet / Alamy

Before the influential presenter's broadcasting career as a political reporter and commentator, he was the mayor of Cincinnati and a political campaign adviser to Robert F Kennedy's presidential campaign.

Springer's death was announced by his publicists. His friend and family spokesperson, Jene Galvin, shared an emotional statement describing him as "irreplaceable," as cited by BBC.

"Jerry's ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word," he said. "He's irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart, and humor will live on."

Our thoughts continue to be with Springer's family, friends, and fans at this time.

Featured image credit: Featureflash Archive / Alamy

'Jerry Springer' security Steve Wilkos saw him a month before death: 'I think he was saying goodbye'

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Jerry Springer's former bodyguard Steve Wilkos has heartbreakingly opened up about the last time he saw the late TV host.

On April 27, it was announced that the iconic presenter - whose full name is Gerald Norman Springer - passed away "peacefully" at his home in Chicago, as confirmed by his publicist.

Springer was best known for his controversial TV talk show The Jerry Springer Show, which first aired in 1991 and lasted for nearly three decades.

The popular show became a staple in 90s pop culture as it welcomed members of the public to air their grievances on national television, which almost always ended up in chaos.

wp-image-1263208877 size-full
Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos. Credit: UPI / Alamy

Wilkos was a familiar face on Springer's show as he was the director of security from 1994 to 2007 and even covered for him as host several times.

The 59-year-old - who was a retired cop when he was hired - went on to start his own talk show in 2007, but last met up with Springer just over a month ago. He has now recalled how his final encounter with the iconic broadcaster went.

Speaking to TMZ, Wilkos revealed that when he and Springer hung out, the latter didn't mention his pancreatic cancer diagnosis - which was revealed to be the cause of his death.

However, the former security guard said the Emmy-winning news anchor might have "been saying goodbye to me," as he "hugged me like he never hugged me before." The pair then went on to reminisce about their old times together, something they rarely ever did.

In another interview with Access Hollywood, Wilkos shared more details about their final meet-up and disclosed: "We reflected a lot and we shared a lot of old stories and he embraced me in a way that he’d never really embraced me. He gave me a hug and was telling me he loved me. I think he knew he was sick.

"I didn’t even know he was sick until this morning because he looked the same to me," Wilkos continued. "I knew there was something off, but I certainly didn’t know he had a terminal illness, or whatever he had. I think this was his way of saying goodbye to me."

wp-image-1263208884 size-full
The late presenter was best known for his controversial TV talk show, which lasted for nearly three decades. Credit: London Red Carpet / Alamy

Before the influential presenter's broadcasting career as a political reporter and commentator, he was the mayor of Cincinnati and a political campaign adviser to Robert F Kennedy's presidential campaign.

Springer's death was announced by his publicists. His friend and family spokesperson, Jene Galvin, shared an emotional statement describing him as "irreplaceable," as cited by BBC.

"Jerry's ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word," he said. "He's irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart, and humor will live on."

Our thoughts continue to be with Springer's family, friends, and fans at this time.

Featured image credit: Featureflash Archive / Alamy