First, I want to say that I am a big fan of Wendy Pepper. I really admire her. As time goes by I like her more and more. Sorry, I know most people don't agree, but I'm just stating this up front. Okay.
This appears in today's New York Post: I think it's sad when anyone's marriage breaks up. Notice how Wendy blames Project Runway. Ummmmm - I don't think so.....
Mostly I just want to know Wendy's weight loss secrets. She looks fabulous!
January 17, 2006 -- WENDY Pepper's experience on last year's edition of "Project Runway" changed her so profoundly that it led to her divorce.
Reached at her Middleburg, Va., studio last week, Pepper confirmed that her marriage of five years to woodworker Robert Downing, her second husband, ended "pretty soon after" last season's "Project Runway" did.
She said the show — on which she emerged as a fierce competitor (and one of three finalists) who drew the wrath of the other contestants — forced her to reassess her life.
"When you go through an experience like that, it's a baptism by fire," said Pepper, 41, who has shed 40 pounds since "Project Runway" ended and also appeared on Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown" (where she won $75,000 for the American Heart Association) and last August's "Battle of the Network Reality Stars."
"It was a transformative experience," she said of "Project Runway," the fashion-design competition show spearheaded by Heidi Klum.
"You almost become a different person just by the sheer fact that you had to defend your right to stay at the table," she said.
Her newfound assertiveness "was a sufficient change in me [and] it was difficult for my husband to sort of come along for that step," she said.
Pepper is seen on an upcoming Bravo special confiding the dissolution of her marriage to Jay McCarroll, flamboyant winner of last year's show.
Their conversation, conducted last September at the Players Club in Gramercy Park at a fashion show staged by fellow "Runway" contestant Austin Scarlett, is included in the upcoming special, "Project Jay," premiering Feb. 22 on Bravo.
Pepper told The Post she's still designing clothes for private clients from her studio/showroom in Middleburg.