Steve Wilkos is opening up about his final time seeing Jerry Springer — a night they both got very emotional — but he says his dear friend never let on that he was battling cancer.
Steve, who spent 10 seasons working on “The Jerry Springer Show” from ’94 to ’07, joined “TMZ Live” Thursday … after news broke his longtime boss and close pal passed away.
He says he and Jerry just hung out about a month ago, and while Jerry didn’t mention his pancreatic cancer diagnosis … Steve says he might have “been saying goodbye to me.” He told us Jerry “hugged me like he never hugged me before,” and they reminisced about the good old times … something they rarely ever did.
As we reported, Jerry died at the age of 79, Thursday at his home in the Chicago area, and will forever be remembered for his bombastic talk show — which ran for 27 years and eventually helped Steve start his very own show.
Other than his father, Steve says no one had a bigger impact on his life than Jerry. He credits JS for giving him his career … and even his wife!
Steve was a retired cop when he was hired, in 1994, as a security guard for the ‘Springer Show.’ His immense popularity there led to him launching “The Steve Wilkos Show” in 2007, and is now in its 16th season.
Through all the ups and downs, Steve says Jerry was always in his corner, and even at their last get together last month …he believed his good friend would outlive him.