Rickey Smiley wants to the record straight: he had nothing to do with Claudia Jordan’s departure from his nationally-syndicated radio show.
After rumors speculated that Smiley ousted the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star because he was jealous of her comedic talents and didn’t enjoy working with women, Smiley snapped back.
“The rumors don’t bother me, because it’s just speculation. I know the truth. And if I went on the Internet to try to respond to every single rumor, I would go absolutely crazy and out of my mind,” Smiley told RollingOut.com. “Every singer, rapper, comedian and actor has people who have an opinion about them. Not everybody is going to think highly of you.”
DID CLAUDIA JORDAN'S POPULARITY LEAD TO HER EXIT FROM 'THE RICKEY SMILEY SHOW'?
But the comedian maintains that he played no hand in axing Jordan, 42, whom he calls his “friend.”
Smiley says a decision was made by the powers that be not to renew Jordan’s one-year contract with the radio station.
“Claudia is a friend of mine. We’ve been knowing each other for 15 years. She came to do the morning show, and the company signed her to a one-year contract. Claudia did not leave ‘The Rickey Smiley Morning Show’ a day before her one-year contract was over,” Smiley explained.
“I don’t own the radio station. I own ‘The Rickey Smiley Morning Show,’ but I have people that I have to answer to that own these radio stations … so we have to deal with general managers, program directors, and the owners.
“When people collectively decide that they want to go in another direction, and they say, ‘it would probably be in your [best] interest because here is some research and some numbers,’ we have to continue to give the listeners what they want, and when they put out research that shows what the listeners think about the show, then we have to listen,” he added.
In true PR fashion, Smiley had nothing but good things to say about his former co-host.
“I want to thank Claudia for her contribution to the show. I think she gave us her best every single morning. She was very nice, and very pleasant to be in the room with, and we wish her the best. It was nothing personal,” he said.
Earlier this week, rapper Da Brat was announced as Jordan’s replacement.
(Photos from left: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards, Paras Griffin/Getty Images for "Black Or White")