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D: The Broadcast: A Q&A With Pat Smith

You know the drill by now. Last year, we announced a partnership with London Broadcasting, which owns KTXD, a local channel that, with our help, is about to get a whole lot more local. On February 18, we are launching a morning show called D: The Broadcast. It will be co-hosted by four ladies whose names you likely know. Think The View – only not. This week on FrontBurner, I’ve been rolling out a new Q&A each day with a different host. On Monday, Courtney Kerr engaged in a little afternoon delight. Tuesday, I talked Fifty Shades of Grey with Lisa Pineiro. Yesterday, Suzie Humphreys revealed that she almost gave birth in a helicopter. Today we talk with the smoking hot Pat Smith, whose husband apparently played football or something.

Tim Rogers: I’m led to believe that our receptionist was falling down on the job and you had a hard time getting a live human up here.

Pat Smith: I kept trying, but you’ll see I left a message, and I just kept trying back and I said, “God, didn’t know what to do.”

TR: Well, I am going to have a stern talking-to with somebody.

PS: No, it’s fine! I just didn’t want you to think I left you hanging.

TR: Trust me, I’ve been trashing your name all over the office. “You know Pat Smith was supposed to call me 45 minutes ago.” That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. So you ready to do this?

PS: I’m ready.

TR: I know you were Miss USA ‘94 first runner-up, you’ve done a bunch of stuff with Access Hollywood, and you’ve been on Beverly Hills 90210, but the highlight of your career has to be making it as one of The 10 Most Beautiful in D Magazine. Tell me how that changed your entire life. It must be night and day. You woke up one day and saw yourself in the magazine, and then everything was different.

PS: Well, no. I think just being asked to do it first of all was, like, scary.

TR: Come on, why was it scary?

PS: Oh, my gosh, it was scary! It takes you back to your pageant days when you were voted on and judged. I thought, “Gosh, I don’t want to be judged again, and how about if I don’t make it? Then I am going to feel terrible.” You know, you just start getting real nervous. So my family and friends were like, “You gotta do it, you gotta do it. It’s bigger than a beauty pageant.” In that sense, it’s more of a way to give you a platform to talk about the things that are really important to you. When I started looking at it that way, it took the pressure off. You all provided me with a platform to talk about our charities and the work that we were doing, and what’s important to me and my family, and my hubby and my kids, so it turned out great.

TR: As long as you’ve brought it up, Treasure You is the name of your charity. Tell me what exactly does that do?

PS: It’s a ministry and nonprofit that helps to support and inspire women. We do events, retreats, luncheons, hopefully conferences one day. But we also give grants to women who are just stuck in life. They’re intelligent, they’re bright women, they have the fortitude, and they have the capacity do great things, but for whatever reason, they’ve had a setback, and Treasure You, through our grants, provides support.

TR: How did helping women like that come to be what’s near and dear to you?

PS: Dancing With the Stars is when it hit me. [Ed: Emmitt won the third season, in 2006.] As wonderful as it was, and I’m excited my hubby won the first time, but during that season, I really felt empty and confused and frustrated.

TR: There a connection to the TV Show? Or was that just the time of your life, and the two events were unrelated?

PS: They were connected. I think the TV show brought out the issue. Before I moved to Dallas, I was acting and pursuing a hosting and television career. I had hoped to continue to do that, but of course LA and Dallas–just the distance, there was no way I could go back for auditions. We were expanding our family, and I started drowning, specifically behind Emmitt and all the great things that he was doing and who he was, which was amazing. But I lost me.

TR: Oh.

PS: I started losing myself, and so while I was back in LA, supporting him for Dancing With the Stars, it was like a reminder of what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I started getting frustrated, and then, when I came back, God spoke to my heart that it was during that season that I needed to help other women like me.

TR: Got it. See, I was going to ask you if maybe Dancing With the Stars benefited you but in a totally different direction. Like, now that Emmitt is such a great dancer, does he take you out dancing?

PS: (laughs) No, we don’t. But the good news is that I’m about to start taking lessons. Me and Lisa Pineiro.

TR: Are you going to force him to go with you?

PS: No, I have got to catch up first.

TR: Oh, he’s a better dancer than you are?

PS: Oh heck yes! Way better dancer. But the night we met 16 years ago, we danced all night, closed the party down.

TR: So he’s better now than he was then, I assume.

PS: In ballroom for sure. Now I don’t know if we just got out there and started grooving.

TR: Then you have him.

PS: Yeah, but in a ballroom contest, I’m in trouble. So Lisa Pineiro and I are going to start taking lessons together.

TR: You guys are already that close, that you’re going to take dancing lessons together?

PS: Yes, let me tell you. When we all sat in that room in the first meeting, they told us, “Okay, we are going to let you guys have lunch, and then we’ll be back in about 30 minutes and we’ll talk.” Well, first of all, I ran into Suzie Humphreys in the bathroom, and she and I were like, “Oh my God, hey!” And they had to pull us out of the bathroom.

TR: And you hadn’t met her before either?

PS: No. We became friends in the bathroom. And then we went to the conference room to have lunch, and Lisa and I start talking. I mean, it was like we had all known each other, which I was nervous about because I thought, “What is it going to be like?” I just thought it might be uncomfortable.

TR: People have explored a lot what it’s like for players when they retire from the NFL. Is it a difficult transition to be the wife of a player that’s retired?

PS: It was, for many reasons. For one, missing that Sunday, the traditions that had been set even before Emmitt and I married. When his mom was in town, she’d fix grits and eggs and bacon and biscuits, and everybody would get ready and meet here for the game. And we continued it after we got married, where everybody would come in town, and it’s just what we did. You just miss the families, the families of the other players that you connect with. Then, for me, on the other side of it was I was used to being a single mom for part of the year.

TR: Right, I bet.

PS: At first it was hard, because you miss your husband. But then I got used to the routine and what we needed to do. So of course when he was home, it was like, whoah!

TR: I don’t know if I want to see you that much.

PS: Well, I wanted to see him, but I had to relearn to just check in with him, like what was going on with us, where everybody needs to be, and make sure he was cool with it. As a wife, I had to relearn the different roles. It was an adjustment for all of us.

TR: You guys have five children. It’s a blended family. Is that number right, five?

PS: That’s correct.

TR: Ok, you have to explain this photograph I’ve seen of you online. You were married to Martin Lawrence, and you have a kid with him. So it’s you and Martin Lawrence and Martin’s current wife, and, somehow, Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom are all in the same photograph. And it looks like you’re at the Ghostbar. You have to explain that.

PS: Well, I don’t have kids by Lamar.

TR: No, no, no. Not by Lamar.

PS: No, I’m teasing. My daughter with Martin, her name is Jasmin, that was her sweet 16 party last year. We all came together to put that on for her. So Martin and his wife and, of course, me and Emmitt hosted it here in Dallas, and Lamar had just signed with the Mavericks. We had a mutual friend, and because they were new in town, we invited them to come, and they were gracious enough to come and just hang out for a little while and get to know each other.

TR: Things didn’t work out very well for Lamar here, did they?

PS: No, it didn’t.

TR: Alright, Pat, tell me your plan of attack for The Broadcast. How are you going to approach coming up with topics, keeping up with the news?

PS: Oh, Lordy. Well, the good thing is, we do get the Dallas Morning News. I’ll just make sure every morning I head out to the mailbox first thing and get the paper, and then I’ll turn on CNN. That’s the best way to capture what’s going on in the country and the world. I love Good Morning America. I may try to jump on there quickly. And that should be it.

TR: And then you’re just going to get there and let Suzie do all the talking.

PS: I don’t know, though. Once I get going, it’s kind hard to–it’s going to be hard for all of us to give each other a moment to talk. We’ve got to learn how to do that.

TR: Alright, Pat, I look forward to seeing how you guys put it together and how it turns out.

PS: I’m looking forward to it. Just so you know, this has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. When I did pageants when I was little, they had those applications. “Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What’s your ambition in life?” It was always to be a morning news anchor host, because I grew up in Virginia, and Katie Couric was from Virginia. I always admired her on The Today Show. I thought it would have come a little sooner, but I’m not going to complain. I’ll take it at 42.