Asw. Schepisi Talks About Her Experiences in the Public Eye
Steve Adubato is joined by Asw. Holly T. Schepisi (R) – NJ, Assistant Republican Leader, who shares her experience in the public eye – from attacks on her appearance, to her personal weight loss journey – and why she continues a life in politics.
"We are pleased to be joined by Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi. She's the Assistant GOP Leader in the Assembly. Holly, great to have you. Thank you for having me. The last time we talked about the big picture, GOP politics, nationally, statewide. But our colleague and friend Mike Kelly wrote a column about you. It got a lot of feedback. You hear a lot about it? All over. Yeah. So you were very candid with Mike. You talked to him about the fact that there are some folks who have said some pretty rotten, nasty, personal things about you, and you're not the only one. This was about you. About your appearance? Yes. Weight? Just really stuff that had nothing to do with politics. It had nothing to do with why you got into this? Right. Why did you do that? Honestly... Why did you talk to Mike? [laughter] I put up a post on Facebook that talked about... I had hit a goal that day of weight loss since February, and I put up that... although I was really proud of myself for having lost 45 pounds, for me, the biggest struggle, and the thing I was most proud of, was losing other people's opinions of me and letting that impact on me. And in politics and life with social media, it's so very difficult, because you're under a microscope at every moment of every day. And I had gained a significant amount of weight after having had my brain aneurysm. Right. I was very self-conscious about it. I had kind of given up on myself. By the way, Holly just happens to mention a brain aneurysm. [laughter] Check out the interview we did with Holly about that. powerful. Go ahead. I'm sorry. And I just kind of accepted that I had gained this weight, and you know, I was happy to be alive. And in February I had gone on a TV interview for another station, and... A lesser one than public broadcasting! [laughter] A lesser one! [laughter] Go ahead. I'm sorry. And one of the responses from one of the political activists in the state was to call me a pig and to kind of mock my appearance and put up a picture of me, in which it's... you know, it made a vomit face and all this other stuff. And I was on a plane with a couple of friends, and we were going away for the weekend, and I was so devastated. And it was something that I said, "You know what? I've got to take control my own life and not allow this stuff to impact on me." And I very quietly went on Weight Watchers, started doing stuff for myself, and psychologically just..."