What You Don't Know About Shaun Robinson

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The following article references suicide.

Shaun Robinson is a familiar face to "90 Day Fiance" fans. She's hosted all of the show's Tell Alls and has a penchant for getting cast members to open up about scandals and juicy behind-the-scenes drama. Whether it's the original show or spin-offs like "90 Day Bares All" and "90 Day: The Single Life," Robinson has become synonymous with the franchise, but there's a lot more to her than the show. 

As Robinson shares on her website, she may best be known for her work in the entertainment industry (she became a household name co-hosting "Access Hollywood," after all), but she's actually an Emmy Award-winning journalist, having taken home the award for her live coverage of "A Grand Night in Harlem," which she covered for the Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame. Her passions go far beyond television, however, and over the years, she has built a varied resume, as well as pursued numerous passion projects. She is indeed a jack of all trades with a few secrets up her sleeve. Join us as we uncover the untold truth of Shaun Robinson.

The many hats worn by Shaun Robinson

Chances are you know Shaun Robinson best from her long-running stint on "Access Hollywood" (she was a co-host for a whopping sixteen seasons) or, if you're a more recent fan, from her work hosting a variety of shows in the "90 Day Fiance" universe. But did you know that the Detroit native is also an actor and producer? As her IMDb page reveals, she has 17 acting credits to her name, including playing a newscaster in "Dr. Dolittle 2," "Bruce Almighty," and "America's Sweethearts." She's also had cameos in a handful of TV shows, like "Days of Our Lives," and has turned up as herself on episodes of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Last Man Standing," among others.

What's more, Robinson made her debut as an executive producer in 2021 with two Lifetime TV movies as well as a "90 Day" spinoff on Discovery+ titled "90 Day Bares All." Speaking with MediaVillage, she explained it was an obvious transition because, as a reporter, "one of the skills we learn is producing and putting stories together. Before you get to a show like 'Access Hollywood' that has producers putting the stories together, you do it yourself," she explained. Still, she went in with some misconceptions that were quickly set straight. Admitting she thought "this producing thing is super easy," soon enough, "reality hit me in the face, as there are so many steps." Even so, she enjoyed executive producing so much, she hopes "there will be many more projects."

Shaun Robinson took words of wisdom to heart

In 2015, Shaun Robinson announced she was leaving "Access Hollywood" after a whopping 16 years on the show. She first joined the team in 1999 and, as she told fans, she wasn't leaving NBCUniversal. Rather, she was simply transitioning to work on "development and production endeavors." Explaining her decision, Robinson shared how "television has changed so much since I first sat at the anchor desk and it's time to take my career to the next level." But as she told the New York Post, her career shakeup was largely driven by two people.

First was her dad. Noting that they were "extremely close," Robinson shared how her father's death after a "not-very-long battle with cancer" made her seize an opportunity she had thought about three years prior. "I realized life is short and if I want to do it, I have to do it now," the journalist shared, noting that her dad's answering machine message inspired the change. As she told the outlet, her father's outgoing message ended with "Have a great day and remember to be happy," and evidently, a job swap was the way to honor that. The other part of the equation was Kerry Washington. Recalling a conversation with the "Scandal" star, Robinson told the outlet, "She was telling me how she tried TV and what a great career move it turned out to be [and] that conversation really resonated with me, like, what else is there? I have a lot to offer."

Shaun Robinson is a passionate advocate

When Shaun Robinson decided to step away from "Access Hollywood," she shared that she was excited to have more time to focus on "empowering women and girls." Indeed, it's something she's incredibly passionate about. In addition to being a member of Women Moving Millions and pledging "a minimum $1M commitment to organizations and initiatives benefiting women and girls," she sits on the advisory board of Girl Up, a part of the United Nations Foundation that aims to "advance girls' skills, rights, and opportunities to be leaders," and she even founded the S.H.A.U.N. Foundation for Girls in 2016 to empower girls "in five key areas: (S)TEM, (H)EALTH, (A)RTS, (U)NITY and (N)EIGHBORHOODS." As she shared on Women Moving Millions blog, her journey to philanthropy was inspired by her parents who "always told me that, 'If God gives you a platform, use it to give back.'" And she's done just that with her platform. She added that their "unspoken motto" was "Even if I have only a little, you can have a little bit of my little."

Robinson is also devoted to promoting conversations around race. As she told 21Ninety, she feels "a responsibility to present our stories the way we actually live them and to bring content that is broad and entertaining." What's more, she said in Forbes she wants to inspire young Black women to follow in her footsteps. "I will use my platform as long as I can to promote that," she declared.

She once wrote a self-esteem book

In 2009, Shaun Robinson added the role of author to her resume when she published "Exactly As I Am: Celebrated Women Share Candid Advice with Today's Girls on What It Takes to Believe in Yourself." Inspired by the "hundreds of emails and letters" she received from girls "asking how they can be more like their favorite stars," per Penguin Random House, Robinson set out to show them that celebrities aren't perfect either. She did so by rounding up "heartfelt and encouraging advice" from some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson. As she wrote in the book (via Today), "What you see beaming from your television screen or magazine covers are carefully arranged images that most of these women will readily admit are something of a fantasy."

Singling out her favorite piece of wisdom, Robinson told Livingly she especially appreciated India.Arie's contribution: "I'm not the popular look and I am constantly reminded of that. But rather than looking at that and saying I have no place, I make my own place." As for the lesson she hoped all readers would take away, it's that "the journey to true self-esteem is a lifelong one. It's not something that you ever reach, but you find yourself becoming more and more comfortable in your own skin," she concluded.

As a kid, she was inspired by an anchor

While it was Shaun Robinson's family that inspired her to become a philanthropist, it was someone she never met who pushed her into her chosen career. As she told 21Ninety, while growing up in Detroit, she would "come home after school, do my homework and then watch my cartoons." After that, her grandmother would "turn on the evening news and there was an African American news anchor named Beverly Payne. She was the only woman of color on TV that I saw, and I used to sit in front of the television just mesmerized by her," Robinson recalled, sharing how, even though she "never met" Payne, "she was my first career role model — the woman who set me on the path — years later — into journalism."

Payne played such an important role in shaping Robinson's future that she's spoken about her on numerous occasions, telling Forbes in 2021, "I knew that she was different because she looked like me and I didn't see anyone on television like myself." She then reiterated how Payne was "the first person who really set me on the path to becoming a journalist." She also decided to "salute her" on her blog as part of Black History Month in 2021 and wrote how, "seeing her made me, as a little girl, know what was possible."

Her atheism comments created a stir

Back in 2014, Shaun Robinson interviewed actor and devout Christian Kevin Sorbo. Through the years, the "Xena" star has alleged Hollywood practices religion-based discrimination, going as far as to claim he was "completely blacklisted" for his faith. "If it wasn't for faith-based or independent movies, I wouldn't have a career anymore," he told Greenville News. Not surprisingly, religion came up during his "Access Hollywood" segment with Robinson. While promoting "God's Not Dead," he lashed out against atheists, saying (via Friendly Atheist), "I've seen [atheists] on TV and cable outlets...Atheists actually, have, like, chapters." He went on to call it "weird" and add, "I see the anger when these guys get on TV! And I'm going, 'Wow, how do you get so angry about something you don't believe in?'"

Robinson's response ruffled some feathers. "If I'm ever around an atheist, I think I'm gonna get hit by lightning or something," she replied. "I just don't even want to be in the room with them." Online atheist communities were quick to rally against her. American Atheists, an organization "fighting for the separation of religion and government since 1963," fired back on Twitter with an "Excuse me?" to which Robinson replied, "It was hurtful. I apologize." Evidently, it wasn't enough. "Apology not accepted. Next time, try moderating your mouth before you speak," slammed one critic.

Her ex-husband was murdered

Shaun Robinson has managed to keep her private life exceptionally private, but in 1994, she tied the knot with MLB player Darryl Hamilton in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The pair eventually divorced, and some time later, tragedy struck. On Father's Day 2015, the pro athlete-turned-sportscaster was murdered. According to New York Daily News, Hamilton and his ex-girlfriend, Monica Jordan, had reached a custody deal for their 14-month-old baby days before she committed a murder-suicide. According to police, Hamilton and Jordan were found dead in her Texas home. Their infant was inside the house, but luckily was unharmed.

Shortly after, Gary Zimmerman, the attorney who represented Hamilton during the couple's custody hearings, told New York Daily News that the incident "just doesn't make sense." That's because, according to him, there was "no tension other than the ordinary tension in that kind of deliberation. There was nothing that rises to the level that would make me think it was possible for her to pull out a gun and shoot someone," he declared.

Years later, Robinson talked about Hamilton's death on "The Sarah Fraser Show." "My body just went almost into shock," she said. "It was just really horrible. God rest his soul."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

She's not happy with the state of journalism

Shaun Robinson is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has been in the business for decades, so it might come as a surprise that she thinks her lifelong profession is lacking. Opening up to Shadow and Act about the current state of journalism, Robinson didn't mince words as she explained that when she was "growing up in the business, the number one lesson you learn was to get the facts before you report them." Recalling how reporters would "check all of your sources, and get the information from both sides of the story," the "Access Hollywood" alum stated that the "rush to be first" has since eliminated that. Claiming that journalists have "very little regard for the accuracy of stories," she put the onus on today's generation of reporters to get the facts straight. "You have the journalistic responsibility to get it right, and that's not done today," she said.

Admitting that some may question her expertise on the matter given that "most people know me from covering entertainment," Robinson underscored the fact that she's "always considered myself a journalist, no matter what I'm covering." As for unintentional errors, she conceded that those will always happen, but she had a solution for that too. "No journalist is perfect, but the true journalists will research, get the facts, and if there's a mistake, they will correct it," she concluded.

Shaun Robinson had a misunderstood health scare

Just days after covering the 2020 Oscars, Shaun Robinson posted a selfie to her Instagram Stories (via Soap Dirt), which showed her in a hospital bed with the caption "Day 3." It left fans worrying about her health and she soon set the record straight on Instagram Live (via MommaBear), revealing that she believed her initial post was a bad idea. "Why'd I do that?" she asked, sharing how she had "all these people calling me from all over the country" because they had seen the heart monitor in the snap and worried she was having heart problems.

Explaining what actually happened, Robinson called the incident "really, really scary" and shared she had angioedema, which is a reaction that "causes swelling in the deeper layers of skin, often around the face and lips," according to Mayo Clinic. Indeed, she recalled how her lip became "huge," causing her to go to the ER where she was given intravenous Benadryl. She was then admitted as a "progressive care patient" to ensure the swelling didn't worsen and remained in hospital for three days, even though "like 95%" of the swelling went down within a day. Sharing that she and the doctors weren't able to determine what caused the reaction, Robinson revealed she was put on a daily antihistamine — somewhat against her will. "I don't like to take a lot of medication and the doctors had to convince me that, you know, I needed to take this medication every day," she said.

She's part of the MeToo movement

Shaun Robinson has spoken about the #MeToo movement on several occasions, first posting the hashtag to her Instagram in 2017 and telling Philanthropy News Digest that the accusations against some of Hollywood's biggest names didn't surprise her. "As a woman who worked in Hollywood for close to twenty years, none of this comes as a shock to me," she said. "It's happened to me, too." An avid supporter of the movement, she told the outlet it was "encouraging that those who were once victims are now willing to speak up and say, 'Enough, this has to stop.' Our voices are important — especially for future genera­tions of women."

In a 2020 Forbes interview, Robinson shared her personal experiences with sexual harassment. She recalled the time she was pulled from a hosting gig after rejecting the station owner, noting that "there was no recourse for me — no HR department you could report to." So, she made a big move: "One day I just left for lunch and never came back."

Robinson also touched on the topic in a chat with Black Girl Nerds, where she shared that she once worked with someone who would pass lewd messages to his co-anchor. "He was able to get away with it because he was the main anchor on the show," she said. "He was pretty disgusting."

She thought 90 Day Fiance wouldn't last

Shaun Robinson first joined the TLC family when she was still with "Access Hollywood." As she reminisced with TVInsider, the channel had tapped her to host specials for the series "My Giant Life" and "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" before bringing her aboard the "90 Day Fiance" ship. However, when they asked her to bring her hosting skills to "90 Day," she wasn't exactly an expert on the program. "I said, 'Well, send me some clips, because I haven't seen the show,'" she recalled. They did and, upon watching them, Robinson admitted she wasn't totally sold. "I was like, 'OK, this is kind of cute, but the show will probably last a couple seasons but that's it,'" she shared.

Was she ever wrong. Following that first season Robinson didn't totally believe in, there have been seven more seasons, plus a handful of successful spinoffs. As she conceded, "It turned into something that I don't think anybody ever predicted." These days, she's fully committed to the franchise, recently telling theGrio that it's been "so much fun being a part of [it]" because "it keeps growing and growing and growing." What's more, even her mom is "absolutely addicted to the show!"

Shaun Robinson's secret to career longevity

Shaun Robinson has had an impressive career in television, and she doesn't seem to be slowing down. As she told theGrio in 2021, "I think one of the reasons that I have lasted so long in the entertainment business is because I truly believe that my purpose is to help other people tell their stories." Opening up the secrets to her career longevity, she added that having "the foundation of being a journalist" has also played a key role. "I studied journalism when I was in college and I knew that I wanted to be not just a talking head, but somebody who could really, you know, respect the art of journalism," she explained, adding that she's always worked "as hard as I could to be the best journalist that I could be."

Another secret? Variety. In 2021, Robinson made her debut as an executive producer with two Lifetime original movies — "Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Story" and "Envy: A Seven Deadly Sins Story" — based on Victoria Christopher Murray's "Seven Deadly Sins" novels. Chatting about the career shift with Detroit Metro Times, she was adamant that she doesn't consider producing to be her "next chapter," but rather an "additional chapter in my life, just being able to be a creator and helping actors, producers and others receive opportunities in this industry."