But more recently, Wilkos admitted in an interview with New York radio station WWPR’s nationally syndicated program, The Breakfast Club, that he would never take a lie detector test and that he beat one when he was younger.
Wilkos made the admission on air on Friday, 29 March 2019, in response to a question from Breakfast Club co-host Angela Lee, who asked, “How credible are lie detectors, because people are always saying they know how to beat it?”
Wilkos’s reply, and the ensuing conversation between Wilkos, Lee and The Breakfast Club’s other co-hosts, Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy, are transcribed below:
Wilkos: Well, put it this way. My son did a school project, science project, right? So he did it on lie detector tests and he came in with my guy Dan Ribacoff and he did the, you know, test and stuff and they asked, and it was a hundred percent, you know what I mean? So like, would I ever take one? Hell no, I mean I would never take one!
Lee: What are you hiding? What are you hiding Steve?
Wilkos: It’s not that I’m hiding anything, but like, if it came like, were, you know, would you let anything in your life that’s important to you fall into the hands of a lie detector test–
Charlamagne tha God: Not if it’s not accurate.
Wilkos: That’s what I’m saying, like… I’ll say this. I did beat a lie detector test when I was younger. I had to take a lie detector test, and I lied on that thing.
Lee: What were you lying about?
Wilkos (laughing): I really don’t want to get into that right now.
Lee: We have to know this.
Charlamagne tha God: You said you lied, Steve.
Lee: You’re a habitual liar, Steve. (laughter)
Wilkos: After I have bleeding on the brain, I just got discharged [from the hospital], I don’t know, I… Who knows what I said? But, yeah, so I took a lie detector test and I beat it, you know, and…
DJ Envy: How did you beat it? ‘Cause they tell you like if you breathe normally?
Wilkos: So, I’ll tell you this. I was a young guy, and I was working somewhere, and something went down. I was not involved, but I knew what happened, okay? I knew what happened. So the company came in, they brought in a lie detector. So I came into work and they’re like, “Oh, you’re taking a lie detector test.”
Well, immediately I like crumbled. I’m like “Oh my God!” you know? But like, so, they called in like three or four other people before me, and then when it came to me, I was already calmed down. So then when I got in there, the guy goes—I had my high school jacket on the thing—and he goes, “Oh, you go to Lane Tech?” I go “Yeah.” He goes, “Oh, I went there, too!” So right off the bat the guy’s putting me at ease, you know? And then I just went on. I lied, like basically I didn’t know—
Charlamagne tha God: You lied to that nice guy.
Wilkos: I lied, I lied because I didn’t want to be a rat.
Charlamagne tha God: No snitching!
Wilkos: Right. I didn’t want to be a rat, and I just didn’t—I really didn’t even want to be involved. And some of the dudes I would have to say about, they were scary guys, right?
Charlamagne tha God: Got you, got you.
Wilkos: I don’t want nothin’ to do with that.
Lee: Like the blue wall of silence thing?
Wilkos: Well, I wasn’t a cop. I was a high school… Cops don’t take lie detector tests. They—I never…
Lee: Really? They don’t have to do that?
Wilkos: I—no, I was on the job for twelve years. I never…
On 11 December 2019, nine months after Wilkos’s admission that he would never take a lie detector test, he accused Anca Pennington, a guest on his show, of having burned her infant daughter with cigarettes, because she had failed a lie detector “test” administered by the show’s polygraph operator, Daniel Ribacoff. In fact, no one had burned Pennington’s daughter: lesions that had appeared on the child’s leg turned out to be the result of a ringworm infection. The anguish of being falsely accused and publicly humiliated led to Pennington’s attempted suicide later the same day.
Viewers and potential guests of the Steve Wilkos Show should be aware that when it comes to lie detectors, Wilkos is unwilling to eat his own dogfood.
Steve Wilkos’ admission that he would never take a lie detector test may be viewed below: