WAYNE – A self-proclaimed “Waynite,” the Bravo television network’s latest reality celebrity, Vikki Ziegler, has deep roots in her hometown, which she still holds close to her heart.
The daughter of South African parents, Ziegler, 41, was born in New York City and relocated to Wayne in second grade. She lived in the Heritage Manor condominiums on Hamburg Turnpike before moving to the Pines Lake neighborhood.
She attended A.P. Terhune Elementary School and Schuyler Colfax Middle School then onward to Wayne Hills High School where she graduated from in 1990.
“Wayne was a great place to grow up. I always felt safe in my environment. Everyone was from a different background, but we all came together. I had a very fortunate life,” Ziegler said.
Before her success as a divorce lawyer/mediator, and now, a reality personality, Ziegler was just like every other kid – a “tomboy” playing fort with her friends and attending Gloria Frances School of Performing Arts. She worked in their vegetable garden while she lived in her condo. She and her friends rode their bikes to Vinni’s Pizzarama for lunch, and liked to roller-skate.
“When I turned 17 I got a moped and I rode all over town on it,” Ziegler added.
An active kid, Ziegler was also very academic and very social. She was always involved in something, including keeping “stats” for the WHHS football team.
“I was a real go-getter,” she quipped.
Giving hint towards her future work, Ziegler was a child of divorce as her parents split up when she was 12. A “devastating” experience, she remembered. It was a 50/50 division where she lived with each parent every other week, which was easily done as they lived only three miles apart.
“It was hard because I had no home identity. But I asked the judge if I could speak to him in his chambers about living with both my mom and dad. Deep down I felt the need to appease them both,” she said.
And now Ziegler, who now splits her time living in Little Falls and New York City, says she always finds herself always trying to make sure everyone gets a reasonable deal, she added.
A graduate of Rhode Island University and Quinnipiac College School of Law, Ziegler became a law clerk for now retired Judge Michael K. Diamond, formerly the presiding judge in the family Division of the Superior Court in Passaic County.
Her new reality show, “Untying the Knot,” grew out of a concept created by her production company, Engel Entertainment.
“We pitched it to Bravo and a few weeks later they picked it up,” she said.
“Untying the Knot” airs Wednesdays 10 p.m. on Bravo.
By Debra Winters
Email: Debra Winters
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