Sherri Shepherd 'Scared' Her Son as Cinderella's Evil Stepmom

Sherri Shepherd 'Scared' Her Son as Cinderella's Evil Stepmom
Sherri Shepherd
Jenny Anderson/WireImage

09/25/2014 AT 01:15 PM EDT

It's just acting!

Sherri Shepherd says at least one person found her portrayal of the evil stepmother in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway a little too believable: her 9-year-old son Jeffrey.

"Jeffrey was scared of me," the former View co-host, 47, told PEOPLE Tuesday at the #NYTough Comedy Showcase at Caroline's on Broadway. "He didn't like me playing the evil stepmom. He'd rather I were playing Cinderella."

Shepherd, who is currently embroiled in a messy custody situation with her estranged husband Lamar Sally over the baby their surrogate delivered in August, successfully fought her ex-husband Jeff Tarpley to retain custody of Jeffrey earlier this year.



While Shepherd says her son is "doing really really well," he may not quite get what mom does for a living.

"When I was onstage, I heard my son say, 'Don't laugh at my mom!' " Shepherd added. "He thought they were laughing at me. I tried to tell him, 'That's how Mommy pays the bills – making people laugh at me!' "

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