NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: Wendy Williams attends Daniel's Leather Fashion Show featuring Dame Dash at Harbor New York City on February 15, 2023 in New York City.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage


A Documentary And Diagnosis: The Latest Wendy Williams Drama Explained

There’s been something going on with talk show host and entertainment industry Wendy Williams for years. Now her team has officially revealed a diagnosis as a means to “correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health.”

The rumors have been vicious over the years as Williams, 59, displayed erratic behavior all in full view of the public eye. These incidents included fainting on air during her talk show, canceling multiple episodes due to flu-like symptoms, and voluntarily entering rehab for substance abuse.

Now the talk show host has a new diagnosis via her rep. On Thursday, her team released a statement saying that Williams was battling progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia. Aphasia affects a person’s ability to communicate and can also develop gradually as a result of other degenerative pathologies that impact the brain.

Frontotemporal dementia, which affects behavior and cognitive functions, typically starts with personality changes. These changes progress into memory loss. There is no cure for the disease.

“In 2023, after undergoing a battery of medical tests, Wendy was officially diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD),” the press release said, noting how her symptoms “have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life.”

“The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy, but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances,” the statement continued, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

“Unfortunately, many individuals diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia face stigma and misunderstanding, particularly when they begin to exhibit behavioral changes but have not yet received a diagnosis.”

Williams hails from Asbury Park, New Jersey. Her mom was a special education teacher while her father was a high school principal. Though Williams’ parents thought she’d become a nurse, she went to college at first to become a television anchor then switched majors to focus on becoming a DJ instead.


She gained notoriety as a radio DJ and host, eventually becoming a shock jock in New York City. The 2006 VH1 reality television series “The Wendy Williams Experience” documented notorious on-air feuds she had with various celebrities.

“The Wendy Williams Show” daytime talk show launched in 2008 and was hugely successful, expanding from select markets to nationwide prominence. At its height, the show competed with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” as the most-watched syndicated talk show in their target demographic, which was women aged 25 to 54.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Wendy Williams attends the Build Series to discuss her daytime talk show 'The Wendy Williams Show' at Build Studio on April 17, 2017 in New York City.

Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Williams took a leave of absence due to health issues in 2021. The New Jersey native had told fans she had Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that can cause an overactive thyroid. She also revealed at various points that she suffers from other ailments, including vertigo and lymphedema, a condition that causes swelling.

Shortly after, it was announced that Sherri Shepherd would take over hosting the “The Wendy Williams Show” for the 2022-23 season.

The former radio DJ’s rep said at the time that Williams “understands” why the change had to be made. “It’s been a challenging time for Wendy as she deals with her health issues. She is incredibly grateful to Debmar-Mercury, to Sherri and everybody else who has supported the show through this time,” her rep said at the time, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

“She, more than anyone, understands the reality of syndicated television — you can’t go to the marketplace and sell a show that’s The Maybe Wendy Show,” the statement continued. “She understands why this decision was made from a business point of view, and she has been assured by Debmar-Mercury that should her health get to a point where she can host again and should her desire be that she hosts again that she would be back on TV at that time.”

Williams also admitted to living in a sober living house in 2019. She had spoken candidly about her addiction issues. “You know I’ve had a struggle with cocaine in my past,” she told her audience during an emotional episode, as Page Six reported. “I never went to a place to get the treatment … there are people in your family, it might be you … I want you to know more of the story.”

Besides health concerns, Williams went through personal turmoil after her husband of more than 20 years, Kevin Hunter, fathered a child with his mistress. The talk show host filed for divorce in April 2019 citing irreconcilable differences. Williams and Hunter share a son, Kevin Hunter Jr, who was born in 2000.

The mystery surrounding the talk show host’s personal and medical struggles inspired the Lifetime documentary “Where is Wendy Williams?” which premiered on February 24.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 17: Wendy Williams is honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 17, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)


Williams’ family members claim they didn’t know about her diagnosis while filming the series. “I don’t know, honestly. I don’t know,” her sister Wanda Finnie told People of the diagnosis. She went on to say how communication with Williams was restricted after the star’s court-ordered guardianship began in April 2022.

“When she was in Florida, there were a number of people involved. Even beyond family, there were doctors involved, people in Wendy’s professional world that were involved,” Finnie continued. “She had a health team in place, nurses in place and she had family in place. She was getting healthier.”

Her son, who had power of attorney for his mom at one point, said he was told Williams was suffering from alcohol-induced issues. “Because she was drinking, I think they said it was alcohol-induced dementia,” Kevin Jr. says in the documentary. He said he tried to stop his mom from drinking.

“We’ve all seen the images over the last few months — and, really, few years — of what has seemed like a spiral for my aunt,” Williams’ niece Alex Finnie said in the documentary. “It was shocking and heartbreaking to see her in this state.”

The documentary film crew began documenting Williams’ life in August 2022 and stopped filming Williams in April 2023. The first two episodes of the documentary went into some detail about Williams’ personal struggles, including her alcohol addiction.

“Well, I love Tito Puente. I love vodka,” Wendy said in the doc. “And the problem with Wanda is she’s my sister. I love Wanda, but she hates that I love alcohol.”

The talk show host’s friend, Regina Shell, said Williams began abusing alcohol again heavily following her divorce.

Another surprising revelation from the Lifetime series regarded a time when Williams was discovered unresponsive in her apartment in May 2020. Williams’ nephew, Travis Finnie recalled how she was rushed to the hospital and given three blood transfusions.”

“DJ Boof was there, and he called us crying saying that she was going to die, and she needs help,” Finnie said in the documentary. “We called Kevin, who at the time was her medical proxy. He called the ambulance. The ambulance came. My auntie had three blood transfusions and that’s the only reason she’s alive today.”

He continued, “From what DJ Boof said, it’s the combination of them just letting her sit in bed and drink liquor, and then thinking she’s gonna be ready to go.”

In the documentary, Williams also said she doesn’t have access to her money after having a legal guardian appointed to oversee her finances and health in 2022. The decision was made by her former financial adviser who claimed she was of “unsound mind.”

Williams filed a temporary restraining order against Wells Fargo requesting them to “reopen any frozen accounts or assets” and grant her “access to any and all accompanying statements.”

“One judge and three doctors say my money is still stuck at Wells Fargo and I’m going to tell you something, if it happens to me, it could happen to you,” Williams said in the documentary, per Fox News.

Williams’ son Kevin denied claims that he spent any of his mom’s money without permission despite rumors to the contrary.

Several scenes showcase Williams displaying aggressive and erratic behavior.

“There are some times when Wendy is just a little bit more aggressive, she’s just a little bit more demanding,” her manager Will Selby said during the Lifetime documentary. “I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if there’s something special in the water. At the end of the day, she’s probably one of the biggest personalities we’ve seen in quite some time.”

Her family claims that they are still unable to contact her and only communicate with Williams when she calls them from a blocked number. She’s currently under the care of a guardian and medical professionals at an undisclosed location.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  A Documentary And Diagnosis: The Latest Wendy Williams Drama Explained