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Wendy Williams' Family Breaks Silence On Her 'Shocking & Heartbreaking' Struggles Ahead Of New Doc

Wendy Williams' Family Breaks Silence On 'Shocking & Heartbreaking' 3 Years

Wendy Williams‘ family is opening up ahead of her new documentary.

In a candid  cover story for People out Wednesday, the former daytime TV talk show host’s loved ones and business partners are opening up about the struggles she’s been through over the last three years — pretty much ever since she stepped out of the spotlight to tackle a series of physical and mental health struggles. Reflecting on this, her niece Alex Finnie began:

“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. It was shocking and heartbreaking to see her in this state.”

Oof. So true.

Related: Hoda Kotb Speaks Out About Kelly Rowland’s Today Show Walk-Off!

Alex and many family members will appear in Lifetime‘s upcoming two-part series, Where Is Wendy Williams, which is set to chronicle the 59-year-old’s health and legal problems as of late.

According to People, the documentary crew began filming in August 2022. They had been intending to follow Wendy’s journey launching a new podcast after The Wendy Williams Show was canceled amid her struggles. But when her health issues arose, the story took on a different angle.

They stopped filming in April 2023 when things became too problematic for the star. Then, that same month, she was placed into a facility for “cognitive issues,” her manager and jeweler, Will Selby revealed. Her son Kevin Hunter Jr. claimed doctors believe the memory loss issues are due to her alcohol abuse. She is still in the facility to this day, and ONLY her legal guardian has full access to her, including knowing her whereabouts and when or if she’ll ever be released. If Wendy wants to talk to family, she has to be the one to call them. Wow.

As you can imagine, this is a gut-wrenching reality for her loved ones, Wendy’s sister and Alex’s mom Wanda expressed:

“The people who love her cannot see her. I think the big [question] is: How the hell did we get here?”

Well, from an outsider’s POV, there was a s**t ton of issues. From financial hiccups to drinking problems, Wendy has been through it!

At first, her son and other family members were among those helping Wendy focus on her health and well-being. That includes Graves’ disease and lymphedema, conditions that have caused her to have bulging eyes and swelling feet. But that all stopped in May 2022 when an independent legal guardian was appointed to oversee Wendy’s finances and health — a decision on which the family has no clarity. Wanda reflected:

“All I know is that Wendy and her team walked into the courtroom one way, and they walked out, and the family is completely excluded.”

The court papers have been sealed, as well. Then, that next month, the celebs’ self-titled show was canceled with a production source saying “losing it just broke her.” Another show insider added:

“We were the little engine that could. When we got renewed each season, we were shocked. They say fish stinks from the head, but if it’s great, fish glows from the head. In this case, we all basked in Wendy’s glow.”

But behind the scenes, things started to unravel in the later years due to Wendy’s drinking, several sources alleged, with the show source adding:

“She would be drunk on air. Slowly, we started being like, ‘What’s going on with her?’”

Take the incident in 2017 when the host fainted while wearing a Statue of Liberty costume on air. The next year, Williams attributed it to her Graves’ disease. However, her niece Alex says, “that was the first sign something was really wrong.” Everyone knew it too, including her co-executive producer Suzanne Bass:

“I knew she was struggling. How could I not? As her situation grew worse, she pushed us away.”

By March 2019, Wendy revealed she was living in a sober house following cocaine issues before filing for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter, who is NOT a fan of the new documentary. She then became an empty-nester, Alex detailed:

“[Wendy’s mom] Shirley, may she rest in peace, would always remind me that your aunt would trade everything that she has — every dime, every car, every wig — to be able to have a strong loving household and a loving husband. That was ripped from her right after her son had to go off to college [in 2018]. Emotionally, it was just a lot. It was too much for her world.”

Wendy’s brother, Tommy, agreed that “it put her back into that dark space.” And all of this was only made worse by the isolation of COVID, which is when the show’s DJ Boof allegedly found William unresponsive in her home in May 2020. She was taken to the hospital for several blood transfusions. Then in November, she lost her mother. Wanda expressed:

“When our mother passed, who was her greatest advocate and strongest support system out of anybody in this family, she never grieved.”

And the drinking problems and worrisome public sightings only continued — even after the guardian stepped in. Things got so bad that the doc producers stopped filming in April 2023 when they found Wendy in her apartment with her eyes rolled back into her head. They worked with her manager to insist the guardian get her help. EP Mark Ford shared:

“The guardian did come around and was responsive to our pleas… to get her into a safer place.”

This is when she was placed into a facility to treat memory loss and other “cognitive issues.” Wanda mused:

“How did she go from this aunt or sister that we love and is healthy one minute to this person who’s in and out of the hospital? How is that system better than the system the family could put in place? This system is broken.”

Hitting back at criticisms this new docuseries will only exploit the celeb more, Ford noted:

“We asked ourselves almost every day, ‘Is this helping Wendy or is this hurting her?’ And in the end we felt like it was helping her. This is about the guardianship system and how it can be improved.”

Wanda added:

“There is not a person in this family who doesn’t want the same thing for Wendy, and that is her health.”

And while not everyone is thrilled with the new project, Alex insisted Wendy “can’t wait to start the next chapter of her life.” Whoa. It’s obviously a really complex and heartbreaking situation for them all. We sincerely hope Wendy is getting the care she needs. This is all so sad.

If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at or check out

[Image via Lifetime/YouTube]

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Feb 21, 2024 07:39am PDT