Wendy Williams had a tumultuous year that kicked off in February 2018, when she revealed that she’d been diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. This revelation came after the star fainted on live TV during a 2017 Halloween episode (She initially blamed the incident on menopause). According to E! News, Williams’ doctors ordered her to take a « three-week break to focus on the autoimmune disease and her hyperthyroidism, » but that was then. A year later, it seems like the star is still struggling with health issues that have kept her away from The Wendy Williams Show.
Williams’ mysterious absence kicked off after she missed a Dec. 17, 2018 taping of her talk show, then returned but seemed very off her game. What ensued was the longest break the star had ever taken from her namesake series. Her absence triggered a wave of rumors that rivals the juicy tea Williams was famous for spilling on air. Cue the rumors about baby mama drama, secret drug addictions, scandalous affairs, and her path to recovery. Let’s take a closer look at everything that’s come out about Williams since her break from the show.
An odd episode and mystery injury foreshadow trouble
Wendy Williams’ break wouldn’t have been half as mysterious if it didn’t follow a bizarre episode on Dec. 20, 2018. During that show, the talk show host looked « visibly uncomfortable and at times, had trouble speaking, » according to E! News. She later blamed (via Instagram) her « less than stellar performance » on pain medication for a hairline fracture on her shoulder, and complications from her thyroid disorder. « I promise you a better Wendy in 2019, » she wrote, but that « better » Wendy did not return as scheduled on Jan. 7, 2019.
First, Williams pushed her return back a week, which turned into two weeks, which turned into an indefinite leave. On the third delay, Williams revealed that she was experiencing complications from Graves’ Disease that would require « significant time spent in the hospital. » Things got a little hairy after the star was spotted at a CVS in Southern Florida. To be fair, that’s exactly the place where a sick person would get a prescription, but it is not a hospital, and it’s a far cry from her home in New Jersey and the studio in New York where The Wendy Williams Show tapes. Was the star doing better or was something else going on?
Was her staff happier without her?
Though Wendy Williams might have been battling health complications, her staff was apparently doing pretty well during her absence. According to Radar, the team didn’t actually want the iconic host to return (Hello, guys, do you know the name of the show you work on?) The tabloid claimed The Wendy Williams Show staff was nervous it would lose its jobs amidst Williams’ long-term absence, but when the show hit it off without her, some team members supposedly felt a wave of relief. According to one source, Williams had exhibited « diva behavior » that « dragged down her employees. » They reportedly had to follow a number of « unwritten rules, » which included not contacting her directly. Only certain staff members were allegedly allowed to speak to the star, and dealing with her husband was supposedly no picnic. Apparently, « no one was allowed to disagree with him. »
Overall, Radar claims the environment on-set was a « nightmare, » which seems not too far off from being forced to compete in a seemingly unending improv competition hosted by Nick Cannon, but we digress. According to Page Six, Williams was « super scared » she’d get booted from her own series because Cannon was such a big hit as her substitute.
Cracking open the truth
Months after Wendy Williams’ slurred performance, the Daily Mail reported that the famed talk show host was secretly being treated at a Long Island City-based sober living facility for alcohol and prescription drug addiction. The star allegedly fell into an « booze- and pill-fueled depression » after she injured her shoulder while confronting Hunter about his rumored affair. Was the Daily Mail just dishing dirt or was this report actually rooted in truth?
To date, Williams has not explained the cause of her fracture, but she has opened up about her addiction. In fact, Williams has long been open about her substance abuse struggles. In July 2018, the star, who considered herself a « functioning addict, » dove deep into her battle with cocaine. She claimed it was a « miracle » that she was able to kick the habit. « I would report to work on time, and I walked in, and all of my coworkers, and including my bosses, would know, but instead of firing me, you see, I would grab my headphones and arrogantly walk into the studio and dare them fire me because I was making ratings, » she told Entertainment Tonight.
Right before the Daily Mail published its aforementioned bombshell story, Williams apparently took matters into her own hands, clearing the air on-air.
Williams finally opens up about life in a sober house
According to the Daily Mail, hours after the outlet contacted Wendy Williams for a comment about its aforementioned story, the star opened up during a teary monologue on her famed talk show. She admitted that she’d been quietly treating her addiction while living in a sober house. Her husband and her son were reportedly the only souls who knew about her treatment, which she even hid from even her own parents. « I live in here in the tri-state [area] with a bunch of smelly boys who’ve become my family, » Williams quipped.
At the treatment center, doors are locked and lights are out by 10 p.m. Williams admitted she stares at the ceiling and falls asleep, wakes up, and goes right back to The Wendy Williams Show like everything is normal. After work, she says she does two hours of Pilates, then goes to « several meetings all around town. » Williams said she has found the experience valuable. « They don’t care I’m Wendy. There’s no autographs. There’s no nothing. It’s the brothers and sisters caught up in the struggle, and it’s been really interesting, this ride, » she said.
Williams also shared a 24-hour hotline for The Hunter Foundation, which « provides grants for drug education, prevention and rehabilitation programs » That number is 888-5HUNTER (548-6837).
Williams strikes back: ‘This is my show’
Since the moment Wendy Williams missed her show in December 2018, rumors started flying about the star’s issues behind-the-scenes. Friends and business associates were allegedly worried that things were more serious than the talk show host let on. An insider told Radar that Williams had been exhibiting troubling behavior « for weeks. » According to the anonymous source, « She can barely stand at times, and has totally checked out. It’s a major problem. »
Of course, anyone who’s watched pretty much any talk show knows that hosts tend to sit, but Williams was known to stand for some segments. Over the course of ten seasons, she reportedly began sitting a lot more. Why? We’re going to go out on a limb and say because she wants to, and with menopause, Graves’ disease, and her fractured arm, do you really blame her? However, Williams heard the chatter and addressed it: « So it has come to my attention … that you all are noticing that I sit, a lot, » she said (via Radar). « This is my show, and this is how I want to do it. I bust my a** on this show, every single day. »
Wait, where’s her ring?
When Wendy Williams returned to her talk show in March 2019, she debunked the rumors that her marriage was falling apart — mistress, who? The talk show host called her longtime husband her « best friend » and her « lover » while giving him a sweet shout-out. Things are either cute or incredibly uncomfortable when you realize, as a producer, he was probably watching all this from behind-the-scenes. « I want to shout-out to my husband. I’m still wearing my ring, » she said. « …Anybody who’s been married for five minutes or 500 years, you know, marriages have ebbs and flows. Marriages are not easy. Don’t ask me about mine until you see this [ring] gone, and it ain’t going anywhere, not in this lifetime. »
But, can we ask now? Because according to the Daily Mail, Williams was spotted without her wedding ring as news about Kevin Hunter’s alleged love-child made headlines. The tabloid claims she knew about her husband’s affair with the 30-something massage therapist but was « willing to put up with it » as long as they didn’t have a child and she didn’t get « humiliated. » We’re hoping for Williams’ sake that the old adage « once a cheater, always a cheater » isn’t true, but we’ll certainly keep you posted as this story unfolds.
The cheating rumors multiply
The end of 2018 was undeniably rough for Wendy Williams, and the rumors surrounding her marriage certainly didn’t help. Fans of the star know that Williams did, in fact, catch her long-time husband, Kevin Hunter, cheating shortly after she gave birth to their son. The talk show host even spoke about her decision to stay with him in a 2013 interview with VladTV. This time, rumors swirled following a report from gossip blogger B. Scott, who claimed he was slapped with a typo-filled cease and desist letter from Williams’ lawyer on Dec. 26, 2018. Scott said Williams denied claims that she was self-medicating and dealing with marital problems.
Though B. Scott might have perpetuated the rumors, he certainly didn’t start them. Way back in 2017, the Daily Mail reported that Hunter, who manages Williams’ career and serves as an executive producer on her talk show, had been secretly leading a double life with his mistress, Sharina Hudson, for more than 10 years. The pair allegedly lived in a « secluded suburban house » nine miles away from the home he shares with Williams in New Jersey, and Hudson was allegedly spotted wearing an engagement ring. A spokesperson for Williams claimed Hudson was only a friend.
Baby mama drama becomes a hot topic
The rumors about Kevin Hunter’s alleged love triangle continue to grow more dramatic by the day. First, he reportedly cheated on Williams after she had just given birth to their son, and now, his supposed mistress has allegedly given birth to his child. Is this all just tabloid fodder — too sensational to be true — or is there really a brand new addition to the Williams’ family?
According to Page Six, Hudson secretly gave birth in Philadelphia. Both her and Hunter allegedly chose that location because they didn’t want the news to leak to the press in New York. In retrospect, they probably should have picked a more remote location — like Wyoming … or Mars. The alleged lovers supposedly checked into the Philly hospital with aliases, but the news was soon splashed across the tabloids. Please note: Hunter has not been confirmed as the father to date. By all accounts, Hudson could very well be engaged and having children with someone else entirely.
We suppose Williams could always take a page from the Maury Povich book and demand a paternity test live on-air — just a suggestion!
Her husband stood by her side (Is that a good thing?)
Amidst all the scandalous rumors about a love child, Kevin Hunter apparently stood by Wendy Williams’ side as she underwent treatment. The producer opened up to Entertainment Tonight about tackling addiction as a family unit. « Wendy is doing well. We’re doing well as a family. We are moving forward with working on her sobriety and doing the work to help others, not just ourselves, » he claimed. « It is a family process. Anybody that has to deal with this knows this a family process … and we are dealing with it and moving forward. »
Some reports claim Hunter might have been a little too supportive of his wife’s budding sobriety. According to Page Six, a source claimed Williams was « completely under Kevin’s control » and he forced her into the sober house. The tabloid claimed nobody close to Williams believes the star should be in that particular treatment facility (which, according to the National Inquirer, is pretty run-down). The Page Six insider said Williams has been coming to work looking « terrible » and folks are « terrified something awful is going to happen. » (Can we chime in here and ask everyone to give the woman a break? She’s dealing with addiction.)
Wendy, the tea, it’s coming from inside your house!
Upon her March 4, 2019 return to her show, Wendy Williams offered a definitive clapback at the haters questioning her marriage. « I’m still very much in love with my husband, » she declared, pointing at her wedding ring and saying, « It ain’t goin’ anywhere, not in this lifetime. » Things seemed to have quickly changed, as Williams « [alternated] between wearing the ring and removing it » over the next few weeks (per Page Six), until finally, a bomb dropped.
Although Williams is still very much alive, and could possibly still be sporting that marital hardware, Page Six confirmed that she served her husband, Kevin Hunter, with divorce papers « at 6:30 a.m. » on April 11, 2019. The particularly shrewd move (Who ambushes someone pre-breakfast?) came on the heels of even more vicious rumors about the couples turbulent marriage. Speaking with the outlet, a former intern of Williams’ radio show said that Williams would often hide from Hunter, and that they would have secluded fights in which « you’d hear slaps or some type of tussling going on » from another room. Yikes.