Wendy Williams Candidly Opens Up About Her Complicated Life
The world knows Wendy Williams for many things: a radio DJ, a daytime TV host, and a notorious roaster of celebrities. Whether or not you're a fan of her outspoken personality, it has made her a massive fortune. Recently, Williams' name has been in headlines for a string of unfortunate events.
First, a Graves' disease diagnosis, then unusual behavior on her show. Just after, she admitted herself into a sober home. While she was there, her cheating husband's alleged mistress gave birth to a child, rumored to be his. How can one woman handle it all?
Her Second Husband Had An Affair
In 2001, Williams had just given birth to her son Kevin Jr. when she made a terrible discovery. One night she overheard her husband Kevin Hunter speaking in a hushed tone on the phone. She described it as "a late-night telephone call and some clandestine whispering."
After hearing the topic of their conversation, Williams realized that he was having an affair, and was on the phone with his mistress. She was crushed. Was it enough to break off her marriage while their son was on the way?
She Decided To Stay With Him
"If you told me when I was 25 years old … that I would stay around for a cheater, I would have been like, 'You's a lie!'" Williams told VladTV. But Williams found herself at 35-years-old, married with a newborn, and wondering what to do.
She was on maternity leave at the time with her parents in town from Florida. They were staying at Williams' and Hunter's house to help with the baby when it all went down. Williams contemplated whether she could stay in a marriage with a cheater.
Williams Says The Affair Made Their Marriage Stronger
After discovering the affair, Williams had a decision to make. Either get a divorce or work through her husband's infidelity. After deciding to stay with Hunter, the couple began working to repair their marriage. Twelve years after Hunter's infidelity, they're still together.
"I know this is cliche, but it's true: It has made our marriage stronger," Williams told VladTV of uncovering her husband's affair. She says she's not the same person she used to be, however. The break in trust has made her tougher and aware of when she's being played like a fool.
She Thinks There's A Double Standard For Cheating
Williams is very open about the fact that her husband has cheated and she has no regrets staying with him. If the tables were turned, and she was the one who had done the cheating, however, she doesn't think her husband would have stuck around.
"I do think it's a double standard with cheating," she told VladTV. "I think that you men are sometimes just so neanderthal that you could never put up with your woman cheating. A man putting paws on your meat. But women have gone to deal with that fact, many of us, at some point in our lives."
Wendy Williams VS. Whitney Houston
On her radio show in New York City, Williams was candid about her former drug use. But not all celebrities are as open as the radio DJ. Although Williams and Whitney Houston did not get along, Houston agreed to call into her radio show for an interview.
Once on air, Williams aggressively questioned the artist about her drug use, including how often she did drugs, and how much she spent on her habit. Houston was furious. The two women exchanged expletives on-air as Williams pressured Houston to tell the truth. "You talk to your child about that. Don't ask me no questions like I'm a child... I'm not a child, Wendy." Houston fired back.
Williams Was Diagnosed With Graves' Disease
Williams was already aware that she had thyroid issues, but in early 2018, she received a scary diagnosis. On January 18, 2018, Williams announced that she had been diagnosed with Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that affects around 1 in 200 people.
Following the announcement, she took a doctor-recommended three-week break from hosting her daytime show as she dealt with complications related to the disease. There's a strong possibility that the disease played a major role in Williams' history of miscarriages.
Williams Hit A Nerve With Nick Cannon
While her career has grown tremendously since her radio DJ beginnings, her personality has not. Williams cannot restrain herself from stirring the pot when it comes to celebrity gossip. In December of 2018, she made a comment directed at actor and artist Nick Cannon that did not go over well at all.
After having twins with Mariah Carrey in 2011, the couple divorced in 2016. Cannon then briefly dated Brittany Bell, which resulted in a third child, a son named Golden. When he appeared on Williams' show, she referred to Cannon's third child as an "oops baby." Cannon was visibly upset and replied, "The disrespect! The 'oops baby?'"
She Has An Incredible Net Worth
While she's not quite on par with Oprah Winfrey, who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, Wendy Williams has a lot to show for her incredible career. Like Winfrey, she's expanded her talents across different mediums, including radio DJ, daytime TV host, author, fashion designer, and owner of a jewelry line.
With her Adorn jewelry line, HSN Clothing line and seven books she's authored, Williams has plenty of income other than her daytime show. As of 2019, Williams' net worth was an estimated $60 million.
A Kidnapping Took Place At Her Shoe Factory
With her husband's help, Williams designed a line of shoes featuring her jewelry brand logo, Adorn. Hunter selected a shoe manufacturing company in China and had the shoes made. Afterward, the owner of the shoe factory reportedly never received payment for Williams' products. Then things got weird.
Angry that he didn't have the money, the shoe factory owner kidnapped one of his managers and held him against his will for two weeks. After he was released, the manger brought the matter to court. Meanwhile, Williams distanced herself from the business deal gone wrong.
Multiple People Report Witnessing Spousal Abuse
Aside from infidelity, there have been several reports that Williams' husband is abusive towards her. In 2008, a talent agent accused Hunter of abusing his wife while she was on the job working as a radio DJ. He alleged that Hunter attacked Williams by "choking her" and "pining her" against a wall.
Even Hunter's mother admits that he abuses his wife. She told The ENQUIRER, "I saw Kevin chocking out Wendy. Another time, I witness him kicking [...] her and pushing her down the stairs."
Hunter Is Hurting Her Career
Williams and her husband spend a great deal of time together professionally, as he's an executive producer on The Wendy Williams Show. But not everyone is happy to have him around constantly, and several people that Williams has worked with say he's controlling and damaging to her career.
Radio and TV host Charlamagne Tha God told Andy Cohen that Hunter is "the one common denominator" in any problems Williams is faced with. Cohen agreed, saying, "I think that might be the one thing that happened with she and I, too."
The Question Of Her Sling
In December of 2018, Williams appeared on her daytime show with a sling on her arm. She told viewers that she had suffered a painful hairline fracture in her shoulder, but didn't tell anyone how it happened. At that point, most everyone suspected that Hunter was involved.
Nicole Spence, who worked as a talent booker on The Wendy Williams Experience, reported an awful incident she witnessed between the couple. Spence said, "Mr. Hunter stormed into the studio, demanded that other employees leave and openly physically abused Ms. Williams, pinning her against the wall with his hand around her neck, choking her while repeatedly pounding his fist into the wall directly by her head."
Her Shoulder Pain Led To A Painkiller Problem
After Williams appeared on her TV show slurring and repeating her words, it was revealed that the painkillers she was taking for her shoulder injury reignited addictive habits. The host, now 54-years-old, has been honest about her problems with cocaine in the past while working as a radio DJ.
"I was a functioning addict," she told ET. "[A] functioning addict has several alarm clocks, you're organized. It's a miracle I was able to stop." This time, however, she knew she needed help as she turned to the painkillers for more than shoulder pain and to hopefully find a long-term plan to cope with addiction.
She Was Labeled A "Shock Jockette" In Radio
Before she appeared on camera, Williams started her career in radio. In 1989 she began working as a radio DJ in New York City and entertained the biggest city in the country with her often heated interviews with celebrities and musicians.
Listeners loved her electric personality, and Williams gained her the reputation of being a "shock jockette." She won Billboard Best On-Air Personality in 1993 and made the switch to a hip-hop radio station and Philadelphia-based urban station. Her listeners loved the juicy gossip and Williams' unapologetic attitude that led to her induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Doing Comedy Was On Her Bucket List, So She Did It
A lot of people have a bucket list but aren't actively checking items off their list. But when it comes to Wendy Williams' bucket list, she isn't messing around. The talk show host and actress wanted to do stand-up comedy before she turned 50-years-old.
When Lipshtick comedy club caught wind of Williams' goal, they invited her to participate in their first all-female-based comedy series in 2014, held at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The show was sold out, and the crowd loved Williams' debut routine. She's since completed two comedy tours as the headliner in 2014 and 2015.
What Happens Behind The Scenes?
At the end of 2018, it was apparent that Williams was acting differently than her normal self; slurring her words and often repeating herself. The crew on her TV show reported to Page Six that they were concerned about Williams' odd behavior.
A staffer said, "Sometimes [Wendy] would be in her dressing room, doing whatever she does between shows, and her behavior for the second show would seem erratic. It started happening more and more frequently … trailing off mid-sentence, not finishing her thoughts."
Williams Reveals She's Living In A Sober House
After slurring her words and showing unusual behavior during one of her tapings, it was clear there was something going on with Williams. In March 2019, she made an emotional announcement on her show.
She said, "I have been living in a sober house. After I go to Pilates and go to several meetings all around town in the tri-state area. Doors locked by 10 p.m., lights out by 10 p.m., so I go to my room and stare at the ceiling and fall asleep to come here and see you. So that is my truth."
Hunter's Alleged Mistress Gives Birth
In the same month that Williams revealed she's been living in a sober house, the woman who is Kevin Hunter's alleged mistress gave birth to a child. Sharina Hudson has long been suspected as Hunter's other woman, and in March 2019 she gave birth to a child, with all fingers pointing to Hunter as the father.
A source told Page Six, "This is a crazy situation, Wendy is in a halfway house fighting for her sobriety, while her husband is at the side of his mistress who is giving birth to a baby."
Hunter Upgraded Williams' Watch As The News Broke
Just before news of Hunter's alleged love child hit headlines, he brought her already flashy Franck Muller watch to a shop to have diamonds added. Hunter had 25 carats of diamonds added to his wife's watch, increasing its value to $40,000.
Then, the cheating scandal broke. And while Williams spends her nights in sober living, Hunter is in the same city as his mistress and her newborn. Rumors of Williams and Hunter divorcing have started to make news, which the TV host strongly denies.
Mo'Nique Says Williams' Bad Luck Is Karma
At this point, Williams is carrying a full load of problems: struggling to stay sober, Graves' disease complications, an injured shoulder and an unfaithful husband. On her vlog, "Mo'Nique and Sydney's Open Relationship," Mo'Nique took a shot at Williams in her moment of weakness.
She told her audience, "The topic today is actually inspired by our sister Wendy Williams and we're calling the topic, 'Is Karma real?'" She went on to allude that Williams deserved all the negativity in her life because she made a career of picking on other celebrities. "Listen, you know everybody's business but your own."
Williams Files For Divorce
On April 11, 2019, news broke that Williams had filed for divorce from her husband. Without an official statement from Williams or her representative, fans can assume that the TV host decided that ending her marriage of 22 years was an important step as part of her recovery process and moving forward to live a healthy lifestyle.
The decision came one month after she announced that she was living in a sober home and around the same time that it was revealed her soon-to-be ex-husband was visiting his mistress after she gave birth.
This Celebrity Got Her Fired
During the time that Wendy Williams was working at the Hot 97 radio station in the late 1990s she was on the top of her game. Unfortunately, she was fired and had no idea what had gone wrong. There were rumors she had got into a fistfight with another female DJ, but Williams denied this.
She seems to think her termination was because of Sean Combs, known as Puff Daddy at the time. He was doing great in the music industry, whether it be his own music or from his record label. Williams had suggested Combs wasn't straight and posted an unflattering photo of him on her website.
She Isn't Shy About Her Former Procedures
Being in the public eye can take a toll on anyone because people always have to make sure they can measure up to Hollywood's standards. Williams is no stranger to cosmetic surgery and isn't afraid to reveal what she's had done in the past.
Some of her procedures have included breast implants, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. In a recent interview with D.L. Hughley, he suspected she had got a lot more plastic surgery since quarantine began. Williams denied this and replied, "What is there more to do? You moisturize. You take a nap. You drink a lot of water."
She Moved To Philadelphia And Was Immediately Successful
After Williams was fired from the Hot 97 radio station her options were very limited. She had a known reputation in New York, so no one wanted to hire her there. With nowhere else to turn, she made the move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Luckily, she found a part-time hosting gig for a local radio station. Similar to her immediate success in New York, she was a local celebrity in no time. Even though she was famous, it didn't mean that she was well-liked. One caller phoned in to tell her she "looked like a dude," to which she replied, "But you're listening."
How Wendy Williams Became A National Radio Star
Williams proved she didn't need New York to make it big, but in the end they wanted her back. She returned to the WBLS radio station and gave all the juicy details about her personal life. This intrigued listeners so much that her show went into syndication.
The fact that Williams got the show to go into syndication was huge. Instead of only New York listeners, she could now get her show all over the country. She quickly became a fixture in the lives of many people, whether they listened at work, in the car, or at home.
Her Big Transition From Radio To Television
Williams had dominated the radio industry, which left her wondering what would be next in her career. She was given a six-week trail to host her own talk show called The Wendy Williams Show. It would air in four different cities and if it was successful it would be picked up by a major TV network.
Her show premiered on July 14, 2008 and it was a hit. Fox decided to pick up the show and ran it nationwide. The Wendy Williams Show is broadcast live in front of a studio audience Monday through Thursday each week.
The Ratings War: Ellen Versus Wendy
So many celebrities have tried to make a great talk show, but few have succeeded. One of Williams' fiercest daytime talk show competitors in Ellen DeGeneres. Both their shows are almost always coming neck-and-neck in the ratings. The hosts regularly alternate as the top female-hosted daytime TV show.
While the shows have a similar format of a live studio audience, games, and extroverted hosts, there are many differences as well. One key difference is that The Wendy Williams Show is focused more on celebrity gossip, whereas The Ellen DeGeneres Show features heartwarming stories from both celebrities and everyday people.
She Guest Starred On Law & Order: SVU
While Williams is one of the most famous hosts in the world, she has added other careers to her belt. In 2013 she guest starred on the NBC crime drama Law & Order: SVU. She played herself in a plot that was similar to the Rihanna and Chris Brown incident of 2009.
Her acting career didn't stop there. Williams has starred in numerous movies and TV shows such as Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, 30 Rock, The Neighbors, and Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade. The majority of her roles have her playing TV hosts, but she has got to try some other parts.
Williams Knows A Thing Or Two About Side Hustles
Over the years Williams has grown her career into an empire. Not only does she host and run her own talk show, but she acts, has a clothing line on the Home Shopping Network, a line of jewelry on QVC, a wig line, and has become a New York Times best-selling author.
This photo shows when Williams joined the cast of the Broadway musical, Chicago, as Matron "Mama" Morton in 2013. There aren't too many other daytime TV hosts who can say they've accomplished all of that.
She Fainted Live On Air
One of the most unforgettable episodes of The Wendy Williams Show was the Halloween episode in 2017. Williams was dressed as the Statue of Liberty and her eyes started to bulge out of her head. Then, she completely collapsed onstage and the show had to cut to a commercial break.
Many fans thought it was staged, but Williams stated that she passed out from being overheated by her elaborate costume. She was able to continue after the commercial break, but took some time off shortly after to get her health checked.
She Came Under Fire For Making Fun Of Joaquin Phoenix
Williams has been in several celebrity feuds over the course of her life and one of the most recent ones happened this year. When Joaquin Phoenix received the nomination (and later won) for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his leading role in Joker, Williams had some thoughts about his physical appearance.
She came under fire for mocking the scar left by Phoenix's cleft lip surgery. Fans harshly criticized her for making the insensitive comment. Williams finally apologized and made donations to the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and Operation Smile.