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Wendy Williams' Public Downfall And Ongoing Health Issues Are Not Karma

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock
Wendy Williams

It’s been nearly two years since viewers watched American personality Wendy Williams make her audience members roar with laughter, gasp in horror, or a mix of both. 

Williams was best known for her brutally candid takes on various celebrities which she would share on her hit talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show.” The show first premiered in 2008 and ended in June 2022 amid Williams’ ongoing struggles with addiction and chronic illness. 

While many viewers were sad to see Williams go, others believed that her new reality was her own karma for her controversial commentary on various pop culture topics that she made a living off of for years. 

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However, the truth is, while we cannot deny that some of Williams’ remarks about certain Hollywood stars were offensive and rather rude, she does not deserve the hardships she is currently enduring or the vitriol from critics. 

   

   

Wendy Williams’ public decline is not karma — it’s heartbreaking. 

The final episode of the iconic Wendy Williams show aired on June 17, 2022, although Williams herself was not present — she had not hosted the show for almost a year. 

Williams’ absence after appearing on the show herself for over a decade was the result of her ongoing battles with multiple health issues. 

When the cameras weren’t rolling, Williams struggled with alcoholism and several other health issues including Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that leads to an overactive thyroid gland, also known as hyperthyroidism. Symptoms include tremors, fatigue, anxiety, bulging eyes, and unintended weight loss. 

   

   

In 2022, Shawn Zanotti, a spokeswoman for Williams, confirmed to EW that the host had checked in to a wellness facility "seeking help to manage her overall health issues."

Williams also struggled with living independently and making financial decisions for herself. 

According to her court filings, Wells Fargo froze her accounts after her financial adviser at the time alleged that she was of “unsound mind” in 2022. 

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Williams’ ongoing health issues have been especially tough on her family members, who felt as if they were witnessing her decline from the sidelines

“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,” said Williams’ niece, Alex Finne, in a trailer for the new upcoming Lifetime documentary “Where Is Wendy Willaims?” 

Williams’s son, Kevin Hunter Jr., believes that his mother’s rigorous work ethic contributed to her health issues. 

"My mom, she always talks about how she wants to work, but I feel as though she's worked enough," he explained in the documentary. "She has people around her that are 'yes people' and allowing this to continue." 

The trailer also depicted several heartwrenching clips of Willaims suffering from anxiety, weeping over how she misses her family, and moments where she couldn't seem to recall where she was. 

Wendy Williams' Public Downfall And Ongoing Health Issues Are Not Karma Photo: Ron Adar / Shutterstock

Another scene showed Willaims asking her driver to take her past the former "Wendy Willaims Show" studio, even though he had already done so just moments earlier. 

"I don’t know what the hell is going on," her driver said in the documentary. "I think she’s losing memory. She doesn’t know who I am sometimes.”

Recent news sheds light as to why Williams has been struggling with her memory. 

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A press release on February 22, 2024, confirmed that Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

“Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information, and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions,” the statement read.

   

   

Williams’ care team also highlighted the fact that there is often a negative stigma surrounding those with these conditions. 

“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.” 

Many people believe Williams got what she deserved after building a career by gossiping about celebrities. 

Not only is that cold and uncaring, but in light of the news of her diagnosis it's diabolical. Blaming karma for a debilitating medical condition is bullying, and it's worse than any commentary Williams made throughout her career.

Being a TV personality is exactly that: a persona. Williams is also somebody’s mother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s aunt, somebody’s dear friend, and somebody’s daughter. 

   

   

Their hearts are shattered watching someone they love decline so rapidly.

And if we’re being really honest with ourselves, we have all engaged in not only our fair share of celebrity gossip, but gossip about our friends, family, and other loved ones. We just weren’t being filmed or in the public eye. 

As the saying goes, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," and Wendy Williams' struggles and the criticism surrounding her for the last few years couldn't make that more clear. As humans we are all fallible, and more importantly, susceptible to disease, addiction, and mental health struggles.

Instead of causing division, our humanity should bring us together.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.