Wendy Williams' tragic real-life story

Wendy Williams has spent the majority of her career chatting about the latest happenings in the entertainment world and beyond. After garnering attention on her highly successful radio show on WBLS-FM, she made the transition to become one of the most popular television hosts. On any given day, viewers of The Wendy Williams Show can digest all of the hot tea she pours, in addition to exclusive celebrity interviews from the brave stars who dare to enter her television studio. With all of the focus placed on the famous people she loves to rip into, many of her fans are unaware of the sadness that surrounds the talk show maven's private life. 

Through the years, she has spilled tidbits of information about those trying times, which included her heartbreaking fertility struggles, a rough childhood, and a possibly tumultuous marriage. As of this writing, Williams has been on an extended hiatus from her show while she deals with multiple health issues, including "complications regarding her Graves' Disease" and a fractured shoulder, according to Us Weekly.

Behind the big attitude and the even bigger wigs stands a woman who has been through more trials and tribulations than one could ever imagine. This is the tragic real-life story of Wendy Williams.

Fat shamed by the ones she loved

As a shock jock and one of the queens of daytime television, Williams has had the nation eating out of the palm of her hand, chomping at the bit in anticipation of all of her juicy gossip. She lights up whenever the cameras turn on, and she rarely misses a day of work. But, sadly, she wasn't always living the dream. "My life before 21 sucked," she told People magazine. 

As a young girl, she dealt with body image issues while she was at school, and things didn't get any better when she was at home, either. She told ABC that her parents would "fat shame" her, while telling People that she went on her first diet when she was in the first grade. "Tuna fish and mustard with yogurt on the side. Weight was a big thing for me to overcome."

She finally grew to accept and love her body, and her relationship with her parents, including her mom, Shirley (pictured), did a complete 180. With the turmoil behind them, her parents are now her biggest fans.

She 'fought tooth and nail to be a mother'

Once she and her husband, Kevin Hunter, decided to start a family, Williams hit a painful roadblock. "There was a hiccup with a couple of miscarriages," she told People magazine. "Life is hard on us women."

She doesn't speak about those distressing moments of her life often, but she did peel back some of the layers surrounding her fertility struggles during an appearance on American Masters: The Women's List (via Essence). "I fought tooth and nail to be a mother," she stated. "I suffered several miscarriages including two at five months. That's when you have the clothes already picked out, the nursery is already painted. They ask you do you want a funeral or do you want the cremation."

Her dreams of becoming a mother finally came true when she conceived their son, Kevin Jr., but expanding their family even further just wasn't in the cards. "I would've loved to have had more children but I don't want to test my blessing," she said.

Her son turned into a 'stranger' after drug use

Though Williams adores being a mom and never holds back from gushing about her son, their relationship once hit an unfortunate and tragic snag. The talk show host told Entertainment Tonight in July 2018, "Our son, three years ago, he's 17 now, he just graduated from high school, he's leaving for college in September, but three years ago he smoked K2."

A teenager experimenting with drugs is nothing new, but K2 — a form of synthetic marijuana — did some devastating damage to Williams' son. She explained that the drug turned him into a stranger.

"I was horrified. My son became someone I didn't even know," Williams said, revealing she had noticed the changes in him "immediately."

We can't imagine how helpless Williams must have felt in this situation. But as devastating as this all is, Kevin Jr. (pictured) isn't the only person in Williams' household who's dabbled with drugs…

She was a 'functioning addict'

For ten years, Wendy Williams struggled with an addiction to "crack cocaine," according to Tell Me More (via NPR). Speaking with ET, Williams defined herself as a "functioning addict" during the height of her addiction. Though she claims she made it "to work on time," everyone at her place of employment were well aware of her struggles. "I would grab my headphones and arrogantly walk into the studio and dare them to fire me because I was making ratings," Williams said.

Before quitting drugs at age 30, Williams got her fix the old school way. "This was before cell phones, waiting, just like a real fiend — waiting on Jerome Avenue at three o'clock in the morning as a single woman with a thriving career here in New York."

With her addiction in the rear view mirror, the TV personality found a way to give back through her The Hunter Foundation's "Be Here" campaign, which helps to combat drug and substance abuse in various communities.

Can we just give her a round of applause for getting clean and making it her mission to help others?  

A scary diagnosis

Viewers were shocked when Williams wobbled around, her eyes rolled back, and she passed out right there on stage during her show's annual Halloween special. After EMTs arrived and pumped her full of electrolytes to bring down her blood pressure, Williams continued filming the show as if everything were perfectly fine. 

She initially claimed she had simply overheated in her Statue of Liberty costume, but, after taking a hiatus from the show to tend to her health, she decided to come clean about her real diagnosis.

She told People magazine in March 2018 that she had been diagnosed with Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism 19 years prior. She admitted she had canceled one of her doctor's appointment to attend a business meeting instead, putting her health in immense danger. 

"I love doing the show, but I love me more. So I'm going to take care of me, so I can be there for them," she told People about her plans to take her ailment seriously.

Vicious rumors about her gender

When asked about transgender actress Laverne Cox, one of the many stars of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, during an interview with ABC, Williams changed the subject, focusing instead on how others have perceived her over the years. She said, "People do think I was born a man."

To elaborate even further, the talkative TV host said, "I get it. I've got a strong face, a strong body, I'm 5'11. I wear wigs. I get it." We're glad she gets it, but we don't. How can people be so cruel?

If you're wondering if all of the chatter surrounding her gender bothers her, Williams said, "Do I get upset with it? No."

Although she brushed off the rumors, she did appear to be somewhat hurt by all of the banter. Can you really blame her? "I get where that comes from, but in my opinion, there's no worse way to insult a woman than to say she looks like a man … [but] there's nothing you can call me at this particular point. I've been dealing with this for decades," she said.

Is another woman in the picture?

Williams makes a living from chatting about other people's lives, so it was shocking when her own life became the center of tabloid fodder in September 2017. The DailyMailTV dropped a bombshell when they accused Williams' husband, Hunter, of carrying on a secret, long-term affair with a woman named Sharina Hudson.

The website claimed Hunter had been splitting his time between his alleged mistress' suburban house that he'd reportedly purchased for her and the home he shared with Williams and their son. He and Hudson were even photographed together following the release of the exclusive report when Hunter picked her up in his car in New York City. 

Williams' spokesperson denied the affair. "One plus one does not equal three. This woman is a friend of Mr. Hunter but there is no 'there' there," the statement read, in part. According to BET, aside from that denial, Williams "remained mum" on the topic… until December 2018 when her lawyers did the talking for her by issuing the tab "a cease and desist 'demanding a retraction.'"

Sadly, though, this was not Williams first experience dealing with alleged infidelity… 

A hurtful discovery during the happiest moment of her life

What was supposed to be the most wonderful time in Williams' life turned into heartbreak in 2001 when she overheard "a late-night telephone call and some clandestine whispering" between Hunter and his mistress about a month after she gave birth to their son, Kevin Jr.

Williams claimed that she was shocked by her own response to the discovery. "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!'" she told VladTV. However, looking back on that time, Williams stated that everyone had healed from the situation. She also revealed how his affair strengthened their bond. "It has made our marriage stronger," she said. "No, I'm not back to the girl I was before him, because when you get stung like that, you never go back to who you were. Only a fool does, but I love him and he loves me."

Let's recap: After suffering numerous miscarriages she was finally able to conceive, only to find out her husband was cheating on her after giving birth to their miracle baby. SMH. How much more can Williams take?

Is her husband ruining her career?

In a complaint filed in 2008 (via TMZ), a talent broker during Wendy Williams' radio days claimed that Williams' husband Kevin Hunter sexually harassed her and that Williams did nothing to stop his alleged behavior. The woman also claimed that not only did Hunter charge at her at one point but he also allegedly assaulted Williams by "choking her" and "pinning her" against the wall.

And that wasn't the first time Williams' husband was at the center of controversy. Her former sidekick, The Breakfast Club co-host Charlamagne Tha God, told Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen that Hunter is what came between he and Williams professionally, and that Hunter is also usually "the one common denominator" in any beef Williams has. In a shocking twist, Cohen agreed, "I think that might be the one thing that happened with she and I, too." 

The NY Daily News also reported insider rumors about Hunter, who's also an executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, being a menace behind the scenes and "making everyone's lives miserable and is causing problems on an otherwise great show." The insider added, "Wendy is smart. No one can understand why she does not tell him to f**k off." Well, then. 

A health setback forced a lengthy hiatus

Wendy Williams canceled the Dec. 17, 2018 taping of her eponymous talk show. At a taping the following day, she wore a sling on her right arm, which she kept hidden underneath a hot pink sweater. "I have a hair fracture on my right shoulder. I did it on Sunday — by Monday morning my shoulder was on fire," the talk show maven stated (via People).

She soldiered on for a few more tapings, before the show went on its pre-scheduled hiatus for the holidays. When it was time to return to work, Williams was a no-show. The talk show's Instagram account stated the former radio host was still "on the mend" and would return to the program on Jan. 14, 2019. You could probably guess what happened next. When Jan. 14 rolled around, Williams pushed back her return date again but promised to show up on Jan. 21. And then, a few days before that scheduled return, another note popped up on the show's Instagram page, stating she was delaying her return for a third time. That statement revealed she had "experienced complications regarding her Graves' Disease that will require treatment." 

The statement added Williams would need "significant time spent in the hospital," but she raised eyebrows when she was spotted out and about at a CVS in Florida on Jan. 29, 2019. 

About that 'less than stellar' interview

After fracturing her shoulder, Wendy Williams returned to her daytime talk show and interviewed hip-hop group The Lox on Dec. 20, 2018. Everyone noticed something was off about Williams, who wasn't acting like her usual self. "Her eyes seemed wider than usual and the normally-chatty Williams often stumbled over her words and left awkwardly-long pauses during their conversation," People reported.

Once the cameras stopped filming, and Williams was made aware that her viewers were concerned about her behavior, she took to the show's official Instagram page to make an announcement. Not only did she apologize for a "less than stellar" episode, she blamed it all on one thing: "I've never taken a pain medication in my life (except when I got snatched over 20 years ago) until this week. I did that to power through and try to deliver a great show for you, against the better judgement of the many people around me who genuinely care for my well-being," she wrote.

In the end, she pledged to be "a better Wendy in 2019," but her promise wouldn't pan out. The new year started out with a slew of guests hosts and no Williams in sight.

She's out of the loop

Wendy Williams and her husband, Kevin Hunter, who's also an executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, were allegedly still very much involved when Wendy initially stepped away from the show to tend to her health. An insider even claimed Williams and Hunter would grant "approval on replacement hosts and guests" during her absence. Eventually, the couple was allegedly phased out of the show's planning process. "She is 100 percent not involved," a source told Us Weekly in February 2019. "Every decision is now being made with zero conversations with Wendy."

This allegation is particularly surprising, considering the company that produces Williams' show, Debmar-Mercury, said some very sweet and encouraging words in a public statement. "We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready," Debmar-Mercury's statement read, as published via The Wendy Williams Show's Instagram feed.

Is she 'super scared' of losing her talk show?

With Wendy Williams taking some time to get her health in tip-top shape, her show scrambled to find her replacement. American Pie star Jason Biggs, comedienne Sherri Shepherd, and actor and television personality Nick Cannon all filled in for Williams.

The latter revealed on his first day on the job that he had spoken to Williams, her husband, Kevin Hunter, and their son, Kevin Hunter Jr. on the phone. Cannon assured the crowd and viewers at home that Williams was doing great and "sounded amazing." While her devoted fans were happy to receive the update because they missed her terribly, they were also very pleased with the Drumline actor's three-day hosting duties. And this, apparently, made Williams "super scared" that she could lose her show.

"Watching [fill-in host] Nick Cannon being a huge hit with her audience is tough for her," an insider told Page Six. "They're already starting to mess with the format. It's like watching them screw around with her baby." 

Even though she wanted to get back out there and reclaim her throne, the insider added that Williams was "in no state" to return to television "anytime soon."

Does her husband have a baby on the way?

On top of her health issues, the end of 2018 also brought upon a salacious rumor dished out by gossip blogger B. Scott. The exclusive report claimed Wendy Williams' husband, Kevin Hunter, had gotten his alleged mistress, Sharina Hudson, pregnant. Yes, the same woman DailyMailTV accused Hunter of living a double life with, dating back to Sept. 2017.

In addition, there were allegations that Williams was self-medicating with either opioids or prescription pills and that she was at her wits' end with her marriage. "Word around the [Wendy Williams Show] is that [Williams and Hunter are] going to divorce sometime now that [Williams and Hunter's son] little Kevin has gone college," an insider told the website.

Shortly after that bombshell report made its rounds around the internet, B. Scott was slammed with a cease and desist letter, complete "with typos," on Dec. 26, 2018, "demanding a retraction" of the story. "Mrs. Wendy Williams-Hunter and Mr. Kevin Hunter categorically deny each and every allegation made by your 'sources,' even if not specifically enumerated herein," the statement reads. As of this writing, the article has yet to be pulled from B. Scott.