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 now-estranged 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' now-estranged 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 now-estranged husband was cheating on her after giving birth to their miracle baby. SMH. How much more can Williams take?

Was her husband ruining her career?

In a complaint filed in 2008 (via TMZ), a talent broker during Wendy Williams' radio days claimed that Williams' now-estranged 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 Hunter 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.

Battling addiction in the public eye isn't a cakewalk

Wendy Williams exemplified bravery and grace when, during a March 2019 Wendy Williams Show taping, she revealed that she had been living in a sober facility. The television host made the admission through tears, and it was an emotional segment, to say the least. Considering Williams has dealt with addiction issues for a long time, we imagine it must have been difficult for her to revisit this painful subject again.

To make the situation even tougher, multiple outlets shared photographs of Williams exiting her sober living facility the day after her reveal. Maybe we're alone in this opinion, but perhaps the media should have given her some space during this time.

Williams' story hit another sad note after the Daily Mail published an allegation that the she had relapsed. The March 26, 2019 report claimed that the talk show guru disappeared after taping an episode of her show, a supposed vanishing that sent her staff into panic mode. "She was in a bad way and disappeared from the studio after her show Monday," a source shared. "She went back to the sober house only to check herself out and decided to start drinking." The report went on to state that Williams was "taken to the hospital" to treat her alleged relapse. 

We can't verify this report, but there's a good chance that Williams needs support. Addiction, as experts have previously noted, can be very difficult to treat.

Her divorce isn't cut and dry

Following months of speculation and rumors, Williams filed from divorce from Kevin Hunter on April 11, 2019, after 21 years of marriage. The television personality seemingly addressed the news during an April 15, 2019 episode of The Wendy Williams Show, in which she gushed to fans about her new chapter. "I have to tell you, you know I've been dealing with issues with addiction, alcoholism, and I have a whole new life that I planned for myself and my son," she shared with fans, before explaining how her life in a sober house had afforded her a fresh perspective. 

"You wear a different mask when you're out here. ... Everybody has things in their life that they're embarrassed to share with the world, or they're frightened to share with the world, or they're not ready to share with the world," she explained. "Addressing my sobriety, my addiction, head on, has really helped me sort out every single compartment of my life." You go, girl.

Although Williams had an upbeat view about her life changes, it's a bit difficult to ignore the complications involved in her divorce. Case in point: At the time of the separation, Hunter was the executive producer of her show as well as her manager. Talk about a sticky situation. 

The good news? Williams was able to fire Hunter with apparently minimal drama attached — it seems like many fans had her back on this one.

Did Hunter's alleged mistress have his baby?

A shocking rumor about Wendy Williams' personal life cropped up in March 2019, when Page Six reported that Kevin Hunter's alleged mistress, massage therapist Sharina Hudson, gave birth to his child. Yikes to the millionth degree.

"Sharina gave birth to the baby at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philly," a source alleged to Page Six. "Apparently, they chose this location because they were worried that if she gave birth in New York, it would be leaked to the press."

The accusation is terrible on its face, but it's especially upsetting when you consider Williams was living in a sober house at the time. "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," another source added. 

As of this writing, neither Hunter nor Hudson have addressed the baby rumor. But it's worth noting that speculation about the pair's relationship has been rampant since 2017, when DailyMailTV published multiple photos of them out and about town. Williams, via her lawyer, denied the gossip after the news broke, but it's possible she has since changed her tune given that Hunter admitted (via People) post-breakup that he wasn't "proud of [his] recent actions." Hmm.

Wait, what about poison?

Arguably the most upsetting and bizarre allegation to surface about Wendy Williams' life? Look no further than the rumor that Williams' now-estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, poisoned her. Ugh, where do we even begin?

The drama started in January 2019, when someone claiming to work for Williams' production company called the police to report that Hunter was allegedly poisoning the talk show host, as TMZ reported. When police arrived at the now exes' home, Hunter was reportedly hesitant to let them in to investigate due to a health issue Williams was suffering from at the time. That problem, as the police report noted, was Williams' fractured shoulder

Once inside the house, officers discovered Williams lying "in bed 'with the blanket covering from neck to toe.'" Per the report, Hunter didn't leave the room when officers asked to talk to Williams alone, citing his concern for the talk show host's injury. Officers then asked Williams about the poisoning allegation, which she brushed off by saying, "Well, I'm very popular." When pressed about the issue, she "became tearful," but still denied the claim.

We're not sure what to make of this mess, to be honest, but we're glad Williams is okay.

The real reason her friendship with Charlamagne tha God suffered

Once upon a time, Breakfast Club star Charlamagne tha God (real name Lenard McKelvey) formed a strong friendship with Wendy Williams during his time working on her now defunct WBLS-FM radio show. Translation: The two have history.

Sadly, their relationship fell apart around 2008, when Charlamagne was axed from Williams' show. The radio star actually blamed Hunter, who still happened to be his manager at the time, for the fallout. In his 2017 memoir Black Privilege (via BET), Charlamagne wrote, "[Hunter would] yell at and often threaten people ... But it wasn't how I wanted to do business."

Despite Charlamagne's issues with Hunter, he never felt anger towards Williams. And he blamed their longtime feud (the pair didn't speak for years) on Hunter's alleged affair with Sharina, who he introduced Hunter to in a professional context. "Kevin got upset because he thought Sharina liked one of my homeboys and he thought that I was hooking Sharina up [with other men]," he told Page Six in 2009. The radio star also accused Hunter of forcing Williams to cut off contact with him, a claim he touched on again after Williams filed for divorce in April 2019, explaining: "Kevin told her some other reason as to why he stopped dealing with me so it's just good to clear the air."

Charlamagne called Williams to hash things out, and it sounds, as of this writing, like these two are back on track.