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 and a rough childhood where she was incessantly taunted by family members.

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 a drug addiction. She told Tell Me More (via NPR), "I was addicted to cocaine — crack cocaine."

In a later interview with ET, Williams defined herself as a "functioning addict" during the height of her addiction. She said that she was able to report to work on time, but 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," she said.

Before quitting using drugs when she turned 30, Williams said she would spend her time, "Cooking it … getting it up in the Bronx. 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 has 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?

She makes a living from chatting about other people's lives, so it was shocking when Williams was at 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.

While her fans wondered why Williams would stay with her husband despite what appeared to be solid proof of his philandering, Williams' idea of marriage appears to be what kept her planted. She told YourTango in 2012, "If you're with the other person for a long time and you've invested a lot in the relationship or are married, for example, you owe it to yourself to try and make it work." 

Sadly, she's speaking from experience…

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 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.

Although her parents were also in the home at the time, helping to guide her as a new mother, Williams kept the cheating a secret. She told VladTV, "I never went to my mother and talked to her about it, I never talked to my father about it. I'm sure my father wanted to punch Kevin out … but this was a problem that was between me and Kevin."

Looking back on that time, she stated that everyone had healed from the situation, and her parents still loved Hunter despite the infidelity. 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 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, was asked if there was one thing that ruined his working relationship with Williams on an episode of Watch What Happens Live. He told host Andy Cohen, "Yeah, her husband. He was the one thing."

In a shocking twist, Cohen replied, "I think that might be the one thing that happened with she and I, too." Charlamagne Tha God quickly added, "Usually when you see her having a falling out with somebody, the one common denominator is her husband."

Rumors about Hunter, who's also an executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, being a menace behind the scenes have been floating around for years. An insider even told the NY Daily News that it was Hunter who was running things at Williams' talk show. "Wendy is smart. No one can understand why she does not tell him to f**k off," the source said. "He is making everyone's lives miserable and is causing problems on an otherwise great show."