The Strange Connection Between Wendy Williams And Britney Spears

When you think of Wendy Williams and Britney Spears, you wouldn't exactly call them the best of friends. They don't run in the same social circles, and their paths seldom cross in public — if at all. But the fan-favorite host and the pop star have one thing that unites them, something that made them the talk of the town.

Ironically, Williams, for the most part, had been overly critical of the "Toxic" singer. In her years of hosting "The Wendy Williams Show," she never shied away from dropping controversial statements and blasted Spears repeatedly, from making light of claims that Spears was addicted to crystal meth to calling her a "screw loose." She even supported Spears' father, Jamie Spears, during the height of her conservatorship controversy.

Williams never issued an apology to Spears, though she eventually changed her stance and went all in on her support for the #FreeBritney movement. "How dare you, Mr. Spears. You had me fooled. And you too, Mrs. Spears. Death to all of them!" she said on her show. Little did Williams know that years later, she, too, would find herself under a form of guardianship that forbade her from having complete control over her finances. After making fun of Spears' plight for years, Williams found herself in a similar situation as the singer.

They were both placed under court-ordered arrangements

Both Britney Spears and Wendy Williams have found themselves stripped of their autonomy later in life. Spears involuntarily entered conservatorship in 2008 amid a string of controversies, including shaving her head and berating a paparazzo. Her family intervened, culminating in a conservatorship spearheaded by her father. According to court documents obtained by the BBC, he found it was "necessary to protect Britney in every sense of the word." The set-up lasted longer than anticipated, with Spears only breaking out of it in 2021. Throughout that time, Jamie had the final say on the singer's finances and personal affairs, with Spears noting a loss of $36 million over 13 years and allegations of Jamie taking some of her hard-earned fortune. Spears later described the conservatorship as degrading in her memoir "Woman in Me," saying it reduced her to "more of an entity than a person" and "stripped me of my womanhood," as noted by People.

Williams, too, had been placed under a similar arrangement. While hers is commonly referred to as a guardianship in the media, it's technically the same as a conservatorship. It started in May 2022 when Wells Fargo deemed her as an "incapacitated person" and the "victim of undue influence and financial exploitation." Unlike Spears' familial-led conservatorship, Williams' case is overseen by attorney Sabrina Morrissey, who had no prior ties with her, and per Williams' family, they have limited contact with the star. It has also been reported that Williams is in a facility for treatment for her medical issues, including dementia. She has yet to resurface publicly, but her lawyer, La'Shawn Thomas, told The Hollywood Reporter that she opposes the guardianship. "If it's the court's intention to have one appointed over her affairs for the long haul, she definitely isn't going to accept that," he said.

Britney's fans rally behind Wendy Williams' freedom

Upon learning of Wendy Williams' situation, fans everywhere, including those of Britney Spears, sprang into action and rallied for Williams' release. Despite Williams' prior critical comments about Spears, the pop star's supporters knew the limitations imposed by conservatorships on personal freedom and opted to stand with Williams in her fight for autonomy. "Wendy's situation needs constant attention and scrutiny from the public. It worked with Britney and it can work for Wendy. #WhereIsWendyWilliams #FreeWendy," one fan tweeted, with another writing, No matter what Wendy has said or done in the past she does NOT deserve to be in a conservatorship just like Britney didn't, [conservatorships] only exist to take advantage of disabled or perceived disabled individuals and they shouldn't exist! Wendy can take care of her own money! #FreeWendy."

As of this writing, it's unclear how Williams' conservatorship case will move forward, but in her February 2024 statement to the Associated Press, the host thanked fans who offered words of encouragement, especially after her dementia diagnosis came to light. "The messages shared with me have touched me, reminding me of the power of unity and the need for compassion," she said. "I continue to need personal space and peace to thrive. Please just know that your positivity and encouragement are deeply appreciated."