Wendy Williams Says Her Ex-Husband, Kevin Hunter, Helped Her Get Sober

Wendy Williams believes her ex, Kevin Hunter, played a significant role in her seeking sobriety in the 1990s. 

The television show host and former disc jockey said she hadn’t misused substances like cocaine in over 20 years. Williams said on The Wendy Williams Show that her journey with cocaine, specifically, began when she was getting her start in the radio industry. It was during this time that Williams met Hunter. The pair divorced in January 2020 after 23 years.

Wendy Williams, Hunter Kevin and Carlos Narcisse attend the "Ask Wendy" Book Release Party at Pink Elephant on May 9, 2013 in New York City.
Kevin Hunter and Wendy Williams|Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Wendy Williams said she knew it was ‘time to stop’ her partying ways after she met Kevin Hunter

During an interview with People in 2014, Williams discussed when she first began misusing substances. She said she first tried cocaine as an undergraduate student at Boston’s Northeastern University. Williams said she continued using cocaine sporadically throughout college but didn’t have the money to engage in the activity long-term. However, that changed when Williams landed her first on-air job with New York City’s WRKS station in 1989.

 Wendy Williams wearing dress by Norma Kamali and Kevin Hunter attend Wendy Williams and The Hunter Foundation gala at Hammerstein Ballroom.
Wendy Williams and Kevin Hunter|Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

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Williams said she frequently used cocaine throughout her first radio gig. She said once she got closer to 29-years-old, Williams decided she needed to change her ways. The Wendy Williams Show host’s relationship with Hunter also made her stop using substances.

“I decided to step back and take an assessment of my life,” Williams said.  “Somehow, I hadn’t gotten caught up in handcuffs or shamed my parents. I had just met this new guy. I said, ‘Count your blessings, Wen. It’s time to stop.’”

Wendy Williams says it was a ‘miracle’ that she stopped using cocaine

In July 2018, Williams shared more insight into her past with cocaine. The daytime host told Entertainment Tonight that her substance misuse surprisingly didn’t affect her career.

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“I would report to work on time, and I walked in and all of my coworkers, and including my bosses, would know but instead of firing me, you see, I would grab my headphones and arrogantly walk into the studio and dare them to fire me because I was making ratings,” Williams said. “[A] functioning addict has several alarm clocks, you’re organized. It’s a miracle I was able to stop.”

Wendy Williams entered a sober house during her marital issues with Kevin Hunter

Although Hunter was one of Williams’ reasons to seek sobriety in the 1990s, his behavior caused Williams to seek help from other resources in 2019. During an episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Williams revealed to her fans that she stayed at a sober living facility when she wasn’t filming. At the time, Williams didn’t share what caused her to go to the facility. However, rumors swirled that Hunter was expecting a baby with his longtime mistress, Sharina Hudson, around the same time. Hunter and Williams later confirmed that he had a daughter outside of their marriage. 

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In August 2019, Williams shared the real reason she decided to enter a sober living facility with The New York Times Magazine. Williams said she knew Hunter’s news would go public soon. Williams felt as if she needed time to deal with the fallout by herself. 

“I’d done my detective work. I knew what was about to happen, and I was like, ‘Let me go someplace where you’re not allowed to have the whole bottle of wine,’” Williams recalled. “When you see your husband’s mistress with a burgeoning belly, and you’re a blabbermouth on TV with a successful show, you know what’s about to happen.”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357