Why Is Wendy Williams So Open About Her Life?

Wendy Williams, the brash talk show host with a style all her own, has had a difficult year. In December, she took a much-publicized hiatus from her popular talk show in order to focus on her health. While her fans (and many media personalities) have speculated about other possible reasons for the extended break, Williams recently shed some light on her personal struggles in a major way during her show.

Why did Williams take a break from her show?

For decades, Wendy Williams has ruled the airwaves, first in radio and then on TV, spilling the tea on celebrities and offering her own humorous take on events of the day. For nearly 10 years, Williams was noted to have never missed an episode of her show, and rarely took vacation days. Williams’ health struggles began in October 2017, when she fainted on live TV, in the midst of filming her talk show. While fans were startled to see Williams take the tumble, she was seemingly back to rights by the next break, telling the audience she had simply overheated in her costume. However, the rumor mill started churning, and reports of everything from hormone imbalance to stress actually being responsible for the fall began circulating.

Then at the end of December 2018, Williams dropped a bombshell on her show when she revealed that her doctors wanted her to take an extended leave of absence from the show in order to treat recent complications from Graves disease. She did not reveal when she would be returning to the show, and during her leave, a variety of guest hosts filled in for her. Rumors also started to bubble up that her husband of 25 years, Kevin Hunter, was cheating on her, which was causing her stress levels to rise and her health to suffer. 

What did Wendy Williams reveal on her show?

In spite of the rumors and the allegations, Williams made a triumphant return to her show in March 2019. During her first show back, she told viewers that she felt great and that such an extended break would not happen again. She also sort of addressed the cheating controversy by making it a point to refer to herself as “Mrs. Hunter,” and that as long as her wedding ring was on her finger (which it was) to not ask her about her marriage.

Williams has always been open and honest with her viewers, a trait that endears her to the average viewer. It also sets her distinctly apart from other talk show hosts of her generation. She has talked in the past about her plastic surgery, which includes breast augmentation, and how she has struggled with drug abuse in the past. Williams opened up even more than expected on the March 19th episode of The Wendy Williams Show. She told her studio audience, and the thousands of viewers around the world, that she is currently living in a sober facility in order to deal with her continuing addiction problems.

The news was shocking, both that the extent of her addiction would call for her to be living apart from her family, in a sober facility, and in that she would choose to share it with the world. Williams got visibly choked up with emotion as she detailed how she spends her days at the facility, with the other patients that she now considers family, and ended her announcement with a plea that anyone else who is suffering from addiction to reach out and get help.

Will audiences love her more for sharing the news?

While Wendy Williams certainly has her fair share of critics, it is likely that her openness in sharing her addiction struggles will only do positive things for her career. Sharing news of that magnitude can’t be easy, and her fans seem to appreciate her for it.

Of course, Williams releasing the news herself means that any tabloid stories that come out in speculation as to her exact health status will lose a bit of credibility. When a well-known personality is so open and honest with her crowd, it is hard to undermine that relationship. It’s certain that Williams’ fans will be behind her now more than ever.