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[UPDATED Feb. 14 1:30 p.m.: Details added from Williams’ affidavit, filed with the New York Supreme Court, as well as photos that Williams’ publicist said were taken on Sunday night.]
Wendy Williams is denying accusations about the state of her mental health following her bank Wells Fargo freezing her accounts and requesting a hearing from the New York Supreme Court to determine whether the TV personality, who has been on hiatus from “The Wendy Williams Show” since July 2021 due to health complications, is an “incapacitated person” who needs a temporary guardianship.
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“On behalf of Wendy Hunter, professionally known as Wendy Williams, as counsel to her and her affairs, Wendy wants the world to know that she strenuously denies all allegations about her mental health and well-being,” Williams’ attorney, LaShawn Thomas, said in a statement provided by publicist Shawn Zanotti to Variety Monday. “During this hiatus from the show, Wendy has employed holistic health professionals to help her reach optimal health during her treatment of Graves’ disease and thyroid concerns.”
In an affidavit filed with the New York Supreme Court, Williams states: “For more than two weeks, Wells Fargo has repeatedly denied my requests to access my financial assets, which total over several million dollars. I have submitted multiple written requests to Wells Fargo and I have visited various Wells Fargo branches in the South Florida area in an effort to resolve this matter outside of the
courtroom. To date, I have submitted and made over a dozen requests, regarding the financial damages resulting from Wells Fargo’s decision to unlawfully deny me access to my accounts. As a result of my inability to access my financial assets, I have defaulted and I am at risk of defaulting on several billing and financial obligations, including, but not limited to, mortgage payments and employee payroll.”
As Variety reported last week, Williams will not be returning to her daytime talk show this season, and the future of her show remains in flux. Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd is in advanced discussions with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury for her own daytime talk show, which could potentially replace Williams’ series, sources say.
In the affidavit, Williams accuses her former financial advisor, Lori Schiller, of alleging that she was of unsound mind and leading Wells Fargo to freeze her accounts. “Despite my decision to terminate Schiller as a result of her improper conduct in relation to my accounts, Wells Fargo continues to deny me access to my financial assets and statements… As I am in the process of auditing my current vendor and service contracts to ensure that all personal and business relationships are in line with my current needs, it is
essential that I have access to all of my financial property. It appears that Schiller was and is disgruntled by this decision for a potential change in direction, and it saddens me that Respondent and I have not been able to resolve this controversy amicably.”
Williams’ attorney added in her statement: “It saddens Wendy that Wells Fargo, has chosen to believe the allegations of a former employee who is upset because she no longer has direct and unfettered access to Wendy’s financial affairs. Wendy had to unfortunately bring this action because Wells Fargo has refused to honor her Power of Attorney, granting her son authority to make inquiries to the bank on Wendy’s behalf. Wendy further believes that all of the false narratives currently making the rounds derive from this source and she is saddened that she once considered this person a friend. Wendy can’t believe that Wells Fargo has wrongly denied her access to her funds without justification. She has spoken to several bank representatives and has even gone into a local branch and discussed this issue with bank managers, as clear evidence that there are no concerns about her state of mind. In fact, Wells Fargo’s alleged suspicions were never raised until Wendy made it known that she no longer wanted to bank at Wells Fargo due to the bank’s mishandling of her complaints against her advisor.
“Wendy wants you to know she is fine; she is of sound mind and disappointed about falsely circulated statements from an industry she has devoted her life to. Wendy is grateful for the love and the outpouring of support she has received from her fans and she can’t want to get back. She thanks everyone who has been patiently awaiting her return and believes that, thanks in large part to the love and support of her son, her family, her new team of doctors and a change of scenery, she is on the mend. Wendy says to all her fans, ‘How you doing?’ So, please send her positive messages, energy, and affirmations to her social media that she can read daily.”
A Wells Fargo employee is currently the financial advisor for Williams, a source tells Variety.
Wells Fargo spokesperson Shea Leordeanu said in a statement to Variety Tuesday: “Wells Fargo’s priority is the financial well-being of Ms. Williams and the preservation of her privacy. As we have expressed to the Court, Wells Fargo is open to working with Ms. Williams’ counsel to release funds directly to her creditors for bills historically and regularly paid from her accounts.”
Below, Zanotti also sent out photos of Williams, which they said were taken while watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
Courtesy of Wendy Williams
Courtesy of Wendy Williams
Courtesy of Wendy Williams
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