Is Wendy Williams ‘Incapacitated’? Update on the Former Host After Lifetime Documentary

Wendy Williams incapacitated
Wendy Williams at Fresco By Scotto on February 21, 2023, in New York City (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez | WireImage via Getty Images)

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of substance abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wells Fargo ruled former talk show host Wendy Williams “incapacitated” in May 2022. The bank placed her under guardianship, claiming she was a “victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.” The decision came as Williams’ health deteriorated over the years. Medical experts first diagnosed her with Graves’ disease in 2018, reported Forbes. In the following years, she took breaks from her talk show, resulting in producers canceling the show in 2022, per BBC.

Later, Williams and her medical team announced her primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia diagnosis. While doctors made the diagnosis in 2023, it only made the news before Where Is Wendy Williams premiered. BBC stated her medical team claimed that they released the information to raise awareness and urged others to be compassionate. The documentary, which covers Williams’ life from 2022 to 2023, reveals her cognitive decline. Some scenes even show the TV personality struggling to remember details of her life.

In a recent update, Wendy Williams’ court-appointed guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, recently sold her Manhattan penthouse, per New York Post. The news came months after Lifetime premiered Williams’ documentary series. Morrissey had previously condemned the network for releasing the documentary. Per People Magazine, she believes it “shamelessly exploits (Williams) and portrays her in an extremely demeaning and undignified manner.”

Where Is Wendy Williams? aired on February 24 and February 25 and is now streaming on Lifetime.

Wendy Williams incapacitated: What is primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia?

According to BBC, former talk show host Wendy Williams has been deemed “incapacitated” by Wells Fargo in 2022. A year later, medical experts diagnosed her with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia. Williams’ care team made the revelation via a press release before the premiere of the Lifetime docuseries Where Is Wendy Williams? The statement said that they share this news “to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy, but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.”

CNN stated that primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia is a progressive brain condition. Aphasia affects one’s ability to communicate, challenging that individual’s capacity to write, speak, or comprehend information. The outlet stated that per the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, brain injuries, infection or tumor in the brain, or a degenerative brain disease such as dementia can cause aphasia.

Meanwhile, frontotemporal dementia (FTD) “is a group of disorders caused by a buildup of tau and other brain cell destroying proteins in the brain’s frontal lobes (behind the forehead) or temporal lobes (behind your ears).” BBC further reported that National Institutes of Health claims FTD symptoms worsen as time passes. While these symptoms are manageable, there is no treatment to slow down or prevent them from progressing.

CNN reported that, per Alzheimer’s Research UK, FTD “condition typically strikes between the ages of 45 and 64.” This condition is the “most common dementia for people under 60, FTD can cause challenges in communication, as well as changes to one’s behavior, personality, or movement,” per the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.

Wendy Williams’ representative revealed that experts at Weill Cornell Medicine made the diagnosis in 2023. In the years before that, news of her Graves’ Disease and Lymphedema diagnoses had surfaced. Additional reports also mentioned that the former host was in rehabilitation for alcohol abuse.

The press release by Williams’ care team claimed, “Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions. Wendy [Williams] is still able to do many things for herself.” People Magazine further reported the team stated that the former host “maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires.”

Is Wendy Williams under financial guardianship?

After Wells Fargo deemed Wendy Williams “incapacitated,” a court placed her under a financial guardianship of Sabrina Morrissey. Williams’ guardian assists her in making financial decisions and recently played a role in the sale of her Manhattan penthouse. New York Post stated that Morrissey sold off the former host’s property and closed the transaction on May 10. The news comes as the 59-year-old faces personal as well as financial problems.

People Magazine reported that Sabrina Morrissey condemned the Lifetime Where Is Wendy Williams? She claimed the docuseries “shamelessly exploits [Williams] and portrays her in an extremely demeaning and undignified manner.” Morrissey’s other allegations blamed the network for “incorrectly” stating “that she is ‘broke.'” She also believes the documentary “cruelly implies that her [Williams’] disoriented demeanor is due to substance abuse and intoxication.”

Wendy Williams’ guardian filed a lawsuit in Februry, before the documentary release, to stop it from airing. In the filings, Sabrina Morrissey claimed Williams was incapable of “consenting” to the terms of the network’s contract. Morrissey filed the lawsuit after watching the trailer and alleged that it “horrified” her. She also alleged that the network did not seek prior permission from her and requested a temporary restraining order on the documentary. The court initially granted the restraining, but a superior court later overturned it.

Contrary to Morrissey’s claims, the Wendy Williams documentary’s executive producer, Mark Ford, offered the outlet a different story. Ford claimed that they had consulted “Wendy’s attorneys and the guardianship attorneys” regarding the documentary, which they filmed between 2022 and 2023.

Ford further explained that Williams, her management, attorney, as well as those involved in the guardianship had “signed off on” the doc and were “aware of the filming” throughout. He added that they did everything “by the book,” including getting “all the permissions” that they required.

Where Is Wendy Williams? is now streaming on Lifetime.

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