Wendy Williams' Net Worth Amid Claims of 'No Money'

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Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams is one of the famous faces of daytime TV, hosting her own talk show from 2008 to 2022. She grew a loyal fanbase over the years who admired her outspokenness, both in regards to her personal life and in celebrity interviews, and a sizable net worth to go with it.

“I knew everything about radio but nothing about TV other than that I liked to watch it,” Williams said to Bloomberg about her transition from radio to television. “But if you’re not going to bet on yourself, who are you going to bet on? We’re in 52 countries around the world.”

On Feb. 22, her team revealed that she's been diagnosed with dementia and aphasia, explaining years of well-documented cognitive decline. The news arrived just ahead of a new Lifetime documentary that chronicles Williams’ recent health and financial struggles.

Read on for a look at how Williams earned her fortune, why her show was canceled and where she is today.

Related: Inside Wendy Williams' Health and Battle With Graves' Disease, Dementia and Aphasia

How did Wendy Williams get famous?

Although she’s now famous for her career as a TV talk show host, Wendy Williams originally got popular as a radio DJ.

“My college radio station was the first time I ever got on a microphone. News wasn’t necessarily up my alley. But when I got with DJing, that’s when I knew,” Williams said, as reported by Bloomberg.

After graduating from Northeastern University in 1986, Williams moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands to work as an afternoon DJ before relocating to Washington, D.C., and eventually New York City. From 2001 to 2009, she hosted a daily radio show called The Wendy Williams Experience, where she became known for her bold style of interviewing that maximized shock value.

“I had a plethora of guests—Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin and Suzanne Somers and people like that—and at the same time I was fraternizing with Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige,” she said.

In 2008, The Wendy Williams Show premiered on TV and was picked up by Fox a year later. It ran for 13 seasons before airing its final episode in 2022.

What is Wendy Williams' net worth in 2024?

In 2024, Wendy Williams’ estimated net worth is $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The bulk of her fortune came from her decade-plus as the host of her own daytime talk show.

However, recent claims from Williams tell a different story. “I have no money, and I’m gonna tell you something,” Williams said in the trailer for her 2024 Lifetime documentary. “If it happens to me, it could happen to you.”

What happened to Wendy Williams?

In the later seasons of her talk show, Williams took a series of hiatuses due to health-related issues. She has always been candid with viewers about her struggles with Graves’ disease and lymphedema.

In 2022, after a particularly long absence from the host, The Wendy Williams Show was officially canceled. “Other than her health, she could have continued to keep doing it as long as she wanted. She was still getting a rating and she has a die-hard audience that turned it into a profitable show,” said Mort Marcus, the co-president of Debmar-Mercury, who syndicated the show. “We were protecting the business, while we waited for her. And at some point, we had to say, ‘We have a business to run and she’s not here.’ It was a hard call.”

That same year, Williams was placed under financial guardianship as her then-financial advisor testified she was of “unsound mind.” In the new Lifetime documentary premiering Feb. 24, which was filmed between 2022 and 2023, Williams appeared to be suffering from a combination of health issues, alcohol addiction and other unexplained cognitive issues.

On Feb. 22, 2024, her team released a statement revealing that Williams had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and aphasia.

“As Wendy’s fans are aware, in the past she has been open with the public about her medical struggles with Graves’ Disease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related to her health," the statement said.

“Receiving a diagnosis has enabled Wendy to receive the medical care she requires."

Her team also noted that Williams is “still able to do many things for herself” and still has her “trademark sense of humor.”

Related: Everything To Know About Bruce Willis’ Health Battle

Where is Wendy Williams today?

According to People, Williams is residing in a facility to treat her cognitive issues, which were recently identified as resulting from frontotemporal dementia and aphasia. She was reportedly placed there by her court-appointed guardian, with little contact from the outside world or her family, although she calls them to check in.

"I spoke with her yesterday and I speak with her very regularly when she reaches out to me. She is, from what I understand, in a wellness, healing type of environment," said Wanda Finnie, Williams’ sister.

Finnie added, “We cannot reach out to her, but she can reach out to us. And she is in a healing place emotionally. She's not the person that you see in this [documentary] film.”

Did Wendy Williams lose her fortune?

In the trailer for her new documentary, Where Is Wendy Williams?, Williams claims that she has no money. And while her exact financial situation is unclear, given that she was placed under financial guardianship in 2022 and is now in a treatment center, it’s likely that something happened to negatively impact her finances.

How Williams' recent dementia diagnosis has or will impact her finances is unclear, but that sort of progressive disease eventually requires costly around-the-clock care.

How much did Wendy Williams make from The Wendy Williams Show?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Wendy Williams had a salary of $10 million a year—or about $55,000 an episode—while she was filming The Wendy Williams Show.

Is Wendy Williams still getting paid for her show?

Although Williams’ current financial situation is not public information, a court filing obtained by The U.S. Sun states that she stopped receiving income for The Wendy Williams Show in October 2021.

“On October 15, 2021 plaintiff was informed by Talk WW that her contract was being suspended and that no compensation shall accrue or be payable to plaintiff for the duration of plaintiff’s disability and incapacity,” wrote her attorney.

Why did Wendy Williams leave her show?

Wendy Williams left her show due to physical health issues that she’d been dealing with for years, although her new Lifetime documentary sheds light on her other struggles, including alcoholism and mental health issues, that may have contributed to her exit from the show. In 2022, the talk program was canceled altogether.

Next, Inside Wendy Williams' Tumultuous Relationship With Ex-Husband Kevin Hunter