Wendy Williams guardian claims the host was ‘not capable of consenting’ to documentary in unsealed lawsuit

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The lawsuit also claims that the documentary “shamelessly exploits” the former TV host.

The fallout from the controversial Wendy Williams documentary continues. According to now a now unsealed lawsuit filed by the TV host’s court-appointed guardian Sabrina Morrissey, Lifetime and its parent company A&E allegedly “shamelessly” exploited Williams in their “Where is Wendy Williams?” documentary.

Per People, the guardian filed the lawsuit after watching the trailer for the documentary, which dropped on the internet earlier this year. In the suit obtained by the outlet, Morrissey reportedly “slams” the project, saying that it “portrays her in an extremely demeaning and undignified manner.”

2019 NYWIFT Muse Awards
TV personality Wendy Williams attends the 2019 NYWIFT Muse Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown on Dec. 10, 2019, in New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for New York Women in Film

The documents claim that the former “The Wendy Williams Show” host was “not capable” of consenting to her contract with A&E Networks and that “court and guardian approval was needed for all contracts before a documentary with privately-shot footage of the talk show host could be publicly released,” claiming that said approval was not “sought or provided.”

It also claims inaccuracies in the documentary, alleging that Lifetime, “incorrectly states that she is ‘broke’ and cruelly implies that her disoriented demeanor is due to substance abuse and intoxication.”

The document reads, “This blatant exploitation of a vulnerable woman with a serious medical condition who is beloved by millions within and outside of the African American community is disgusting, and it cannot be allowed.”

The executive producer of the documentary Mark Ford revealed that “Wendy’s attorneys and the guardianship attorneys were consulted and signed off on” the project in a story from People Magazine last month. In a statement in response to the news of the lawsuit, a representative for Lifetime told the outlet on Thursday, “We look forward to the unsealing of our papers as well, as they tell a very different story.”

The documentary, which aired on Lifetime last month, received strong ratings for the cable channel, averaging “1.04 million same-day viewers, per The Hollywood Reporter. The two-part event received mixed reviews however, with some critics go so far as to call the project “unsettling and exploitative,” Variety reports.

Ahead of the documentary, Williams’ primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia diagnoses were revealed, as theGrio previously reported. In an interview with Today.com shortly after the premiere of the documentary, producers told the outlet that they were not aware of her diagnosis, but simply said, “Some days, Wendy was on and very Wendy. Other days, she wasn’t.”

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