Former talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and dementia, her team revealed in a Thursday, February 22, press release. 

“On behalf of Wendy Williams Hunter, her care team is sharing this very personal update with her cherished fans, friends, and supporters to correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health,” the statement began. “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 release went on to state that Wendy’s diagnosis with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia came in 2023. 

“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,” the statement continued. “Receiving a diagnosis has enabled Wendy to receive the medical care she requires.”

Wendy’s team is asking for “understanding and compassion for Wendy” as she navigates the progressive disorder which affects her language and communication as well as behavior and cognitive functions. 

“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself. Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed. She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way,” the statement concluded. 

Wendy, 59, has largely been out of the spotlight since her talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, ended in 2022. However, her family broke their silence on her health issues just one day before news of her devastating diagnosis. 

Wendy Williams Reveals Aphasia and Dementia Diagnosis

“We’ve all seen the images over the last few months — and, really, few years — of what has seemed like a spiral for my aunt,” Wendy’s niece Alex Finnie told People on Wednesday, February 21. “It was shocking and heartbreaking to see her in this state.”

The mother of one has been battling health issues for years, including a 2018 Graves’ disease diagnosis that forced her to take a three-week hiatus from her show. During the 2017 Halloween episode of her show, as Wendy was dressed as the Statue of Liberty, fans watched as the host fainted on live television. Wendy later pointed to Graves’ disease as the reason behind her on-air emergency. 

Where Is Wendy Williams? a two-night docuseries which follows the New Jersey native in the years after her show’s ending – which was executive produced by Wendy herself – premieres Saturday, February 24, on Lifetime.


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