Wendy Williams' Aphasia and Dementia Diagnosis

TV Icon Faces Personal Health Challenges Amid Career Shift.

by Nouman Rasool
Wendy Williams' Aphasia and Dementia Diagnosis
© Lars Niki/Getty Images

In a recent development that has captivated her vast audience, Wendy Williams, the former host of the widely acclaimed "The Wendy Williams Show," has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

This announcement, confirmed by Williams' team through a press release, brings to light her struggles with these challenging conditions. Aphasia primarily affects language and communication skills, while FTD influences behavior and cognitive abilities, marking a significant turn in Williams’ health journey.

Williams, a household name since 2008 due to her charismatic presence on her eponymous talk show, had to step back from her role in 2021 amid various health issues. Her openness about her battles with Graves’ Disease and lymphedema has been a cornerstone of her public persona.

The show, which became a staple in daytime television, concluded in June 2022, following a period where guest hosts temporarily filled in for Williams.

Wendy's Health Struggles

The press release issued by her team sheds light on the progressive nature of her condition.

"In recent years, there have been noticeable changes in Wendy's ability to process information. This, coupled with sporadic language difficulties and erratic behavior, raised questions about her health, especially as she struggled with simple financial transactions," the statement reads.

The decision to go public with this diagnosis was not taken lightly. It aims to foster understanding and compassion for Williams and to bring much-needed attention to aphasia and FTD, often misunderstood and stigmatized conditions.

The press release emphasizes the importance of awareness, noting the challenges faced by many who suffer from these disorders, especially in the absence of an early diagnosis. In tandem with this news, a two-part documentary titled “Where Is Wendy Williams?” is set to premiere on Lifetime.

This revealing documentary, produced by Williams herself, delves into her life, highlighting her struggles with Graves’ Disease among other challenges. Williams' sister, Wanda Finnie, in a recent interview with People magazine, offered an update on Wendy's current state.

"Wendy is in a better place now, focusing on her wellness and recovery in a supportive environment. She reaches out to us regularly, and it's evident that she is not the person portrayed in the documentary," Finnie remarked.

“Where Is Wendy Williams?” is scheduled to air on February 24 and 25, promising viewers an intimate glimpse into the life of one of television's most iconic figures.