On the 20th December 2018 a jittery Wendy Williams appeared on her long running daytime TV talk show, slurring and repeating words. Later that day, she apologized on Instagram, blaming her pain medication for a fractured shoulder and her on-going Graves’ disease for her ‘less than stellar,’ performance. She promised a, “better Wendy in 2019.’
She hasn’t been seen on-air since.
Sources close to the host tell Page Six that Wendy has been acting erratically at work for the last few years with behavior worsening in recent months.
A frequent guest told Page Six that, while on the show last year, “Producers told me, ‘You carry the segment’” implying that Wendy couldn’t do so on her own. Williams was “a little out of sorts,” said the frequent guest.
Last week, photos were published online of the host in South Florida. Her team says, she’s in long-term hospitalization for a fractured shoulder and complications from Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid. But sources say that the queen of spilling tea has been hiding pitchers’ worth of her own secrets for more than a decade — including emotional and, in the past, even physical abuse by her husband and manager, Kevin Hunter.
Employees of Wendy’ TV show have long worried about their boss and her unusual behavior, which they say began to increase around the 2014/2015 season.
One former TV-show producer, who worked on the program at that time and later, said Thursdays were particularly worrisome.
“On those days we would tape one show live, and then there’d be a break and we would tape another show to air on Friday. Sometimes [Wendy] would be in her dressing room, doing whatever she does between shows, and her behavior for the second show would seem erratic. It started happening more and more frequently . . . trailing off mid-sentence, not finishing her thoughts,” the former TV producer said.
Added a longtime staffer: “There were times when you would be briefing her and you would say, ‘What’s going on with her? She’s not present.’”
Wendy raised fans’ eyebrows when she fainted during a 2017 Halloween show, blaming it on dehydration and a hot Statue of Liberty costume. Last February, the host announced she was taking a three-week hiatus from the show due to her Graves’ disease and issues with hyperthyroidism.
Not everyone is buying 54-year-old Wendy’ excuses, however.
The talk-show host has been candid about a decade-long cocaine addiction during her 20s and 30s. In July 2018, Wendy told “Entertainment Tonight” that it’s a “miracle” she’s sober now. But demons still seemed to haunt her into her 40s and 50s.
“Wendy does everything really hard. If she’s drinking, it’s bottles and bottles,” Referring to Williams’ radio days, the source said,said a former employee of Williams’ national radio show,
A former intern at “The Wendy Williams Experience” said part of his duties in 2008 included buying the host bottles of Champagne and wine, which he had to sneak into the studio with a corkscrew in his back pocket so that Hunter, 47, wouldn’t know his wife was drinking.
According to sources from the radio show, Williams feared her husband’s wrath.
“She would hide in the bathroom and tell me to knock on the door when he left the office so she wouldn’t have to see him. You’d hear slaps or some type of tussling going on. [Hunter] started screaming at all the interns and said, ‘Everybody’s fired, everybody go home,’” said the intern, who added that it was common for Hunter to pull Williams into a private room and for staff to hear them fighting.
“I [went] to Wendy and I said, ‘Your husband just told me to go home,’ and she said, ‘Well, it is what it is.’ ”
The intern said he was offered his job back the next day, but declined.
Kevin’s temper, according to sources, could turn violent. One night, around 2007, an associate witnessed Hunter acting aggressively toward Wendy at a nightclub.
When the couple left the club, Hunter hit Williams in the back seat of the car, according to a former friend who was with them. The blow to Williams’ mouth was so severe, “there was blood everywhere.”
When they got to a Midtown parking garage, “Kevin grabbed [Wendy] and pulled her into the bathroom. The parking attendant called the police,” said the former friend. No charges were filed.
Nicole Spence, who worked on “The Wendy Williams Experience” from 2004 to 2008, made allegations of abusive behavior by Kevin in a June 2008 lawsuit against him and Wendy. The complaint claimed Kevin sexually harassed Nicole and created a “hostile work environment,” and alleged that Nicole witnessed Kevin physically assault his wife.
“In one instance. Mr. Hunter stormed into the studio, demanded that other employees leave and openly physically abused Ms. Williams, pinning her against the wall with his hand around her neck, choking her while repeatedly pounding his fist into the wall directly by her head,” alleged the complaint. The case was apparently settled on Oct. 22, 2008.
“They’re not your typical couple. They’re not a couple where you think there is love there. It’s very toxic,” said the former radio employee.
Wendy and Kevin met at a skating rink in 1994, married three years later and welcomed their son, Kevin Jr., in 2000. Kevin, who owned a beauty parlor before meeting Wendy, became her manager and production partner.
“He has no life without her. He didn’t even own a computer when I [worked] for him,” said the former radio employee.
Kevin is known for showing up to work in a green Ferrari and wearing fur coats. Multiple sources say he smokes pot in his office at the “Wendy Williams Show” and both the longtime TV show staffer and the former TV producer said he sometimes walked the set with a bottle of tequila in hand.
Despite having no previous TV experience, Kevin was made an executive producer of the show. He wasted no time letting the staff know who was in charge.
“There was definitely a point when we were scared to go to work. The screaming got to be too much,” said a former talent employee at the TV show, who quit a few years ago, largely, the person said, due to Hunter’s verbal abuse.
While no sources at the “Wendy Williams Show” report having witnessed any physical abuse by Kevin since the show started, former employees say he regularly humiliated Wendy’s.
“At one point she became vegan-esque. Kevin would berate her if she ate something that was not on their eating plan. He’d scream, ‘Don’t be a fat ass! It’s a cycle of abuse,” said the former TV producer.
According to the former TV producer, Kevin tried to keep Wendy from fostering close friendships. When she and a show wardrobe stylist developed a rapport, Wendy took care to keep it secret, said the ex-TV producer.
“Once they went to a designer’s showroom in Manhattan and the stylist drove Wendy back [home] to New Jersey. Wendy asked to be dropped off a block away so Kevin wouldn’t see that she was in the car with the stylist,” said the former TV producer — adding that Hunter eventually found out “and the stylist was let go from her position shortly after.”
But Wendy has kept the faith, brushing off rumors of Hunter’s alleged mistress, Sharina Hudson, on the air, stating in September 2017: “I stand by my guy.”
On Monday’s show, guest host Nick Cannon shared that he had spoken to Wendy and that “her, Kevin and Little Kevin . . . are all good. The passion is still there because that’s what you need in times like this.”
For now, those close to Wendy hope she gets the help she needs.
“I don’t f–k with Kevin. I think he’s a terrible human being,” said Lenard ‘Charlamagne’ McKelvey, who was a close friend of Williams’ and co-hosted her radio show until he was fired in 2008.
“I will just tell you that I hope Wendy Williams wakes up before one day she doesn’t wake up.”
Source: Page Six
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