Wendy Williams diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia​ and frontotemporal dementia

February 23, 2024 1:20 pm

Wendy Williams [Source: CBS Entertainment]

Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

Williams had taken a leave from her talk show in 2021 while she dealt with health issues, and in 2023, after undergoing “a battery of medical tests,” she was diagnosed with the conditions, which effect language, communication behaviour and function, according to a news release.

Williams, 59, had been open to the public about her Graves’ Disease and lymphedema diagnoses. She initially took an indefinite leave from her long-running talk show, “Wendy,” which premiered in 2008. In 2022 it was announced that Sherri Shepherd would talk over the show as host.

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Wendy’s care team shared the health update on Thursday “to correct inaccurate and hurtful rumours about her health.” She was on occasion seen unable to form words and acted erratically, including during tapings of her talk show, which left many fans concerned and confused.

Williams’ team said the decision to make her diagnosis public was a difficult one, but they decided to do so “not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances.”

They said Williams can still do many things for herself and “maintains her trademark sense of humour.” She is receiving the care she needs, they said.

Willams received a court-appointed guardianship after Wells Fargo alleged in 2022 that she was of “unsound mind,” according to Entertainment Tonight. The bank alleged she was under “undue influence and financial exploitation,” but Williams has denied these claims.

Her son, Kevin Hunter Jr. has also raised concerns about the guardianship. Her manager, Will Selby, refuted the claims to ET saying she is not being taken advantage of.

In the trailer for a two-part documentary on Williams’ life airing on Lifetime Feb 24 and 25, Williams is seen talking about her finances. “I have no money,” she says, distressed. Her family also appears to raise concerns about her guardianship.