Wendy Williams has earned success in every professional arena she’s entered, from radio to publishing, Broadway, and on television with her hit daytime talk show The Wendy Williams Show.
But along with the ups have come plenty of downs. In fact, she’s experienced an onslaught of heartache and drama along the way, and Williams reveals it all in the Lifetime documentary Wendy Williams: What a Mess! The no-holds-barred film, which she executive produced, gets into her health and weight issues, plastic surgery, miscarriages, past drug use and especially her divorce from longtime husband Kevin Hunter.
“It’s a nice story to tell of a messy girl,” Williams explained during an appearance at Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted awards-season event. “Very rarely do you see a person do a documentary who is still alive and thriving. … Our talk show is still relevant.”
Contenders TV: Full Panel Coverage
Williams sheds a lot of tears through the course of the nearly 90-minute documentary. She says the process was therapeutic.
“It was very, very freeing and cleansing to tell my story,” she said. “And there’s not a bit of the story that was a lie…I was very, very comfortable talking about stuff because I don’t lie, because then you have to remember your lies and you have to go back and re-lie and figure out what did I lie about?”
Williams’ older sister and younger brother also appear in the film, as do her mother and father, commenting on what Wendy was like growing up in New Jersey and on her travails as an adult.
“Somehow I was always just the lost one,” Williams said of her childhood. “It wasn’t until, honestly, my parents saw the double doors open [on her TV talk show] that they said, ‘Ohmygosh. ’”
Williams’ mother Shirley died in December 2020 at the age of 85.
“I like watching [the documentary] because my mom is telling her truth,” Williams shared. “And even though she’s passed away, she’s with me every day.”
The Wendy Williams Show is in its 12th season. The host is already contemplating her future whenever the show leaves the air.
“I love being on every day, the talk show. But I know all good things have to come to an end and I am planning, when the show ends, I’ll still be living here in New York City, which I love,” Williams said. “I want to be part of the social scene that raises money for people less fortunate. And I want to be actually out there doing it, not mailing in a check…I also want to get back in the classroom…I want to be a professor! I do.”
Check out the panel video above.
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