All the Revelations from Lifetime’s Where Is Wendy Williams?

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The Lifetime documentary Where Is Wendy Williams? began airing on Saturday, February 25, and in its first two parts began addressing many of the questions that have existed about the talk show host’s whereabouts and well being over the past several years.

While the original intent of the documentary is to chronicle Williams’ comeback by way of a new podcast — it becomes immediately clear that the host is not fit to work. Her manager and friend Will Shelby leads her through this process, which involves several promotional photoshoots in hopes of landing a deal for this nonexistent podcast. The documentary follows her time with Shelby, as well as her publicist Shawn Zanotti, as she struggles to launch a project that will bring in some kind of revenue. Interviews with friends and family members, including Williams’ son Kevin and her niece and nephew, also help provide clearer context as to what the host’s past several years have looked like.

Here are some of the most noteworthy revelations from the first two parts of the documentary.

A throughline of the documentary is Williams’ battle with alcoholism, which became apparent in the program’s opening moments. “I love vodka,” she says, going on to note that her sister Wanda and son Kevin both have an aversion to her drinking — which creates a wedge in their relationship.

According to Williams’ lifelong friend Regina Shell, she began abusing alcohol in 2018 during the dissolution of her marriage due to her husband Kevin Hunter’s infidelity. “It was causing her to drink more than she usually would. She would drink sometimes, but when she was going through the tribulation with Kevin, it definitely was to numb out.” Following that period, Williams’ family admitted her to a rehab facility in Florida in 2019, but according to her nephew Travis Finnie, executives for The Wendy Williams Show wanted her back in New York. As a result, she began living at a sober house in New York, which she announced on her show in March of that year.

When pressed about the motivation behind her drinking by the documentary interviewer, Williams repeatedly brushed off the topic with matter-of-fact answers, saying that she drinks “because I can” and noting that everybody else drinks, so why can’t she?

Throughout filming, Williams’ manager Shelby attempts to curb her addiction, sending her to a treatment facility for two months early in the documentary’s production, and later disposing of the alcohol bottles he continually finds scattered throughout her apartment. During one scene out to dinner with her management team, Shelby privately instructs the waiter to disregard Williams’ drink order and instead bring her a virgin cocktail.

“Kevin does not want his mother utilizing any substances,” Shelby says. “He has a no-alcohol policy. He’s always stressed that to me. He doesn’t want her drinking a drop of liquor.” The episode concludes with her son Kevin saying that without the proper care, he’s afraid that his mother “could die.”

In May of 2020, the show’s disc jockey, DJ Boof, who had been helping Williams broadcast remotely from her New York City apartment, found the host unresponsive. According to the documentary, Boof called Williams’ ex-husband, who then called an ambulance to take her to the hospital, where she received several life-saving blood transfusions. After this incident, DJ Boof departed from his role with The Wendy Williams Show when it returned to the studio months later.

Williams’ niece Alex Finnie revealed that she was with her aunt the day it was announced that The Wendy Williams Show had officially been cancelled in February of 2022, following months of the host’s absence. “I said to her, ‘Sit down. The show is no more. The show’s done. It’s now Sherri [Shepherd] who is in your time slot. The Wendy Williams Show as you know it, it’s done,’” Finnie recalls telling her aunt, who she says didn’t believe the news. “She was still going out and saying, ‘I’m getting ready for a new season,’ and then it took a little bit of time — weeks, months — to really understand where things stood. That’s how that played out.”

Early in the documentary, Shelby says that he’s noticed Williams become “more aggressive,” which is displayed throughout the episodes as she snaps at those around her, including a nail technician, driver, and her management team. At one point she tells her publicist Shawn Zanotti that she needs liposuction and calls her a “dumbass,” and becomes erratic when Zanotti fails to purchase the correct vape pen. Her nephew Travis Finnie notes that he noticed a change in his aunt’s personality over the course of the last 10 years.

In February of 2022, Williams’ bank Wells Fargo claimed that they believed Wendy was “the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation,” after staying with her family in Miami, Florida. Wells Fargo successfully petitioned for Williams to be placed under an independent guardianship, restricting her access to her money. “One judge and three doctors say my money is still stuck at Wells Fargo and I’m going to tell you something, if it happens to me, it could happen to you,” she says.

Williams’ son Kevin rejected the claims made by the bank, explaining the charges made while he was caring for his mother in Florida. “As one can imagine, it’s not a cheap lifestyle. The court tried to frame it as though I was making all these charges for my own happiness. My mom has never been a cheap person, whether it’d be flying her back and forth on private planes or even paying for appointments,” he said. Williams’ nephew Travis Finnie added that the purchases the bank questioned totaled to only $100,000, which he explains is roughly how much Williams might typically spend on a birthday party for her son. “For them to have a court case and rip him away from taking care of his mother, it’s very questionable,” Finnie said.

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