Wendy Williams is pictured leaving her New York City apartment with her manager William Selby, on August 8, 2022

Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Aphasia And Dementia At Age 59

Home / News / Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Aphasia And Dementia At Age 59

By Favour Adegoke on February 22, 2024 at 12:24 PM EST
Updated on February 22, 2024 at 1:20 PM EST

Wendy Williams has reportedly been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and aphasia after undergoing several medical tests.

Her team confirmed the news in a press release, noting that Williams' illness has "presented significant hurdles" in her life.

The shocking news comes amid the release of a documentary on Williams, which details her health struggles. The star's family has also condemned the court-issued guardianship in place to help care for Williams and manage her finances.

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Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia And Aphasia

Wendy Williams in a Leopard Print dress

In a stunning turn of events, Williams' team confirmed in a press release that the former talk show host was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

FTD is a disorder that affects behavior and cognitive functions, while aphasia impairs language and communication skills. Williams' condition is very similar to that of Hollywood star Bruce Willis, who was diagnosed with dementia last year after first being diagnosed with aphasia in 2022.

The press release read, "Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy's ability to process information, and many have speculated about Wendy's condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions."

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The press release continued, "The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, 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."

In their statement, Williams' team noted that their goal to raise awareness is due to the fact that a lot of people who are diagnosed with dementia and aphasia tend to face stigma, particularly when they begin to exhibit specific changes in their behavior and personality.

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"Unfortunately, many individuals diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia face stigma and misunderstanding, particularly when they begin to exhibit behavioral changes but have not yet received a diagnosis," they added.

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Wendy Williams' Family Speaks Out Against The Court-Issued Guardianship

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Amid the release of her upcoming documentary, "Where Is Wendy Williams?", Williams' family has broken their silence surrounding her health issues and court-issued guardianship. They claimed that the system is "broken" as it has extensively restricted their access to her and has only seemed to worsen her health.

"How did she go from this aunt or sister that we love and is healthy one minute to this person who's in and out of the hospital?" Williams' sister, Wanda Finnie, said during an interview with People magazine.

Finnie continued, "How is that system better than the system the family could put in place? I don't know. I do know that this system is broken. I hope that at some point, Wendy becomes strong enough where she can speak on her own behalf."

The executive producer of the documentary, Mark Ford, also slammed the guardianship, insinuating that Williams was not getting the care she needed. He stated that on meeting the former talk show host's family, he knew they were "nice people" which made him wonder why they were barred from being a part of her life.

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"Just because you're under a guardianship doesn't mean that you're getting 24/7 care," Ford stated. "When we got to know Wendy's family, it was clear to us this was a nice family, and the question remained in our minds: Why is the family not able to be a part of Wendy's life? Why is the family not able to serve as her guardian? I still don't fully have those answers."

Williams' sister stated, about her guardianship, "All I know is that Wendy and her team walked into the courtroom one way, and they walked out, and the family is completely excluded."

Finnie also emphasized that despite  all the struggles, they still hope for the best outcome for Williams, adding, "There is not a person in this family who doesn’t want the same thing for Wendy, and that is her health."

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