Wendy Williams has vowed to return to her canceled daytime talk show despite a spate of health issues that sidelined the host over the past year.
“I’d like to say this to my ‘Wendy’ viewers: keep watching because I’ll be back on the Wendy Show. Bigger and brighter than ever,” the 57-year-old host said Thursday while calling ABC’s Good Morning America.
Lionsgate and producer-distributor Debmar-Mercury said in February they were ending The Wendy Williams Show to make way for this fall Sherri, a new program hosted by Williams frequent presenter Sherri Shepherd will. No official end date has been announced for Williams’ syndicated chat show.
Debmar-Mercury representatives declined to comment on Williams’ GMA interview, and representatives for her and The Wendy Williams Show did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Thursday.
Williams, who declined to appear on camera for the virtual appearance in New York, said on GMA that she was “perfectly sane” and conducted her interview with the same matter-of-fact humor she’s known for.
She addressed ongoing speculation about her health, as well as a lawsuit with Wells Fargo that has prevented her from accessing “several million dollars.” The bank has said that Williams is a “disabled person” and is seeking guardianship for her because it believes she is “the victim of improper influence and financial exploitation” — allegations Williams has denied.
“They say I need someone to manage my account and I don’t want that,” Williams said. “I want all my money. I want to see all my money I’ve worked hard for my whole life. my whole life I don’t lie, I don’t cheat and I don’t steal. I’m an honest, hardworking person.
“[My] health is very good. And I actually had a few dates,” she added. “You know, I’m 57 now and I have the mind and body of a 25-year-old.”
The entertainer, who has Graves’ disease with autoimmune disease, also said she was ready to return to work even though her show is already coming to an end.
“I feel very well. You know, my partners on the show — everyone’s ready,” she said. “Give me about three months. There are private things I have to take care of and then I’m ready to come back and be free and ready to do my thing.”
ABC News reporter TJ Holmes, who interviewed Williams, added that the “things” she needs to work on “have nothing to do with her health” and that he was told she was “healthy enough” to to get back to work. He also said that she was the one who contacted ABC for the interview.
After 13 seasons, The Wendy Williams Show is expected to remain in original production through at least May, and the final season is expected to run with repeats through August. Williams show staff will reportedly be moving to “Sherri,” and the new show will inherit Williams’ time slot when it debuts in September.
Williams said goodbye to her devoted fans in July at the end of her show’s 12th season. Though she said she would return after “two months and two weeks,” her comeback has been repeatedly delayed by health issues, including a case of COVID-19 last fall.
The Emmy-nominated host’s mental wellbeing has also been questioned as reports and rumors about her health have been circulating for months. However, her lawyer has insisted there are “no concerns about her mental state”.
A source close to Debmar-Mercury, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the details of Williams’ show, told The Times that the producer and distributor is “100% committed to sherri Shepherd for the fall” and not the course would change even if Williams chose to return to a daily talk show.
While Williams was away, several entertainers guest-hosted her program, and Shepherd landed the highest ratings of the show’s 13th season.
Episodes of The Wendy Williams Show — with Shepherd at the helm, along with guest presenters Kym Whitley, Finesse Mitchell, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Carson Kressley and Vivica A. Fox — are already scheduled through April 1st.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-03-17/wendy-williams-show-health-lawsuit-gma Wendy Williams vows to return to her canceled talk show