Wendy Williams team released a statement updating fans on the former talk show host’s health in February 2024. What happened to Wendy and what is the latest update on her condition?

What Happened to Wendy Williams?

Wendy Williams was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in 2023, according to a press release shared by her care team on February 22, 2024. She underwent a “battery of tests” before receiving her official diagnosis.

“Aphasia, a condition affecting language and communication abilities, and frontotemporal dementia, a progressive disorder impacting behavior and cognitive functions, have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life,” the statement said.

The former podcaster’s team noted that fans were concerned about Wendy for quite some time before her diagnosis was confirmed. “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,” the statement continued.

Wendy has been under a legal guardianship that oversees her finances and health since May 2022. Her legal guardian’s identity has remained private since being appointed by the court.

In a February 2024 interview with Wendy’s family members, it was revealed that she had been in treatment for “cognitive issues” since April 2023. Her family did not know the name of the facility where she was being treated. They also revealed that they have no way of contacting Wendy directly and can only speak to her when she calls them first. However, during the conversations they’ve had, they’ve noticed an improvement in Wendy’s condition.

“She sounds really great,” Wendy’s niece told People. “To hear my aunt now in terms of just how clear she is, just how focused she is on the importance of family and the reality in terms of facing and understanding where she’s at physically and mentally and emotionally, it is like a 180.”

Wendy’s team gave a more specific update on her condition in the press release. “Wendy is still able to do many things for herself,” they revealed. “Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed. She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way.”

What Other Medical Conditions Was Wendy Williams Diagnosed With?

Wendy suffered medical complications long before she was diagnosed with aphasia and FTD. In 2018, she revealed that she had Graves’ disease, which is an “immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Wendy missed her talk show for the first time while dealing with complications from Graves’ that February. She was absent from the show for nearly a month. At the beginning of 2019, Wendy went on another hiatus from The Wendy Williams Show after fracturing her shoulder, dealing with more Graves’ complications and struggling with “personal issues.” When she returned to television in March 2019, she revealed that she had been living in a sober house during her break.

what happened to wendy williams aphasia dementia diagnosis

The New Jersey native had to take another leave of absence from her show in September 2021 after contracting COVID-19 and battling more Graves’ symptoms. The show continued its final season with guest hosts and Wendy never returned.

She was also diagnosed with lymphedema – “tissue swelling caused by an accumulation of fluid in the lymphatic system,” according to Mayo Clinic – in July 2019. The condition often caused her to have severely swollen feet.

“I have lymphedema and it doesn’t go away,” she added in 2020. “How dare you make fun of me and the way I walk and the whole bit? What will you get if you live long enough? If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry. Damn you feet!”

Wendy Williams’ Drug Addiction

Wendy has been open about her struggles with cocaine addiction in the early days of her career. She quit using before her 29th birthday but never got official treatment until she entered a sober house in 2019.

“You know, I’ve had a struggle with cocaine in the past,” she explained at the time. “I never went to a place to get treatment [before].” She added, “Once you’re a substance abuser, you have to battle that for the rest of your life. Crack is wack but it was very good to me at a particular stupid point in my life. I was a mess, functioning, killing myself. I realize that I am a walking addict. Do you know what I’m saying? You can’t just clean it up and stop it and think it’s not going to affect you.”

She reportedly checked back into a rehab facility in 2022, according to Page Six.