For more than three decades, Wendy Williams has taken the world by storm with her bold personality and shocking commentary on celebrities and popular culture. From the radio to a syndicated talk show, the media personality has established a mega-brand as well as some major adversaries. Despite her past candor about her addiction, relationships, and self-image issues, in the past several years, whispers about Williams’ personal life and her long-term marriage to her now ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, have been front-page news.
After a tumultuous few years, Williams is finding her footing again, and telling her truth with a Lifetime biopic, Wendy Williams: The Movie, and a documentary, Wendy Williams: What A Mess! At a recent press conference, Williams spoke openly about her divorce, being raped by an R&B star at the beginning of her career, and why she’s now living her best life.
“My divorce was about a good 10 years in the making,” Williams said. “I’ll be honest with you. With every year, the talk show would get bigger and better, and my husband would get meaner to the world. I didn’t like who I was seeing. I didn’t know whether the staff here thought I was an abused woman or what they thought because I would finish doing the show and go home. I had to do those things because I had to get my son out of the house and off to college.
“If I were a regular Wendy with a regular job, maybe I would have gone and slept on my parents’ couch or cried in the arms of girlfriends. But, I have the privilege of having a thriving career. That was a blessing and a curse. There came a point early that I knew, ‘OK, I’m going to have to pay alimony.’ But I can handle that. It’s comical to me almost.”
Though there are some elements about her life, like her first marriage and details about her son that Williams refuses to discuss in her films, she had no qualms about naming her rapist— though he is given a pseudonym in the biopic.
“His [real] name is Sherrick,” Williams revealed. “He was an R&B singer from the eighties, and he had a song out called ‘Just Call.’ He was tall, like six feet, five. and he date raped me. He came to DC, and he mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes. He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me. I was just all gaga over this man, and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night. Before the party, I was date-raped by him. After that, I found out he had spent time in jail. I was also date raped in college. Those types of things happen to girls all the time.”
With her movies, it was imperative for Williams to get the truth as she knows it out in the open. “I want people to say, ‘She had the guts to be so raw and honest,’ she said. “People who’ve really listened to me as I speak over 35 years in broadcast will say, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember she talked about this, but I didn’t realize that it was that intense or that deep.’ I was able to clear up half-truths and untruths.”
More than just sharing her story, Williams is adamant that she’s doing amazingly well and that these are truly the best days of her life. “The life that I’m living right now is my best life, and I have no guilt about saying that,” she said. “I don’t regret meeting Kevin. I don’t regret falling in love. I don’t regret staying with him for all 25 years, 21 of them married.
“I like who I am, so I have no regrets. If anything, I’m extremely happy that I’m still relevant enough that I’m able to come through some pretty kick behind double doors and say. ‘How you doing?’ and still be young, fun, and pop culture relevant.”
Wendy Williams: The Movie and Wendy Williams: What A Mess! premiere Jan. 30 on Lifetime.