When it comes down to it, Wendy Williams is arguably one of the most controversial hosts to ever grace daytime television. With a media career spanning over 30 years, the New Jersey native has made a name for herself by being what some would proclaim a “shock jockette.”
In addition to landing legendary interviews with stars such as Whitney Houston and Omarosa, the host’s candid nature of questioning has made her a staple unlike any other.
Williams first stepped on the radio scene by hosting her own show in the Virgin Islands and within less than a year, earned a position at a Washington-based radio station, WOL. She then moved on to work at WEPN, Hot 97, and Philly-based urban station Power 99FM before settling into hosting The Wendy Williams Experience at WBLS. From there, the host was able to start a successful run at her own daytime television show, beginning in 2008.
Known for her love and discussion of celebrities during her “Hot Topics” segment, Williams found herself a hot topic when she divorced her husband of 22 years among allegations of infidelity in 2019. True to her “tell-like-it-is” character, Williams did not hold back when it came down to discussing the sordid details of her life for her Lifetime biopicWendy Williams: The Movie and its follow-up documentary, Wendy Williams: What A Mess. Here are eight things we learned.
She Struggled With Weight Issues, Including Bulimia, During Adolescence
In the movie, Wendy’s parents are seen scolding her over her size, with her dad even telling that she would be pretty if she just “lost some weight.” In the documentary, her brother Tommy tells the story of walking in on Wendy while she was having an episode of bulimia. Williams herself admits that she was able to overcome the disorder once she read a tabloid about the practice rotting a star’s teeth.
She Was Raped By One Of Her First Radio Show Guests
During one of her first radio shows, Williams interviewed an unnamed famous singer who invited her for a night out. Once they arrived at his hotel room, he forced himself on her despite her protests, and then proceeded to tell her that “she could leave.” In the documentary, Williams hints at possibly revealing this identity, asking “Should I say who he is?” She ultimately decides not to disclose. However, she does say that he was a “one-hit wonder.”
She Worked at Hot 97 For Two Years Before Getting Fired
Williams joined the urban contemporary station in 1996 and seemed to make waves before being unceremoniously fired just two years later in 1998. The talk show host reveals in the documentary that she believes a female executive was at fault, and because “she didn’t brown nose, [then that was probably my fault too].”
She Was In A Relationship With Eric B.
In the movie, Williams explains that she met rapper Eric B. when he and Rakim came to 98.7 KISS FM to promote their latest single in 1991. The relationship proves to be tumultuous and ends when he “destroys her credit” which leads to a warrant for not returning a rented car. Wendy also reveals that she found out she was pregnant after she and Rakim broke up and had an abortion. She also mentions that she did not tell him, or anyone else for that matter.
She Was Married Once Before Kevin Hunter
Williams calls it a “starter marriage” and says that it isn’t even worth talking about. The marriage only lasted five months, and she refers to it as a rebound.
She Taped A Show Pilot With Mo’Nique
The movie glosses over this fun fact quite quickly, and Kevin Hunter only mentions it to allude to the prior pilots that Williams taped that just “weren’t good enough for her.” She, of course, landed her own syndicated show in 2008.
She Experienced Two Miscarriages Before Kevin Jr. Was Born
Just as how Williams was candid with her guests and their gossip, she also showed the same vulnerability when it came to her fertility struggles. She had two miscarriages, both seemingly ending at or around five months, and shared the experiences with her listeners at the time. The couple then successfully welcomed son Kevin Hunter Jr. in 2000.
She Entered A Sober Living Program Against Her Wishes
In 2018, the host addressed her live and at-home audience during her talk show when she revealed that she had been living in a sober house and rehabilitation facility. In the movie, it is revealed that Hunter arranged for Williams to live there after the host passed out on the air (later revealed to be related to her Graves disease diagnosis). She was able to get free by escaping her assigned coaches one day on the way back to the facility.