Stars and Viewers Praise Wendy Williams for Opening Up About Addiction: 'Bravest Woman I Know'
Wendy Williams, who battled a cocaine addiction in the past, revealed Tuesday that she's living in a sober house
Williams, who has struggled with a cocaine addiction in the past, made the announcement Tuesday on The Wendy Williams show. Both fans and her peers in the industry praised the host on Twitter after she spoke out, admitting, “Either you’re calling me crazy or the bravest woman you know, I don’t care.”
“I say bravest woman I know,” CNN anchor Don Lemon tweeted. “@WendyWilliams finally speaks her truth about recovery. #WendyWilliams #TheHunterFoundation.”
“Proud of @WendyWilliams for taking this major step!” Tamron Hall wrote in reply to Lemon’s tweet. “Her journey will inspire so many people in the same situation… using her voice for good.”
Andy Lassner, executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, also commended Williams for speaking out.
“I love @WendyWilliams for sharing her truth because it will help others,” he tweeted.
“Wendy Williams revealing on her show today that she’s currently living in a sober house has to be one of the bravest moments ever on daytime talk TV,” tweeted entertainment correspondent and host Chris Witherspoon. “Bravo Queen Wendy.”
Viewers at home are also speaking out in support of Williams.
“This is amazing! Coming from a family that has struggled with addiction (I lost both my parents to it)… transparency is much appreciated,” tweeted one fan. “I’m so glad @WendyWilliams is doing something to help others that are going through the struggle. Hats off! Bravo!”
“There’s something powerful about not only standing in and speaking your truth but also not being ASHAMED of the truth you share. #WendyWilliams,” tweeted another.
Williams, 54, had been absent from her eponymous daytime talk program from January until March 4, attributing the hiatus to a fractured shoulder and her battle with a Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.
On Tuesday, Williams admitted that her husband Kevin Hunter was the only person who knew she was seeking treatment.
“I have been living in a sober house. … You know, I’ve had a struggle with cocaine in the past,” she said. “I never went to a place to get treatment … there are people in your family, it might be you, who have been struggling … I want you to know more of the story.”
“Only Kevin knows about this. Not my parents, nobody. Nobody knew because I look so glamorous out here,” she said. “I am driven by my 24-hour sober coach back to a home that I live in here in the tri-state with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family. They hog the TV and watch soccer and we talk and read.”
At the facility, it’s “doors locked by 10 p.m., lights out by 10 p.m., so I go to my room and stare at the ceiling and fall asleep to wake up to come here and see you,” she continued. “So that is my truth.”
Williams has open about her drug use in the past, previously telling PEOPLE that she was addicted to cocaine for about a decade early on in her career.
“I was a functioning addict,” she told Entertainment Tonight in July 2018. “I report to work on time, and I’d walk in and all my co-workers, including my bosses, would know but since I would have my headphones on and walk in the studio and [they] wouldn’t fire me because I was making ratings.”
“A functioning addict has several alarm clocks, you’re organized,” she continued. “It’s a miracle I was able to stop.”
The Wendy Williams Show airs weekdays (check local listings).
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.