Wendy Williams Has Been 'Living in a Sober House' Due to 'Struggle with Cocaine in the Past'
“Drugs were a demon I had to overcome,” Wendy Williams told PEOPLE in 2014
“I have been living in a sober house. … You know I’ve had a struggle with cocaine in the past,” she said on The Wendy Williams Show. “I never went to a place to get treatment … there are people in your family, it might be you … I want you to know more of the story.”
She added that her husband Kevin Hunter was the only person who knew she was seeking treatment.
“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 the tri-state with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family.”
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 come here and see you,” she continued. “So that is my truth.”
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.
She has always been open about her drug use, telling PEOPLE that she was addicted to cocaine for about a decade early on in her career. (She made a name for herself on New York and Philadelphia radio, paving the way for TV stardom when The Wendy Williams Show premiered in 2008.)
“Drugs were a demon I had to overcome,” she explained in 2014.
Together with her family, she created The Hunter Foundation, which works with private and public organizations to help families combat the cycle of addiction.
“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 added. “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.