Wendy Williams Slams Reports That She's 'Frail': 'There's Such a Stigma to Substance Abuse'
Wendy Williams returned from her weeklong vacation on Monday with plenty of stories to tell.
Returning to host her eponymous daytime talk show live, Williams — who recently announced she’s living in a sober house — revealed she went camping over the weekend in upstate New York and addressed reports that she was looking “frail” in recently-surfaced photos.
“The great thing about being in the sober house [are] the people that I live with,” she said. “We are people with functioning careers who just want to check ourselves and get down with that 12-step. … There are people in there with prestigious careers and degrees.”
“There’s such a stigma to substance abuse. Everyone thinks it’s going to be the bum on the corner,” she continued. “I’m the face of it. How about you? Sometimes you just need to go someplace and get atone with your sobriety and your 12 steps.”
Williams said she decided to go camping with a few women that she’s become friends with since moving into the sober house: “I’m the newbie, so I get to make the decisions,” she said. “I’m thinking were going over to Ellis Island to one of those glamp grounds … No, honey. we went all the way up there.”
After revealing a photo of herself riding a scooter at the local Walmart that made the tabloid rounds, Williams explained the backstory and slammed reports that she was “by herself” and looking “frail.”
“I want to shout-out to my friends at the Walmart in a little-known place called Ellen, New York,” she said. “We went up there and the Walmart is the social place. When I’m away from the show, sometimes I do take selfies. At 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m sitting in this scooter … taking pictures with people.”
“This became a blog sensation over the weekend, so I’m here to correct,” she continued. “One of the best things about being truthful to yourself and having your own show is that I can come and dispel my own rumors.”
She also showed photos of herself riding an ATV and posing with a gun, but clarified that she didn’t really shoot it.
“I can talk a good gun game, but I had it rested on my shoulder,” she said. “God bless the animals. I’m not judging you if you like guns, I’m just saying I’m not a part of that life.”
Williams joked that while the trip was fun, she’ll “never do it again.”
“Thank you Ellen, New York, and thank you blogs. Do I look frail to you?” she asked the studio audience. “I do the Hot Topics, I am the Hot Topic. It’s fabulous.”
It’s been a tough time for Williams, 54. She was absent from The Wendy Williams Show from January until March 4, attributing the lengthy hiatus to a fractured shoulder and her battle with a Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.
Upon her return to the show, Williams said she was “doing better” and explained that she’d been off the air since the holidays due to her medical problems and to spend more time to heal with her husband and her son, Kevin Jr. She pointedly shut down rumors of marital trouble, calling Hunter her “best friend” and “lover.”
“I want to shout-out to my husband. I’m still wearing my ring,” she said. “Believe me you, when you’ve been with somebody for 28 years, married for 25 years … we know each other. … I know what you’ve been seeing … but I’m still very much in love with my husband and anyone who’s been married … you know.”
“Marriages have ebbs and flows, marriage isn’t easy. And don’t ask me about mine until you see this gone,” she added, gesturing to her wedding ring. “And it ain’t going anywhere, not in this lifetime.”
Two weeks later, Williams, who has struggled with a cocaine addiction in the past, revealed on-air that she’s living in a sober house. She also announced that her family’s Hunter Foundation had partnered with T.R.U.S.T., an organization dedicated to building a bridge from treatment to long-term recovery, to launch a national resource hotline.
On March 25, Williams reportedly was hospitalized. According to the Daily Mail, she was found drunk after checking herself out of the sober living house and was taken to a hospital to sober up. However, she continued to host her show live.
Hunter told E! News last week that he and Williams are “doing fine.”
“Wendy and the family are doing fine,” he said. “We are focused on her health and sobriety, and that is it.”
He added that he is focused on the couple’s foundation, pointing out that their addiction hotline “has placed over 200 people in treatment facilities in the last two weeks since it began.”
“We are turning the tables on this thing called addiction and turning Wendy’s bout into a positive,” he said.
The Wendy Williams Show airs weekdays (check local listings).