Former Talk Show Host Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Dementia

Wendy Williams attends her being honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 17, 2019. (Getty)

Wendy Williams, once the host of a popular daytime talk show, was diagnosed last year with primary aggressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, it was revealed on Thursday.

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Williams, 59, hosted the nationally syndicated Wendy Williams Show from 2008-21. She announced in 2018 that she suffers from Graves’ disease, which causes hyperthyroidism.

The type of dementia she is currently suffering from is the same type that has afflicted actor Bruce Willis.

“On behalf of Wendy Williams Hunter, her care team is sharing this very personal update with her cherished fans, friends and supporters to correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health,” read a statement released Thursday morning.

Wendy Williams attends Annual Charity Day on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Getty)

“As Wendy’s fans are aware, in the past she has been open with the public about her medical
struggles with Graves’ Disease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related
to her health,” it continued. “Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions.

“In 2023, after undergoing a battery of medical tests, Wendy was officially diagnosed with
primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) … [they] have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life.”

Williams was unable to host her show in its final season due to a medical condition.

“Wendy would not have received confirmation of these diagnoses were it not for the diligence of
her current care team, who she chose, and the extraordinary work of the specialists at Weill
Cornell Medicine,” the statement continued. “Receiving a diagnosis has enabled Wendy to receive the medical care she requires.

“The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, not only to
advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy, but to raise awareness about aphasia
and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances,” Williams’ care team continued. “Unfortunately, many individuals diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia face stigma and misunderstanding, particularly when they begin to exhibit
behavioral changes but have not yet received a diagnosis.

Per the New York Post:

“Aphasia affects language and communication abilities, while frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a progressive disorder, impacts behavior and cognitive functions.

“Hollywood superstar Bruce Willis is battling the same two medical issues. He retired from acting in 2022 due to his aphasia and was diagnosed with FTD in 2023.

“The news about Williams, 59, follows on the heels of a People report that her family does not know in which facility she is being treated, and that they speak to her only when she calls them.

“Williams is the subject of an upcoming Lifetime docuseries, ‘Where Is Wendy Williams?’ airing over two nights, Feb. 24 and 25.”

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