Talk show host Wendy Williams tearfully told her studio and TV audiences today that she currently is living in a sober house after seeking treatment for unspecified addiction issues. Her direct-to-camera address (watch it below) came just as a British tabloid was set to publish an article about Williams’ treatment, with photos of the talk host entering what it said was a New York area sober living residential facility.
On Tuesday’s episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Williams said, “For some time now and even today and beyond I have been living in a sober house. So, this is my autobiographical story, and I’m living it.”
Williams described her currently typical day: After taping her show, she does Pilates and then attends “several meetings all around town in the tri-state area. And I see my brothers and sisters, caught up in their addiction and looking for help. They don’t know I’m Wendy. They don’t care I’m Wendy. There’s no autographs. There is no nothing. It’s the brothers and sisters caught up in the struggle.”
Following the meetings, she said, she is driven by her 24-hour sober coach to her New York-area sober house “with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family.” With emotion and obvious affection, Williams continued, “They hog the TV and watch soccer. We talk and read and talk and read and then I get bored with them.” She said she abides by the facility’s 10 pm lights-out policy, sleeps and resumes the same routine the following day beginning with the taping of her show.
Williams said that until today, only her husband and son knew of her treatment. The announcement today puts a new light on Williams’ recent three-month hiatus. When she returned to her show last month, she ascribed her absence to health issues largely related to Graves Disease. She said today that she’d overcome a cocaine addiction in the past, but did not specify details about her most recent struggle.
Williams took the opportunity today to talk about the launch of the Hunter Foundation, her nonprofit organization and 24-hour addiction helpline. She said the helpline – 888-5HUNTER – has placed 56 people “in recovery centers around the world.”
At one point during her announcement today, Williams joked that viewers will either think she’s crazy or “the bravest woman you know.” CNN host Don Lemon tweeted his opinion: