What We Know About Wendy Williams’s Guardianship

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In the lead-up to the premiere of the Lifetime documentary Where Is Wendy Williams?, there has been a steady stream of news about the former talk-show host, who has been out of the spotlight for years. As her family aired their concerns over her court-appointed financial guardianship, a representative for Williams announced that she had been diagnosed with aphasia and dementia. Then, it came out that Williams’s guardian had filed a lawsuit against Lifetime’s parent company, A&E, presumably to stop the documentary from being released.

Williams is credited as an executive producer on the documentary, in which she participated, along with her family and business partners. It aired over the weekend, showing a visibly unwell Williams struggling to hold conversations and lashing out at the people around her while her manager, Will Selby, tries to keep her from drinking. The film ends with Selby coordinating with Williams’s guardian to get her into a care facility for her cognitive issues, where she has apparently been in treatment for the past year. Whether or not it’s ethical for a documentary crew (and the subject’s family) to keep the cameras rolling for as long as they did is up for debate. Variety described the doc as “invasive at best and predatory at worst.”

Questions remain about Williams’s current situation — namely her guardianship. She has now been in a guardianship for two years, but little is known about the person who is in charge of Williams’s money and health concerns. Her family remains adamant that they want her in their own care, but the courts seem to believe that Williams is at risk of “financial exploitation” under her son’s watch. Here’s what we know about the situation.

How long has Wendy Williams been under guardianship?

In January 2022, Wells Fargo successfully petitioned to have Williams placed under temporary financial guardianship, writing in a letter to the court that the bank had “strong reason to believe that she is the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.” This came after Williams had gone down to Miami to stay with family. In the documentary, Williams’s son, Kevin Hunter Jr., says that around that time, her doctors informed him that she was suffering from alcohol-induced dementia.

According to her lawyer, Williams had been trying to switch banks after suspecting misconduct by her financial adviser when Wells Fargo froze her account and filed the petition. In its letter, Wells Fargo wrote that it was “relying not only on reports of the financial advisor, who has recently witnessed telltale signs of exploitation, including [Williams’s] own expressed apprehensions, but also upon other independent third-parties who know the petitioner well and share these concerns.” Williams has officially been under financial guardianship since May 2022.

In the documentary, Hunter, 23, says he never took any of his mother’s money “without her consent.” He claims that any spending he was doing was all to take care of Williams. “As one can imagine, it’s not a cheap lifestyle. The court tried to frame it as though I was making all these charges for my own happiness. My mom has never been a cheap person, whether it’d be flying her back and forth on private planes or even paying for appointments,” Hunter said.

Who is Wendy Williams’s guardian Sabrina Morrissey?

Until recently, the identity of Williams’s guardian was not public, but last week, TMZ revealed her to be a New York lawyer named Sabrina Morrissey, who specializes in guardianships. Morrissey’s identity was revealed after she filed the lawsuit against A&E. The lawsuit is sealed, though TMZ reports that Morrissey was looking for a temporary restraining order, which would have gotten in the way of Lifetime releasing the documentary. It’s not clear why exactly Morrissey would be trying to stop the documentary from coming out, but it’s not hard to guess. Williams does not seem totally cognizant of her participation in the docuseries’s four episodes and is frequently shown in particularly unflattering ways. One of the more upsetting moments of the series shows her having a discussion with Blac Chyna. Williams takes off her wig and is seemingly incapable of comprehending Blac Chyna’s vow of support, instead starting to talk about her ex-husband.

What does Wendy Williams’s family think of her guardianship?

Williams’s family is against the guardianship and are hoping that she is back in the care of her family soon. Williams’s sister, Wanda Finnie, says that while Williams is able to call them from her care facility, they cannot contact her — only Morrissey has total access. Her family says they don’t even know where her care facility is.

In the documentary, Finnie claims that she was asked to be her sister’s guardian (she doesn’t clarify by whom), but after she said yes, “the wall came down.”

“All I know is that Wendy and her team walked into the courtroom one way, and they walked out, and the family is completely excluded,” Finnie told People last week. “All I want is for my sister to be healthy,” Finnie says in the documentary. “She has withstood attack after attack. She is my hero. She will always be my hero. I will do whatever has to be done to help her be healthy.”

What We Know About Wendy Williams’s Guardianship