Wendy Williams’ Lifetime documentary draws MILLIONS of viewers and even beat out Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s – after her publicist says TV icon has been ‘exploited’

Wendy Williams’ Lifetime documentary draws MILLIONS of viewers and even beat out Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s – after her publicist says  TV icon has been ‘exploited’

Wendy Williams’ Lifetime documentary drew millions of viewers as it even beat out Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s highy-popular special just days after her publicist says TV icon has been ‘exploited’.
The network says that the two-night documentary special – titled Where Is Wendy Williams? – has set a new record for viewership.
Lifetime says that the documentary had averaged 1.2million viewers total over the two nights.
However, perhaps most impressively, it ultimately saw 6.2million total viewers across linear and digital platforms.


When it comes to those who watched it live and/or same-day the Williams doc beat out viewership numbers for The Prison Confessions Of Gypsy Rose Blanchard.

Wendy Williams' Lifetime documentary drew millions of viewers as it even beat out Gypsy Rose Blanchard's highy-popular special just days after her publicist says TV icon has been 'exploited' At the time The Prison Confessions Of Gypsy Rose Blanchard had set a record with an average of 1.1million viewers per night over the course of six nights

Wendy Williams’ Lifetime documentary drew millions of viewers as it even beat out Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s highy-popular special just days after her publicist says TV icon has been ‘exploited’

At the time it had set a record with an average of 1.1million viewers per night over the course of six nights.


Lifetime claims that the latest doc is the most-watched since they released the four-part Janet Jackson documentary in January 2022.
This comes days after Williams’ publicist blasted the Lifetime documentary that she signed her famous TV client up for.
Shawn Zanotti has placed blame on the producers of the series, alleging the TV icon believed she was filming a program about her comeback – only for filmmakers to capture ‘a circus to her downfall.’
Zanotti, who has been working as a publicist for Williams since 2021, spoke with NBC News about her grievances with the making of Where is Wendy Williams?, a four-part documentary now airing on Lifetime.
In an interview with the outlet, Zanotti claimed: ‘I felt that [Williams] was being exploited.’
‘She thought we were focusing on the comeback of her career. … She would be mortified. There’s no way you can convince me that she would be OK with looking and seeing herself in that way.’
She also told PEOPLE that she felt ‘lied to’ about it.

Lifetime says that the documentary had averaged 1.2million viewers total over the two nights. However, perhaps most impressively, it ultimately saw 6.2million total viewers across linear and digital platforms

Lifetime says that the documentary had averaged 1.2million viewers total over the two nights. However, perhaps most impressively, it ultimately saw 6.2million total viewers across linear and digital platforms
Despite having encouraged her client to sign up for the show, Zanotti now says: “I would never let Wendy put her name and brand on the line like that ever. She’s an icon. It’s not the story we signed up for and I feel lied to.’
Adding: ‘It’s so difficult for me to even watch. Wendy would be mortified.’
Her remarks come four days too late – the debut episode of the documentary, Where Is Wendy Williams?, premiered on Lifetime on February 24.
Two days before the project was released, it was announced that Wendy had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia.

Just days ago Williams' publicist has blasted the producers of a new documentary about the legendary television personality, alleging the TV icon initially believed she would be filming a program about her comeback - only to be 'exploited' by filmmakers; Williams pictured 2019

Just days ago Williams’ publicist has blasted the producers of a new documentary about the legendary television personality, alleging the TV icon initially believed she would be filming a program about her comeback – only to be ‘exploited’ by filmmakers; Williams pictured 2019

Zanotti claims the production company, Creature Films and eOne Television, approached her with the documentary back in 2022. The production company also shot the 2021 documentary about the TV icon, Wendy Williams: What A Mess!
Initially, Zanotti said Williams was eager to do the documentary and ‘get my story out there’ – however Zanotti was disappointed to see a different story air.
‘That is not the project that [Williams] signed up for. That’s not the project [the producers] brought to me. That’s not what I told her this was going to be about,’ Zanotti claims, adding, ‘There were a lot of good moments. None of those good moments were shown.’
The filmmakers have since claimed they did not know about Wendy’s diagnosis at the time of production.
Showrunner Erica Hanson told TODAY: ‘Some days, Wendy was on and very Wendy. Other days, she wasn’t. We all felt this was a complex and sensitive story to tell, and we all felt a great responsibility to do it with dignity and sensitivity.’
Yet Zanotti does not believe they would have stopped even if they knew about her health.
‘I don’t think [the diagnosis] would have stopped them at all. The producers were asking questions throughout the entire time — would ask questions where she would somewhat seem confused, and I feel as though it was done to be intentional at that moment in time to make their storyline,’ Zanotti said.
‘Again, this was presented as a documentary to her, but to me, it looked as though it was a reality show of a circus, a circus to her downfall.’
A now-sealed lawsuit was filed by Sabrina Morrissey, Wendy’s guardian, on the day the TV icon’s dementia diagnosis was revealed. The suit was filed in an effort to stop the documentary from airing, but a judge dismissed the case on the grounds of the first amendment.

Initially, Zanotti said Williams was eager to do the documentary and 'get my story out there' - however Zanotti was disappointed to see a different story air; Williams pictured

Initially, Zanotti said Williams was eager to do the documentary and ‘get my story out there’ – however Zanotti was disappointed to see a different story air; Williams pictured

Zanotti claims she told Morrissey her issues about production at the time of filming and alleges the production company was ‘aware’ she had raised concerns.
However, she alleges she was ignored by production.
‘Instead of them dealing with it with me, they decided to ignore me,’ Zanotti claimed of production. ‘They ignored me from that moment, and I never heard from them again.’
She also believes she was inaccurately portrayed in the documentary, aside from a scene in which she was reprimanded by Wendy, claiming there had been ‘great, beautiful moments’ that subsequently occurred.
It comes after Williams’ brother, Tommy Williams, claimed his sister is ‘stuck’ in a treatment facility and wants her released.

Williams' brother, Tommy Williams, claims the former talk show host, 59, is 'stuck' in a treatment facility and wants her released; they are seen together in an Instagram snap

Williams’ brother, Tommy Williams, claims the former talk show host, 59, is ‘stuck’ in a treatment facility and wants her released; they are seen together in an Instagram snap
The TV personality, 59, is currently receiving treatment for frontotemporal dementia — which her son claims is ‘alcohol induced’  —  and aphasia in a undisclosed facility in New York, where she’s reportedly been since April 2023.
‘I know that she is stuck and we are trying to unstick her. Her family is here and she doesn’t need a facility. We are here to take care of her,’ he told Us Weekly.
‘All I want for her is freedom. We have a father who would love to see her,’ he added.
He also expressed his frustration with not being able to see her, telling the publication: ‘We’re dealing with unknowns. We just want to be able to check in with her. I would fly up there [to New York], but where do I go? No one knows anything.’
Tommy added that communication between the TV host and her family has been difficult.
‘We can’t communicate unless someone patches us through,’ he revealed.

'All I want for her is freedom. We have a father who would love to see her,' he added. 'We're dealing with unknowns. We just want to be able to check in with her. I would fly up there [to New York], but where do I go? No one knows anything,' he stated

Tommy added that communication between the TV host and her family has been difficult. 'We can't communicate unless someone patches us through,' he revealed

The TV personality is currently receiving treatment for frontotemporal dementia and aphasia in an undisclosed facility in New York — where she’s reportedly been since April 2023

‘I know that she is stuck and we are trying to unstick her. Her family is here and she doesn’t need a facility. We are here to take care of her,’ Tommy told Us Weekly
‘We wait for calls. I wait for calls from Wendy or my sister or whoever she can get to first and we can all hop on. When she makes that phone call [to us], we’re committed to listening and sharing for the moment.’
Tommy added that it ‘seems like forever’ since he’s seen his sister.

‘It’s because of the people who she is around. You can’t leave. You’re there as part of a program.’
‘It’s the one thing that is holding her and keeping her from communicating, traveling and doing all the things she likes to do.’
The care team for the star announced her diagnosis of Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) in a press release on Thursday. They said Williams had undergone ‘a battery of medical tests’ before arriving at the diagnosis.

The statement noted that Williams had been diagnosed back in 2023. The talk show host has reportedly been living in a treatment facility since April 2023.
The update came ahead of the February 24 premiere of a Lifetime documentary Where Is Wendy Williams? — which details her struggles with alcohol abuse and mental health in recent years — despite the star’s guardian’s lawsuit against the network.

The care team for the star announced her diagnosis of Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) in a press release on Thursday; she is seen February 21

‘All I want for her is freedom. We have a father who would love to see her,’ he added. ‘We’re dealing with unknowns. We just want to be able to check in with her. I would fly up there [to New York], but where do I go? No one knows anything,’ he stated

In a new docuseries, Wendy's son Kevin Hunter Jr., 23, stated his mom's medical team thought the dementia was 'alcohol-induced'; Wendy, Kevin Jr, and and her ex-husband Kevin Hunter seen in 2017

Tommy added that communication between the TV host and her family has been difficult. ‘We can’t communicate unless someone patches us through,’ he revealed

 

While Tommy did not appear in the docuseries, Wendy’s son Kevin Hunter Jr., 23, and her sister, Wanda Williams, participated.
In one scene Kevin claimed that his mom’s medical team thought her drinking ‘was starting to affect her headspace and her brain.’
‘So, I think they said it was alcohol-induced dementia,’ he concluded.
Tommy told Us Weekly that there was ‘naturally some concern’ among Wendy’s family in regards to her drinking habits.
‘It was obvious about her drinking. She was alone and her mental state, having been divorced and losing her mother and liquor, it was not a good mix,’ he shared, in reference to Wendy’s 2020 split from ex-husband Kevin Hunter Sr. and the death of her mom, Shirley Williams, during that same year.
‘She was very upset about losing her mother and very sad.’
Tommy added that despite her challenges her family can ‘figure it out and get her whatever she needs.’
Wendy spoke out about her recent health diagnoses for the first time in a statement issued last Friday.
‘I want to say I have immense gratitude for the love and kind words I have received after sharing my diagnosis of Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Let me say, wow! Your response has been overwhelming,’ she shared in a statement released to The Associated Press.
‘The messages shared with me have touched me, reminding me of the power of unity and the need for compassion.’

 

The care team for the star announced her diagnosis of Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) in a press release on Thursday; she is seen February 21

In a new docuseries, Wendy’s son Kevin Hunter Jr., 23, stated his mom’s medical team thought the dementia was ‘alcohol-induced’; Wendy, Kevin Jr, and and her ex-husband Kevin Hunter seen in 2017

Wendy finalized her statement writing, ‘I continue to need personal space and peace to thrive. Please just know that your positivity and encouragement are deeply appreciated.’
Earlier on Tuesday Wendy’s best friend slammed the ailing TV host’s legal guardian, claiming that the woman tasked with taking care of her left her without ‘access to food’ – as she voiced her suspicions over Wendy’s recent dementia diagnosis.
Wendy was placed under a legal guardianship in May 2022, after her bank account said it had ‘strong reason to believe’ that she was of ‘unsound mind’ and was ‘the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.’
At the time, the court assigned someone to manage Wendy’s finances and health, and while their identity was not made public at first, TMZ recently revealed that Wendy’s guardian was a New York-based lawyer named Sabrina Morrissey.
But now, one of the star’s closest pals – Regina Shell, who has known Wendy since she was only 13 years old – has spoken out against her guardian.
During a recent appearance on Chris Cuomo’s NewsNation series, Cuomo, Regina claimed that the broadcaster had ‘no access to her money’ and had to ask permission from Sabrina for any purchase she wanted to make – including meals.
She alleged that this sometimes meant Wendy would go hours on end without eating, which left Regina so worried that she started ordering food for her from across the country.
‘When I was in New York and staying with Wendy in the summer, I noticed … she had no access to her money,’ Regina shared on Monday evening.
‘Every time she had to do anything that she had to pay for, she had to go through the guardian.

Lifetime released a shocking new documentary about her, titled Where Is Wendy Williams?, over the weekend, which details her struggles with alcohol and mental health in recent years

Lifetime released a shocking new documentary about her, titled Where Is Wendy Williams?, over the weekend, which details her struggles with alcohol and mental health in recent years

‘And she would call to order her breakfast at 7:30 in the morning with the guardian, and she would take the order, but the order wouldn’t show up until sometimes noon. So Wendy wouldn’t have any food.’
Regina said that when she returned home to Los Angeles, she began sending her ‘delivery service’ because she was nervous that Wendy ‘wasn’t getting’ enough to eat.
‘When I went back to LA, I would have to send her food from Los Angeles to New York for delivery service, because she wasn’t getting…’ she trailed off.
‘The communication wasn’t there, and she had no other access to money than this guardian.
Days ahead of the new documentary’s release, TMZ reported that Wendy’s guardian had filed a lawsuit against the parent company of Lifetime, A&E Television Networks.
Sabrina had asked the court for injunctive relief, indicating her request could have been an attempt to stop the network from airing the TV special – but a judge ultimately dismissed the case citing the First Amendment.
Filmmakers began following Wendy around in 2022 – at the time hoping to document her ‘comeback’ – but instead, they captured her tragic downward spiral and health decline.
In the documentary, the former TV legend appeared virtually unable to answer the producers’ repetitive questions, often seemed confused, and would ramble incoherently, break down in tears, or lash out at friends or family members.

Wendy was placed under a legal guardianship in May 2022, after her bank account said it had ‘strong reason to believe’ that she was of ‘unsound mind’ and was ‘the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation’; seen in 2019

It was certainly a vast difference from the once-fearless TV star who used to earn $10 million a season as the host of The Wendy Williams Show.
In late 2021, amid her multiple ailments, shattered marriage, and growing alcoholism, Wendy stepped away from her hosting job indefinitely.
In the months that followed, she made a slew of worrisome public appearances that saw her looking disheveled and often confused.
Now, Wendy hasn’t been seen publicly in more than a year, and according to the documentary, she’s been living in a treatment facility since last April.


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