Wendy Williams' Caregivers Release Dementia Diagnosis

Former talk show host has the same disease as Bruce Willis
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2024 4:50 PM CST
Wendy Williams' Caregivers Release Dementia Diagnosis
FILE - Wendy Williams attends the world premiere of Apple TV 's "The Morning Show," Oct. 28, 2019, in New York. The former talk show host has been diagnosed with the same form of dementia that actor Bruce Willis has, according to a statement released Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, on behalf of her caretakers.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Former talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with the same form of dementia that actor Bruce Willis has, a statement released Thursday on behalf of her caretakers says. The statement said the 59-year-old's diagnoses of primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia "have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy's life" and have behavioral and cognitive impacts, the AP reports. "Wendy is still able to do many things for herself," the statement said. "Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed."

The statement on Williams' health was issued on PR Newswire, and a representative listed on the release offered no more information. The announcement came a day after a cover story in People magazine quoted Williams' family about the nature of her struggles, ahead of a Lifetime documentary set to air Saturday. "The people who love her cannot see her," People quoted Williams' sister Wanda as saying. "I think the big (question) is: How the hell did we get here?" The family said a court-appointed legal guardian was the only person with unfettered access to Williams. Her family told People they don't know where she is and cannot call her themselves, but she can call them.

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration describes FTD as a group of brain disorders caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain that affects behavior, language, and movement. Aphasia, a brain disorder that can lead to problems speaking or understanding words, can be a symptom of it. The association describes frontotemporal degeneration as "an inevitable decline in functioning," with an average life expectancy of seven to 13 years after the onset of symptoms, per the AP. There are no treatments to slow or stop the disease, but interventions can help manage symptoms. Williams "is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way," the statement said.

(More Wendy Williams stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.