Like many others, daytime talk show host Wendy Williams faced some personal demons at one point in her career. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Williams opened up about a cocaine addiction that fueled her years working in radio.
Coming back from a brief hiatus after being diagnosed with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, Williams sat down with ET and revealed the shocking truth about her past.
Though she admitted that she abused cocaine during her time in radio, she didn’t provide details as to how long the addiction lasted and how long ago she kicked it.
“I was a functioning addict though,” Williams said. “I'd report to work on time, and I’d walk in and all my co-workers, including my bosses, would know but since I would have my headphones on and walk in the studio and [they] wouldn’t fire me because I was making ratings.”
Going into further detail, Williams describes what it’s like to be a “functioning addict,” explaining that she had “several alarm clocks” to keep her on schedule. “You’re organized,” she added.
Ultimately, Williams was able to step away from the drug, though she considers it a “miracle” that she was able to stop at all. Without help from her coworkers, she found it in herself to finally break away from the habitual life of a functioning cocaine addict.
Williams’s story does bring to light an issue within the entertainment industry. Though her bosses and coworkers knew she was an addict, they let it slide so long as her ratings didn’t dip. In a way, the radio station was gambling Williams’ life for popularity and money.
Hard to quit harder to admit u have problem. Have to give her props— Sylvia Hunter (@sylviajhunter) July 19, 2018
Her admission comes nine months after she fainted during her Halloween show. While some questioned whether she was high or suffering through withdrawal, Williams had her supporters.
That looks like a stroke. Hope she got medical attention and doesn't just tough it out..— Annoyed Norwegian (@norwegian76) October 31, 2017
Since escaping the grasp of cocaine, Williams has been using her influence in a better way than the unnamed radio station did. The talk show host is teaming up with The Hunter Foundation, a nonprofit she formed with her husband and son, to promote the “Be Here” campaign.
In an effort to promote “Be Here,” the Hunter Foundation’s national campaign to combat drug and substance abuse and addiction, Wendy Williams is getting candid about her former struggles with cocaine. The outspoken talk show host spoke to Entertainment Tonight about her former addiction, stating that she’s fine with being open about the issues she once faced with the drug. “I am not embarrassed about anything,” she said. Williams also admitted that she was able to work while addicted to cocaine, and although everyone at her job knew about it, no one intervened. “I was a functioning addict,” she continued. “I’d report to work on time, and I’d walk in and all my co-workers- including my bosses- would know, but instead of firing me…I would grab my headphones and arrogantly walk into the studio and dare them to fire me and [they] wouldn’t fire me, because I was making ratings.” Lastly in the short clip, she explains that as a functioning addict, she was always prepared despite being on the drug. “A functioning addict has several alarm clocks, you’re organized,” she explained. A few months ago, Williams took a brief hiatus from her stint on her morning talk show, in order to cope with health issues. She suffers from hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, and fainted during the Halloween 2017 episode of her show. Vibe.com #XtremeRadio #SummaDat
The national movement is designed to focus on and combat drug addiction and substance abuse in communities. According to the website, The Hunter Foundation “provides grants for drug education, prevention and rehabilitation programs.”
A big THANK YOU to @WendyWilliams and her husband Kevin Hunter for #FacingAddiction. Facing Addiction with NCADD was honored to accept a $25,000 donation last night from their family foundation, the Hunter Foundation. #grateful pic.twitter.com/S1OdQKFoWA— Facing Addiction with NCADD (@FacingAddiction) July 19, 2018