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Wendy Williams Thanks Fans, Asks for ‘Personal Space and Peace’ in First Statement Since Dementia Diagnosis

Beloved talk show host Wendy Williams is speaking out following the recent announcement that she’s been diagnosed with dementia and aphasia.

“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),” Williams said in a statement to People magazine. “Let me say, wow! Your response has been overwhelming. The messages shared with me have touched me, reminding me of the power of unity and the need for compassion.”

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She added: “I hope that others with FTD may benefit from my story. I want to also thank the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration for their kind words of support and their extraordinary efforts to raise awareness of FTD. I continue to need personal space and peace to thrive. Please just know that your positivity and encouragement are deeply appreciated.”

Williams’ diagnosis was revealed Thursday in a statement from her health care team that was released “to correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health.” Last year, following a battery of tests, Williams was “officially diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).” Her team shared this news “not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy, but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances.” (Frontotemporal dementia and apahasia are the same conditions that actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with last year.)

The statement also noted that “Wendy is still able to do many things for herself” and “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.”

Williams, who hosted a self-titled syndicated talk show that ran from 2008 to 2021, has had many public health struggles in the past, including a fainting spell on live TV in 2017 that led to questions about her health and then a diagnosis of Graves’ disease that she went public with in 2018.

Williams is also the subject of a new Lifetime documentary, Where Is Wendy Williams?, that is set to air this Saturday and Sunday at 8/7c. The doc, filmed over the course of two years, claims to offer “a raw, honest and unfiltered reality of Wendy’s life after she was placed under financial guardianship” and capture Williams’ “delicate state of mind, erratic behavior and declining health.”

Despite Williams herself serving as an executive producer on the Lifetime documentary, Williams’ guardian filed a lawsuit on Thursday asking that the documentary not be allowed to air. Lifetime, however, says that Where Is Wendy Williams? will still air this weekend as planned.

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