US daytime talk show host Wendy Williams, 54, has revealed she is seeking help for addiction and that she has been living in a sober house.
Ms Williams did not offer details about her addiction, but said she had kept her sober house stay a secret from everyone except her husband and son.
She has acknowledged struggles with cocaine addiction in the past.
Ms Williams also leads a non-profit company focusing on drug education, rehabilitation and prevention efforts.
Speaking on her daytime program, The Wendy Williams Show, on Tuesday, the 54-year-old host said she returned to a sober house every night and has a 24-hour sober coach.
“I have been living in a sober house,” she told her audience. “Nobody knew – because I look so glamorous out here.”
Each day after filming, Ms Williams said she attended addiction meetings in the New York area to help others, where people “don’t know I’m Wendy, they don’t care I’m Wendy”.
When her appointments are over, her sober coach drives her back to a home where Ms Williams said she lives with “a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family”, under a strict curfew of 10 pm every night.
The TV personality also brought up her own struggles with cocaine in the past, but noted she had never undergone real treatment for her addiction.
Ms Williams’ health was a talking point in 2017 when she fainted on-air. The incident prompted her to reveal that she had been diagnosed with Graves’ disease – an autoimmune thyroid condition.
Wendy Williams didn’t seek treatment for her substance abuse issues because of an intervention — she got help because she was a public figure who would’ve made the news.
“I never got busted by the cops. Honestly, I was high careening around Manhattan and New Jersey high. I come from a two-parent household … I come from a good family and I had never shamed them, and plus I earned my career,” Williams told Page Six over the phone on Thursday.
“Look, I was very popular at the time I decided to stop. If I were to be busted that would’ve definitely been New York Post front cover,” she continued. “I just woke up one day and I said, ‘Girl, you need to stop before it really goes down.’”
She developed a cocaine habit while working in radio years ago.
Williams and her Hunter Foundation have launched a new philanthropic campaign called Be Here, which will serve to combat drug and substance abuse. The daytime talk-show host aims to “bring light” to the fact that addiction “doesn’t have to be your demise.”
“I lost a little over 10 years of my life regarding substance abuse, but I’m now going into Season 10 [of ‘The Wendy Williams Show’]. I’m married, I have a great career and a flourishing business … it’s not that you fall down, it’s how you rise. And if you rise, then you reach back. This is a reach back.”
Premiering her 10th season of “The Wendy Williams Show” on Monday, Williams said she never expected her talk show to endure.
“No, no! I talk how I talk. I think how I think,” Williams told us. “I love daytime TV, but there was nobody on TV doing it like me, so when I got the opportunity to do it, I said, ‘OK well, I can only be me. How long is this going to last?’”
Ten seasons later, however, Williams, who was diagnosed with Graves’ disease earlier this year, has learned how to take better care of herself.
“I learned to say ‘no’ more. In the first season, I said ‘yes’ to everything … I was a pleaser. Now I’m like ‘meh,’” Williams said. “I’ve learned to take care of myself. I’m 54 years old, our son is off in college. It’s me and my husband [Kevin Hunter].
“I’ve learned to say ‘no’ with no regrets.”
We, at NationalAddictionNews.com, are proud of Wendy for sharing her challenges with her public. Of course, we pray for her healing and ongoing freedom from addiction.