Syndicated television talk show host Wendy Williams is saying goodbye to her marriage of 21 years after husband Kevin Hunter allegedly engaged in an extramarital affair that resulted in the birth of a child in March. The ordeal has taken a significant toll on Williams, who put her show on hiatus early in 2019 for two months and began living in a sober house to avoid a relapse into addiction. At the time, she said that she was suffering complications from Grave’s disease and hypothyroidism and had been hospitalized. Both things can be true, but the rupture of her marriage has certainly informed her work and life in recent months.
Page Six has reported that Hunter, who is also Williams’s business manager, has been involved with a woman named Sharina Hudson for as long as 10 years. As their baby’s due date approached, Hudson and Hunter decided that the best course of action would be to actually have the delivery at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, far away from New York. Hunter was reportedly worried that if they had the baby in the city, the press would find out right away. It doesn’t seem that relocating the delivery made much difference; within days, numerous friends of Wendy were being quoted anonymously by Page Six, outraged over what was happening in her life.
One said, “This is a crazy situation. Wendy is in a halfway house fighting for her sobriety, while her husband is at the side of his mistress who is giving birth to a baby. Sharina went into labor on Sunday [and] is believed to have given birth late on Sunday or in the early morning hours of Monday. Everyone who loves Wendy is heartboken and furious. Her fans are furious that she lied to them about her health and about what she has been going through.”
Just hours after the news broke, Williams lost her cool entirely and fled the sober house without her sobriety coach. She was found drunk several hours later, the strain of current events having evidently overridden her desire to stay on the straight and narrow. Her sobriety team took her to a hospital, where she was given IV fluids before returning to the Queens halfway house. In spite of everything, the next day, she was back on set to tape her show. Said one friend, “Wendy is not in a good way, everyone is so concerned for her. The sad thing is that she’s been working so hard to stay sober and she’s been so honest in her struggles with all her fans, and this just tipped her over the edge. But the fact she still came to the set just shows how strong she’s trying to be.”
A few weeks later, the show took a week-long hiatus where Williams apparently went upstate with several women from the halfway house to get some fresh air and do some camping. Upon her return, she told her audience, “I’m the newbie, so I get to make the decisions. I’m thinking we’re going over to Ellis Island to one of those glamp grounds… No, honey, we went all the way up there.” She had nothing but praise for the people she’s currently living with at the sober living facility, remarking, “The great thing about being in the sober house [is] the people that I live with. We are people with functioning careers who just want to check ourselves and get down with that 12-step.”
She’s also taking a meaningful stance in combating the stigma around substance abuse, apparently empowered and inspired by the sense of struggle and achievement she shares with her housemates. “There are people in there with prestigious careers and degrees,” she said. “There’s such a stigma to substance abuse. Everyone thinks it’s going to be the bum on the corner. I’m the face of it. How about you?”
Page Six reported during the upstate camping getaway that Williams had been spotted riding a scooter in a Walmart there. “I want to shout out to my friends at the Walmart in a little-known place called Ellen, New York,” she said on the show. “We went up there and the Walmart is the social place. When I’m away from the show, sometimes I do take selfies. At 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m sitting in this scooter, taking pictures with people.”
What happened next suggests very strongly that Williams was taking her time in coming to a life-altering decision. By April 11, her mind was made up, and she filed for divorce from Hunter in Essex County, New Jersey, where the couple’s legal residence is located. The filing cites “irreconcilable differences” and asks for an “appropriate amount of child support” and whatever other relief the court deems fair and equitable.
Friends and past employees were quick to step in to explain the full context of the situation. One former intern from Williams’ radio show days told The Post, “She would hide in the bathroom and tell me to knock on the door when he left the office so she wouldn’t have to see him.” The person went on to describe how Hunter would pull Williams into rooms one-on-one and the staff would hear raised voices and “slaps or some type of tussling going on.”
After all this, an audience member at a taping of her show asked her how she was doing. “I’m not sure,” she replied candidly, no doubt caught up in the whirlwind of events that have overtaken a very short 2019 so far. Fresher reporting shows that Williams is set to finally move out of the couple’s Livingston, New Jersey, home once and for all and has been shopping for an apartment in New York City.
She also expressed her gratitude for the experience of living in the sober house and the perspective that it has given her. “It’s one of the best things,” she said, “because when you think about your life, you think about how you’ve been delivering to the world. Everybody has things in their life that they’re embarrassed to share with the world, or they’re frightened to share with the world, or they’re not ready to share with the world and addressing my sobriety, my addiction, head on has really helped me sort out every single compartment of my life.”
Hunter, meanwhile, is reportedly negotiating a deal for his own exit from the show, where he serves as executive producer.
However entangled your relationship is, it is possible to extricate yourself. If your marriage in Queens is ending, the team at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino can help make sure that the things that matter most to you get top billing. Call us today at 718-523-1111 for a free consultation with an experienced Queens divorce and child custody attorney.