Celebrity

20 Facts About Wendy Williams That Deserve Their Own "Hot Topics" Segment

Sharp Magazine

You may have never watched her show, but unless you've been living under a rock, you have definitely heard or read about daytime talk show host Wendy Williams.

The statuesque self-proclaimed Queen of Media has been actively working in the media industry for over three decades, and has grown into one of the most notorious television personalities.

While audiences might think they know all the hot and not-so-hot topics about the host, there's actually a lot more to Wendy than we see on TV and in the tabloids.

Here are 20 things you didn't know about Wendy that could be on her show's "Hot Topics" segment.

1. Shock jockette

Prior to landing her own self-titled talk show, Wendy captivated listeners as a radio DJ for several stations, including WVIS-FM in the U.S. Virgin Islands, New York's Hot 97, and Philadelphia's Power 99 FM.  

She was known as a "shock jockette" because of her tendency to discuss controversial topics on air, including celebrity scandals, drug addiction, and plastic surgery.

Wendy Williams at a radio station
The New York Times

After nearly 20 years in radio, Wendy left in 2009 to focus on her TV show, and spend time with her family.

"Pop radio has an expiration date. I knew that I couldn’t do pop radio as I got older," Wendy explained to Cuisine Noir magazine. "I had to have a plan to exit radio. I’d been planning my exit since 1993."

In 2010, she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

2. Broadway babe

Wendy Williams in Chicago on Broadway
Broadway Black

In spring 2013, the candid host announced that she would be making her Broadway debut. Her seven-week stint as Matron “Mama” Morton in the revival of the Tony award-winning musical Chicago began on July 2nd that same year.

Wendy's performance was met with positive reactions, but she later called the experience the "most difficult thing I’ve ever done."

3. Liver for breakfast

When it comes to food, as long as it isn't slimy like okra, Wendy says she will gobble it up.

Wendy Williams eating
People/Mathew Cole Weiss

Her diet has changed in recent years, but she once told Us Weekly that she especially loves liver, and will even eat it for breakfast.

"What’s not to like," she said in another interview. "It’s economically priced. Put on a few dollops of liquid smoke. Chop up some onions. Braise it with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on both sides. Let the bottom sit in gravy or barbecue sauce. Good eating."

4. Robe obsession

If you've watched episodes of Wendy's talk show, then you know that she loves fashion.

Wendy Williams wearing a green robe
Daily Mail

While the controversial TV host loves dressing up, robes are her favorite things to wear, she admitted to ABC. She owns more than 20 robes, and has no qualms with wearing the fancy ones in public.

“I'm the robe lady,” she said. "There's a robe for every occasion. I will wear my robe to Walgreens… If you have a nice robe, why not?"

5. An extra digit

Wendy Williams
Daily Mail

One of the lesser known facts about Wendy is that she was born with 11 fingers.

The two-time Emmy nominee had an extra finger on one of her hands, but her parents had it removed.

"I was born with 6th finger on my left hand...now I wish my parents hadn't removed!!" she tweeted back in 2013.

6. Bestselling author times seven

In addition to being a TV and Broadway star, Wendy is also a New York Times bestselling author.

Wendy Williams book
Harper Collins

She has published seven books since 2013, including two tell-alls, one advice book, and four works of fiction.

Her most recent novel, titled Hold Me in Contempt: A Romance, was released in 2014.

7. Former addict

Wendy candidly discussed her cocaine addiction during her days as a radio host. She described herself as a "functioning addict," and later revealed that her radio job made it easier for keeping doing drugs.

Wendy Williams
Wendy

“I was in deep. I wish I hadn’t put my life in jeopardy, but I have no regrets because it’s made me who I am today, and I’m proud of me," she said.

Wendy confessed that she never had a breaking point, but she kicked the nasty habit to the curb when she met her husband, Kevin Hunter.

8. 21 years & counting

Wendy married her second husband, who is also her manager, in 1997. She credits Kevin for playing a big part in her success, and their relationship is stronger than ever, despite rumors of cheating on his part.

Wendy and Kevin
The Black Loop

According to the tabloids, Kevin had been carrying a decade-long affair with a massage therapist and living a double life. It's alleged that he's been living part-time in New Jersey with Wendy and part-time with the other woman.

Wendy continues to deny all the allegations against her husband and father of her son. She even took the time address the issue on her show.

"You can believe what you want, but I stand by my guy," she said while flashing her huge diamond wedding ring. "We commuted this morning. The paparazzi was outside, catching me in the cutest negligee...All is well in Hunterville. Don't believe the hype and if there was hype, believe me you—I would let you know!"

9. Magic Hair

Wendy has made it loud and clear that she loves wearing wigs, or as she calls it "magic hair."

Around 20 years ago, the gossip junkie was diagnosed with a thyroid condition that made her hair thinner than usual, so she's been wearing wigs ever since.

Wendy Williams hair
Jezebel.com
“I’ve got a PhD in Wigology,” she said. “There are a lot of people with hair lines out, wigs and whatnot, but I am the only one who wears a wig every single day. I don’t wear weave. I don’t wear clip-in hair. I am wig. So, if you’re going to get a wig or you’re going to hear about wig talk, who better to hear from.”

In 2013, the self-proclaimed wig expert started her own line called Wendy Williams Hair World.

Units are available in more than 40 different styles, but they don't come cheap, with prices ranging from $50-$799.

10. Technologically challenged

She may be well-versed in media, but don't ask her "How you doin'?" via email because Wendy doesn't even try to get acquainted with certain modern technologies.

Wendy Williams on the phone
Wendy Show

In a 2016 interview with DuJour magazine, the 53-year-old admitted that she doesn't "do email."

"Never sent or received one," she said. "I tell [my 15-year-old son] Kevin's teachers, 'Here's my telephone number. If he acts up, call me. I don't care if it's midnight. Because I don't do email.'"

It was also revealed that the media maven doesn't even post on her own social media accounts. She has a staff member who manages her talk show's Twitter and Facebook pages.

11. Funny Lady

We all have things on our bucket lists that we'd like to accomplish by a certain age. For Wendy, she wanted to perform stand-up comedy before she turned 50.

In 2014, she checked that item off her list when she made her debut at The Venetian in Las Vegas for the "Lipshtick- The Perfect Shade of Stand Up" show.

Wendy Williams at The Venetian
Parade Entertainment

The following year, she embarked on a multi-date tour titled "Sit Down Tour...To Real For Stand Up." She wanted to prove to everyone that she is more than just about the "Hot Topics" and celebrity feuds.

Wendy talked about "everything," during the show. "From parents to children to spouses to private parts," and other subjects that forced her to warn people not to bring their moms to the show because it's "not that type of venue."

12. Chronic illness

Fans became concerned about the gossip queen's health when she fainted on television during her Halloween episode in 2017.

A few months later, she missed a few days of filming after she developed "flu-like symptoms." Upon returning to her purple chair, she revealed that she suffers from Graves' disease.

Wendy Williams Graves' disease
Radar Online

“Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs,” Williams explained on a recent episode of the show, adding that it has made her eyeballs twitch. “I often feel like birds are swimming around my head. Like constantly high, but not high.”

Also known as toxic goiter, Graves' disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid. It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, which is described by the American Thyroid Association as "a generalized overactivity of the entire thyroid gland."

Thankfully, Wendy's health has improved and she told GMA's Amy Robach that she's feels "a hundred percent better."

13. Conspiracy theory

Ever since she made her debut, people have called Wendy's gender identity into question. Many are convinced that she is transgender.

"@WendyWilliams saw show first time ? Are you a man?" wrote one Twitter user last year.

Wendy Williams with short hair
Twitter

It took a couple of years, but she finally addressed the rumor in an interview with ABC News, and cleared up any misunderstanding.

"People do think I was born a man," she said. "That is absolutely not [true]. I get it. I've got a strong face, a strong body, I'm 5'11. I wear wigs."

She added, "there's no worse way to insult a woman than by saying she looks like a man, but once a woman gets over that, there is no stronger woman. It rolls off her back when you say it. There's nothing you can call me at this particular point. I've been dealing with this for decades."

14. Tortured childhood

Although Wendy claims that she doesn't let people's opinions bother nowadays, she wasn't always thick-skinned.

Wendy Williams at 12 years old.
YBF.com

Growing up, she had a tough childhood. She was bullied because of her apperance, and she never had the chance to do all the things that the average teen gets to do like go to prom.

"I had a very tortured childhood," Wendy told ABC. "I was tortured, they fat shamed me." She continued, "I didn't grow up the popular girl or the popular cheerleader. I've never been to a prom, I didn't have a lot of boyfriends, so I'm used to be on this side of life."

15. TV court show junkie

If there's anything Wendy loves more than robes, caftans, and celebrity gossip, it's TV court shows.

Judge Judy
Stuff.co.nz

In an interview with Us Weekly, the host revealed that she's "obsessed with court shows: Judge Judy, The People's Court, Judge Alex.

She added, "In another life, I'd be a TV judge."

Wendy is also a fan of the legal drama Matlock, starring Andy Griffith.

16. Communications expert

As much as she wants to be a TV judge, going to law school was never in the books for Wendy.

The daytime-talk show host was destined for a career in media.

Young Wendy Williams
skincaretalk.com

She attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a minor in journalism.

It was during her time in college that she started working as a DJ for the campus radio station WRBB.

17. Kicked out of church

In 2013, Wendy recounted a story of how she was kicked out of church, and it's a wild one.

Raised a Baptist, Wendy regularly attended church, but that all ended after she witnessed an incident in the parking lot.

Wendy Williams on her show
Wendy Williams/Fox

Wendy saw two people "going at it" in a car in the parking lot of the church, so shared the story on her radio show the next day.

As soon as the story reached the pastor's ears, she was served with a legal notice delivered by a marshall. She never returned to that particular church.

18. Hidden talent

Wendy previously revealed that she enjoys "crafting and painting" as they're her "therapeutic outlets." However, there is something else she's even better at.

Wendy Williams at HSN
Livingly

According to a video on Marie Claire, Wendy is talented at sewing.

"I am a pretty good sewer," she said. "I've sewn pillows… fixed things that my husband has (broken), and we actually save a lot of money off of my sewing."

Although she didn't do the sewing, Wendy does have a clothing line, which she launched in collaboration with the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

19. Pescatarian diet

It looks like eating liver for breakfast is slowly becoming a thing of the past for the TV personality.

While speaking to The Cut, Wendy revealed that she's now a pescatarian, which means she is a vegetarian who eats fish.

I’m a pescatarian, so I do eat the occasional fish, but I don’t eat meat meat meat," she explained. "My whole family is vegetarian, which makes it easier."
Wendy Williams before and after her weight loss
The New York Post

Wendy told the publication that she "used to be a ham hock."

"I wouldn’t just use the ham hock to flavor meals, I would eat the ham hock, suck the back off, and let the fatty part of the ham hock slide down my throat."

However, she knew that she needed to change her approach to nutrition before she turned 50, so she changed her diet, and lost 50 pounds all on her own.

"And once I turned 50, I was like: Now hold on, I can still do knee-bends? There’s still a wiggle in my walk? I’m not an old-lady grandma when I pick up my son in the school line? And I got a successful career? Let me keep this going. I haven’t always been this way, but I am this way now," she added.

20. WenMojis

Wendy may not be technologically savvy, but that doesn't mean she doesn't know what's popular in the world of tech.

"Moving into the tech space is an exciting venture for me… It’s important to me to keep up with the times, and to keep my fans engaged," she told Hollywood Life.

A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on

Like Kim Kardashian, Wendy launched her very own lifestyle app, including a collection of emojis called "WenMojis."

"The WenMojis are completely curated by me and convey iconic moments for me throughout my career, to my everyday life," she told Hollywood Life. "You’ll see everything from my “How You Doin” to me sipping my tea, kissy faces and more. They’re a LOT of fun, and I think my fans will really enjoy them."

Wendy said that she created the app and the Wenmojis to "connect with my fans on a whole new level."

Did you learn something new about Wendy Williams? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.