‘The Wendy Williams documentary is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.’

In one scene, she forgets her address, instead referencing the home she grew up in. In another, she can’t remember the location of a tobacco store near the studio where she filmed for 14 years. 

“I think she’s losing memory,” her driver admits, sharing that despite working with her for years, she rarely remembers who he is when he picks her up.

In several scenes, Shelby removes alcohol from Wendy’s apartment or prevents the former host from ordering a cocktail. Then there’s the moment she shouts at a nail technician, before verbally abusing her publicist, Shawn Zanotti, in the middle of a meeting, telling her that she should get liposuction and calling her a ‘dumbass’.

When reunited with her niece Alex Finnie after a year apart, Williams asks her how to work the TV remote.

These disturbing moments take on a more concerning meaning in light of Williams’ diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, conditions that may cause mood and personality changes and effects parts of the brain responsible for language.

In an episode that was particularly ethically dubious, Williams flees New York to go to Los Angeles for a meeting Zanotti set up with NBC, despite Williams clearly not being in a suitable state of mind to meet with TV executives. 

In a baffling moment in the car on the way to the meeting, Zanotti suggests that Williams attend the Oscars while in the city. 

“What are the Oscars?” she replies, all the while wearing a wide-eyed, vacant expression. 

Wendy Williams’ in the docuseries. Image: Lifetime.