Talk Show Host Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Same Form of Dementia as Bruce Willis

Talk Show Host Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Same Form of Dementia as Bruce Willis

Wendy Williams hosts the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 28th Annual Awards Gala at Washington Hilton in Washington on Nov. 21, 2016 (Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund)

Matt McGregor

Matt McGregor

2/22/2024

Updated: 2/23/2024

Media personality Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with the same type of dementia affecting former actor Bruce Willis.
“As Wendy’s fans are aware, in the past she has been open with the public about her medical struggles with Graves’ Disease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related to her health,” the press release states. “Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions.”
The public statement was released on Thursday to “correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health.”
After a series of medical tests in 2023, Ms. Williams—who was host of “The Wendy Williams Show” from 2008 to 2021—was diagnosed with “primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD),” the press release stated.
“Aphasia, a condition affecting language and communication abilities, and frontotemporal dementia, a progressive disorder impacting behavior and cognitive functions, have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life,” the team said. “Wendy would not have received confirmation of these diagnoses were it not for the diligence of her current care team, who she chose, and the extraordinary work of the specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine. Receiving a diagnosis has enabled Wendy to receive the medical care she requires.”
The decision to share the news was not only to “advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy,” but also to raise awareness about the disease.
“Unfortunately, many individuals diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia face stigma and misunderstanding, particularly when they begin to exhibit behavioral changes but have not yet received a diagnosis,” the team said. “There is hope that with early detection and far more empathy, the stigma associated with dementia will be eliminated, and those affected will receive the understanding, support, and care they deserve and need.”
The press release said that Ms. Williams is still able to support herself and has maintained “her trademark sense of humor.”
In 2018, Ms. Williams announced that she had Graves’ disease, described by the Mayo Clinic as an “immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism).”
In 2020, The Associated Press reported that she had been experiencing fatigue because of symptoms from Graves’ disease, which resulted in her taking time off from her talk show.

Bruce Willis’ Diagnosis

In 2022, Mr. Willis stepped back from acting after revealing his diagnosis of aphasia, a condition that affects communications and the ability to process and formulate language.
In 2023, Mr. Willis was later diagnosed with FTD, according to a statement from his family.
“FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone,” Mr. Willis’ family said in the public statement. “For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”

Past Issues and Stance on COVID-19 Vaccine

Ms. Williams has been open about her past struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, as well as being outspoken about her initial refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
In 2021, she told Dr. Oz that she didn’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m not getting the vaccine,” she said then he pressed her on the issue. “Listen, 10 million people and more have the flu vaccine, and how many people per year catch the flu, you know? No, I’m not getting the vaccine, Dr. Oz.”
However, in September 2021, her team announced that she was suffering from a “breakthrough case of COVID-19,” Page Six reported. A “breakthrough case” is a term used to describe a COVID-19 infection in a person who has received the vaccine.
According to the report, Ms. Williams’ team announced that the show would return in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines set by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which mandated the shots for its members.
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Matt McGregor

Matt McGregor

Author

Matt McGregor covers news and features throughout the United States. Send him your story ideas: matt.mcgregor@epochtimes.us

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