Wendy Williams 'touched' by response to her dementia diagnosis, asks for 'personal space and peace'

The former talk show host recently disclosed that she has aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

Wendy Williams is speaking out for the first time after being diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

In a statement provided to EW on Friday, the former talk show host, 59, gave thanks for the outpouring of support she's received since her diagnosis was disclosed Thursday — but she also asked fans for some space.

"I want to say I have immense gratitude for the love and kind words I have received after sharing my diagnosis of Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)," Williams said. "Let me say, wow! Your response has been overwhelming. The messages shared with me have touched me, reminding me of the power of unity and the need for compassion."

She added, "I hope that others with FTD may benefit from my story. I want to also thank the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration for their kind words of support and their extraordinary efforts to raise awareness of FTD. I continue to need personal space and peace to thrive. Please just know that your positivity and encouragement are deeply appreciated."

<p>Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images</p> Wendy Williams

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Wendy Williams

In a press release addressing her health a day earlier, Williams' representatives had said, "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. In 2023, after undergoing a battery of medical tests, Wendy was officially diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia."

Her team also revealed that Williams, who currently has a court-appointed legal guardian looking after her health and finances, is "still able to do many things for herself" and stressed that she "maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed."

Williams stepped down from her eponymous talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, after more than 10 years in 2021 amid ongoing health issues. At the time, she was open about her experiences dealing with Graves’ Disease and lymphedema.

A two-part documentary about her life following the cancellation of her show, Where Is Wendy Williams?, is set to air Feb. 24 and 25 on Lifetime and promises to explore her various health problems, including memory loss and substance abuse. 

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