Wendy Williams supports Sherri Shepherd as interim host amid health battle  

An inside source told The Hollywood Reporter that Williams is "very grateful to everybody who guest hosted" in her absence.

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Talk show host Wendy Williams has reportedly given Sherri Shepherd her blessing to be the permanent interim host of her eponymous talk show. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, an inside source said Williams is “very grateful to everybody who guest hosted” in her absence due to health issues. 

In this July 2014 photo, Sherri Shepherd (left) and Wendy Williams (right) pose for the cameras at Williams’ 50th birthday celebration at Out Hotel in New York City. (Photo: Rommel Demano/Getty Images)

Along with Shepherd, The Wendy Williams Show has had a carousel of guest hosts, including Leah Remini, Michelle Visage, Michael Rapaport, Kym Whitley and Finesse Mitchell, all of whom have filled in for the veteran host, who has been absent since last fall. 

Williams did not return to her purple chair at the start of the show’s 13th season, and producers said she is experiencing “ongoing health issues.” The last time Williams appeared on her show was for the season finale on July 16, 2021.

“It’s conditions relating to her Graves [disease] and some other issues,” the source told THR. “It’s not been easy. It’s going to take some time and some work. Don’t expect her back this year. She’s not ready to host a show now and that’s what matters. She’s not there yet. It’s not fair and not fair to her audience. They deserve 100 percent Wendy.”

TMZ first reported that Shepherd will soon become the permanent guest host. 

According to previous reporting, sources said a deal was near completion to have Shepherd take the helm as the permanent guest host when the show’s 15th season begins in September 2022. Fox Station Group may also be looking to change the title of the show, too, depending on Williams’ health and ability to return before that.

The inside source told THR Williams’ “recovery isn’t as quick as we had hoped.” 

Additionally, the source said Williams has not had a stroke, is not suffering a terminal illness, nor is she suffering from dementia, as was rumored. The source also reportedly said that Williams’ absence is not due to a relapse of cocaine use or alcohol abuse. 

“We hope the recovery continues and she’s able to be back in the fall,” said THR‘s source. “She does want to come back to the show. It all depends on recovery. She’s working with a team of therapists and the lord above.”

Williams is also dealing with financial issues. An attorney recently petitioned Wells Fargo Bank to restore access to one of her accounts, which is reportedly holding “several million dollars.” 

The bank previously told the court its agreement with Williams allowed it to “pause or reject instructions for a proposed transaction” if the company suspects “financial exploitation, dementia, or undue influence,” according to Williams’ petition. Her attorney contends, “Wells Fargo’s actions and the actions of its agents have impeded and unlawfully prevented [Williams] access to her property” and has caused “imminent and irreparable financial damage” as a result.

This article features additional reporting from theGrio’s Matthew Allen and Chauncey Alcorn. 

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