The New Jersey native, 57, initially delayed the season 13 premiere of The Wendy Williams Show last year after testing positive for COVID-19. The host later pushed back the premiere date a second time because she was still dealing with “ongoing health issues.” The season finally premiered on October 18, 2021, with a roster of rotating guest hosts.
After the show’s return, an insider told Us that Williams wouldn’t come back to her signature purple chair until she was totally certain she was ready.
“Wendy is making her own decisions as she sees fits,” the source explained in November 2021. “She’s getting better. She’s not getting worse. That’s encouraging.”
Following the second delay of the season 13 premiere, the show confirmed that the Hold Me in Contempt author was no longer battling a coronavirus infection, noting only that she was still “under a doctor’s care” and was “not ready to return to work.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum addressed speculation about her health after another round of guest hosts was announced in November 2021. “As everyone knows, my health has been a hot topic,” she said in a statement shared via Instagram. “I’m making progress but it’s just one of those things that’s taking longer than we expected. I’m a woman of a certain age, and I know enough to listen to my doctors and will return to my purple chair as soon as we all agree I’m ready.”
The radio personality also thanked her guest hosts “for stepping up and stepping in” while she was away from the show. Celebs who have subbed in so far include Whitney Cummings, Jerry Springer, Michael Rapaport, Sherri Shepherd and Leah Remini.
“I have heard your prayers and comments and feel all the love!” Williams continued, thanking her fans for her support. “You are everything to me. I love spending my mornings with you all and I’m doing everything I can to get back to work, but right now Wendy has to focus on Wendy.”
The Wendy’s Got the Heat author has previously taken hiatuses from her show to deal with health issues. In 2018, Williams delayed the series three separate times after being diagnosed with Graves’ disease.
“My doctor has prescribed — are you ready? — three weeks of vacation,” she told her studio audience at the time. “I was pissed. Encore performances, really?” She took another break in May 2020 because of fatigue related to the illness.
A representative for the Masked Singer alum has not yet responded to Us’ request for comment.
With reporting by Andy Tillett