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Wendy Williams breaks silence with emotional statement after dementia and aphasia diagnoses

The Wendy Williams Show host was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia

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Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
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Wendy Williams broke her silence with an emotional statement after she was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia.

The 59-year-old has long battled with her health, but on Thursday it was announced by her care team that after "a battery of medical tests" she received the heartbreaking diagnosis

Wendy has since spoken about her health battle, releasing a heartfelt statement to The Associated Press on Friday. 

She said: "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). 

"Let me say, wow! Your response has been overwhelming," she added. 

"The messages shared with me have touched me, reminding me of the power of unity and the need for compassion.'"

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28:  Wendy Williams and Ray J seen are walking in soho on June 28, 2021 in New York City.  (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)© Raymond Hall
Wendy Williams diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia

"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." 

Wendy concluded: "I continue to need personal space and peace to thrive. Please just know that your positivity and encouragement are deeply appreciated." 

The former TV star has been open about her "medical struggles with Graves' Disease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related to her health". 

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 1160A -- Pictured: Wendy Williams during an interview with host Seth Meyers on June 15, 2021 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)© NBC
Wendy has been reportedly living in a treatment facility

But after concerns about her health grew following the cancellation of The Wendy Williams Show, her team set the record straight when they announced her diagnosis in a statement on Thursday. 

It read: "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."

It added: "In 2023, after undergoing a battery of medical tests, Wendy was officially diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD)", which affect language, communication behavior, and function. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 21: Wendy Williams attends a private dinner at Fresco By Scotto on February 21, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)© Johnny Nunez
Wendy thanked fans for their support

Wendy's care team chose to share the news "after careful consideration, not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances". 

The statement insisted that Wendy "is still able to do many things for herself", adding 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. 

"She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way." 

Wendy has been diagnosed with dementia© Bravo
Wendy no longer presents The Wendy Williams Show

Wendy's diagnosis comes ahead of a Lifetime two-part documentary spotlighting her personal life over the past two years, set to be released on February 24 and 25. 

However, her guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, has filed a lawsuit against the parent company of Lifetime, A&E Television Networks, in a bid to try and stop the documentary airing – but her injunction request was denied. 

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The documentary on Wendy will air as planned

"Lifetime appeared in court today and the documentary 'Where is Wendy Williams?' will air this weekend as planned," a representative for Lifetime told TMZ on Friday. 

The documentary filmed Wendy from August 2022 to April 2023, when she entered a treatment facility where she reportedly still lives today.

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