Wendy Williams is an ‘incapacitated person’ who cannot handle her own financial affairs, a lawyer for her bank has claimed in court – arguing that she needs a guardianship to end her being the victim of ‘undue influence and financial exploitation’.
The 57-year-old chat show host has rarely been seen in public since she stopped presenting her show in July 2021. In September she was taken to a New York hospital for psychiatric evaluation, and the future of “The Wendy Williams Show” hangs in the balance, with multiple famous faces stepping into her shoes to host and a ‘permanent guest host’ being named to replace her.
On Wednesday a lawyer for her bank, Wells Fargo, sent a letter to New York County Supreme Court Judge Arlene Bluth seeking a hearing to discuss her finances.
Williams’s former financial advisor, Lori Schiller, claimed that Williams was ‘of unsound mind’, which led to Wells Fargo blocking the New Jersey-born presenter’s access to her accounts in mid January.
Williams’s lawyers disputed Schiller’s claim, and on February 4 accused Wells Fargo of overstepping their authority.
Now the bank has responded, with David H. Pikus, representing Wells Fargo, writing in court documents obtained by Page Six that they were worried about her, and wanted a professional to oversee her finances.
‘We are concerned about [Williams’] situation,’ Pikus wrote on Wednesday.
‘It is our hope that the Guardianship Part [of the court] will imminently appoint a temporary guardian or evaluator to review the situation and ensure that [Williams’] affairs are being properly handled.’
Pikus told the judge that the bank ‘has strong reason to believe’ Williams is ‘the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.’ He requested to keep the case ‘under seal’ to ‘preserve the confidential nature.’
Pikus claimed Schiller had ‘recently witnessed signs of exploitation, including Williams’ own expressed apprehensions’ about the people around her.
Pikus did not clarify who he meant.
He wrote that ‘other independent third parties who know [Williams] well … share these concerns.’
Williams’ lawyer Celeste McCaw wrote in response to Wednesday’s letter that her Emmy-winning client ‘denies that she is the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.’
McCaw also requested a temporary restraining order against Wells Fargo to restrain the bank ‘from freezing [Williams’] accounts and interfering with her right to access her financial assets and statements.’
The trailblazing Williams launched her eponymous show in 2008, and now in its 13th season it remains one of the biggest hits in daytime TV history.
The show was built around Williams, then a popular radio host known for her no-holds-barred take on celebrity gossip.
The show has been deeply personal, charting the end of her 22-year marriage to television producer Kevin Hunter in 2019, when she discovered he had been having an affair and fathered a child with his mistress.
In February 2021 she hosted a ‘Date Wendy’ segment on her show and met Mike Esterman, a Maryland building contractor, who she began dating.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail