Wendy Williams’ Guardian Tried to Shut Down Lifetime Docuseries Because She Came Off Poorly, A&E Claims

The network states Sabrina Morrissey only took issue with the series when realizing she “may be criticized” after the trailer release

Wendy Williams in "Where Is Wendy Williams?" documentary (Lifetime)
Wendy Williams in "Where Is Wendy Williams?" documentary (Credit: Lifetime)

Wendy Williams’ guardian tried to stop Lifetime docuseries “Where Is Wendy Williams?” from airing after the trailer debuted in February, A&E Networks claims in a legal filing unsealed this week and now obtained by TheWrap.

Sabrina Morrissey, who’s been Williams’ appointed guardian since 2022, filed a petition against A&E to shut down the airing of the series two days before its Feb. 24 premiere because she felt she and her supervision of Williams would be poorly portrayed by the doc. On Friday, the New York Supreme Court unsealed the motion to reverse the restraining order.

In their defense, A&E attorney Rachel Strom wrote that Morrissey made the move “only after seeing the documentary’s trailer and realizing her role in Ms. [Williams’] life may be criticized,” adding that enlisting the courts to silence that criticism was unconstitutional.

The network went on to say that the “restraint” is a “violation of the [the company’s] constitutional rights,” saying that the guardian was aware of the documentary’s filming and only took issue once she saw the trailer on Feb. 2. Williams was paid a “substantial sum” for her participation in the series.

“Even more egregious, she has known about the existence of the documentary since at least February 2023, and of the talent agreement — the unenforceability of which supposedly justifies a permanent bar on release of the documentary — since at least April 2023,” A&E’s legal team stated. “Nevertheless, she sat and did nothing for nearly a year. If plaintiff, as [Williams’] guardian, was so worried about [Williams] being filmed in a sensitive state, [Morrissey] had months and months to seek a remedy, intervene in filming, or voice her concerns to defendants, [Williams] or her family. [Morrissey] did not, and her delay is contrary to the supposed need for emergency relief.”

The two-part documentary stood as Williams’ first public appearance since she stepped down from her award-winning daytime talk program “The Wendy Williams Show.” Over its runtime, viewers were taken through Williams’ journey as a media personality at the height of her career — as well as the challenges she’s faced with mental illness and her physical health. On Feb. 22 ahead of the docuseries debut, it was revealed that she was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and dementia.

Williams was placed under financial guardianship of Morrissey in May 2022 after Wells Fargo petitioned courts, stating Williams was an “incapacitated person” who was a “victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.”

Public concerns about Williams’ health started to emerge in 2020 when she took a hiatus from “The Wendy Williams Show.” This first break was due to fatigue brought on by Graves’ disease. Williams later returned to the series, but her show ended in 2022 due to ongoing health concerns. What happened to the star after her syndicated talk show is the focus of the Lifetime documentary.


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