Wendy Williams remembered her later mother Shirley Williams on the December 7 episode of her morning talk show. The daytime host, 56, started her “Hot Topics” segment by revealing that her mom died “many weeks ago.” Wendy, who vowed not to cry, held back tears to explain that Shirley “passed away beautiful and peacefully and surrounded by love.” The host did not disclose how her mother died, but added that Shirley “didn’t suffer, not one bit.”
“My mom passed away many, many, many, many weeks ago,” Wendy said. “You know how you lose track of the day and time? All I know was it was a long time ago. The five of us, my mom, dad, my siblings [Wanda and Thomas Williams], the five of us — she will always be here.”
Wendy went on to discuss her close relationship with Shirley, which she said became stronger in the 1980s, when she moved away to college at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. “My mom and I, our relationship became closer and closer when I went to college. Our relationship was like that of two teenage girls — 17, if I could pick an age,” she said. “You know if you have siblings, each of you have different relationships with your mom and dad… Right up until the end, my relationship with my mother was so girly and ridiculously giggly… We would do our nails together and we’d watch Housewives or American Greed,” Wendy recalled.
The mother of one also expressed her gratitude for having Shirley around throughout most of her adult life. “Gone is the best mother, the best girlfriend a girl could have. I am fortunate I had her in my life all of my 56 years,” Wendy said, later adding that she needs to be “strong” for her son, Kevin Hunter Jr., a 20-year-old college student. “This is his first death. He knows his grandmother passed away, but he doesn’t know this in his life,” she said, later adding, “My son is looking to me and I’m giving him the strength that he needs.”
Wendy also joked that her mother “is squeaking at me right now,” before she playfully imitated her mother’s voice. She even cracked a few light-hearted jokes about her mother’s love for Hallmark movies and fashion.
The host closed the topic of her mother’s passing with a disclaimer to critics who may critique her delivery of the news. “It’s not that I don’t cry,” she said, noting, “I just don’t cry in front of you over this particular thing.”
Wendy also asked her show staff not to seat any viewers in her mother and father, Thomas Williams‘ chairs. Shirley and Thomas have made many appearances on The Wendy Williams Show throughout the years. The host would always shine a spotlight on her parents, both of whom would sit in the front row of her live studio audience. Thomas resides in Florida, where he shared a home with Shirley.
Our thoughts are with Wendy Williams and her loved ones during this time.