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Lifetime's Wendy Williams documentary will air this weekend after effort to block broadcast fails

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LA Post: Lifetime's Wendy Williams documentary will air this weekend after effort to block broadcast fails
AP
AP
February 23, 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — Lifetime's “Where is Wendy Williams?” documentary will air this weekend as scheduled after a New York court rejected an attempt to block the broadcast.

The order signed Friday by a New York appellate judge says blocking the documentary from airing would be an “impermissible prior restraint on speech that violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

The ruling clears Lifetime's two-night broadcast plan for “Where is Wendy Williams?”, which includes footage of the former talk show host and interviews. Friday's order comes a day after Williams' care team issued a statement saying the former host has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

A lawyer who serves as Williams' guardian sued to block the broadcast on Thursday, although most details about the case are under seal. An attorney for the guardian did not immediately return an email seeking comment Friday.

“Lifetime appeared in court today, and the documentary ‘Where is Wendy Williams?’ will air this weekend as planned,” the network said in a statement.

In 2022, Williams’ self-titled daytime talk show ended because of her ongoing health issues. Sherri Shepherd, who filled in for Williams as a guest host, received her own show.

Williams said in 2018 that she had been diagnosed years before with Graves’ disease, which leads to the overproduction of thyroid hormones and can cause wide-ranging symptoms that can affect overall health. Thursday's statement from Williams' care team said Williams' dementia diagnosis happened in 2023.

People magazine reported in a cover story on Williams this week that some family members say they don’t know where she is and cannot call her themselves, but she can call them.

The article said the Lifetime documentary crew, which set out in 2022 to chronicle Williams’ comeback, stopped filming in April 2023 when, her manager “and jeweler” Will Selby says in footage for the film, she entered a facility to treat “cognitive issues.” Her son says in the documentary that doctors had connected her cognitive issues to alcohol use, People reported.

Friday's ruling was first reported by the entertainment industry news website Deadline.

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