Wendy Williams' Family Confirms She Wants to Return to TV After Treatment Program: Whatever 'Makes Her Happy'

Williams and her family had opened up to PEOPLE for this week's cover story ahead of the premiere of her Lifetime docuseries 'Where Is Wendy Williams?'

<p>Evan Falk/Shutterstock</p> Wendy Williams

Evan Falk/Shutterstock

Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams' loved ones are shedding new light on her story — and her next steps in Hollywood.

The former talk show host's niece Alex Finnie appeared on Good Morning America Thursday morning ahead of before this weekend's premiere of Where Is Wendy Williams?, Lifetime's new documentary filmed between August 2022 and April 2023.

"I said I wasn't gonna cry because I feel like I've cried enough over the last year and a half," Alex told Deborah Roberts. "But what people are gonna see is a broken woman who has had the world on her shoulders for so long and just cracked."

While speaking about Williams' conservatorship, alcohol use and cognitive functioning, Alex confirmed her aunt is still keen on returning to the screen. Currently in a treatment center at a location unknown to her family, Williams has her sights set on continuing her legacy television career. "I know in talking with her, she does hope to resume a career," Alex said. "And my hope to her is that she does whatever she wants to do that makes her happy. And that stays in the bounds of keeping her healthy."

Related: Wendy Williams' Family Break Their Silence on Her 'Shocking and Heartbreaking' Struggles Over the Past 3 Years (Exclusive)

<p>Santiago Felipe/Getty</p> Wendy Williams in September 2018.

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Wendy Williams in September 2018.

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The conversation touched on some of Williams' most controversial public moments, from the time she collapsed on air to her own admission she was living in a sober home after a personal struggle with cocaine. The upcoming Lifetime documentary outlines Williams' alcohol use, which some family members believe is an addiction. "In terms of the alcohol, I don't want to categorize her because I'm not a medical professional," Alex said. "But what I can say is that my aunt has had some unhealthy habits when it comes to alcohol."

Williams has been under a conservatorship and has also faced financial trouble with some accusations that a family member — possibly her son Kevin Jr. — has been taking money without her consent, which he strongly denies in the documentary. "I personally have not seen family taking advantage of my own money," Alex said.

"Family was shut out [by Wendy]," she added. "We would take responsibility with regard to guardianship and personal needs to ensure that she was healthy. I'm not talking about her money. You put money over here and New York appointed a guardian to manage her life and finances."

Alex reminded viewers that Williams is the executive producer of the documentary, and decided it was time to "take ownership" of her story. Upon filming, Alex reported immediately noticeable changes in her Aunt's mental processing capabilities. "Right off the bat when I saw her," she noticed the cognitive changes. "She didn’t have to say one thing. I knew that every cylinder is not firing the way it should."

<p>Johnny Nunez/WireImage</p> Wendy Williams on February 15, 2023

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Wendy Williams on February 15, 2023

Williams, 59, made her last appearance on The Wendy Williams Show in July 2021. Amid ongoing health issues, including Graves' disease, lymphedema and alcohol abuse, multiple celebrities appeared as guest hosts. Following its end in June 2022 after nearly 14 years, Sherri Shepherd took over the time slot with the premiere of her own talk show.

Related: Sherri Shepherd Says She's 'Truly Concerned' for Wendy Williams: 'She's Going Through a Lot'

Williams entered a facility to treat "cognitive issues" in April 2023 and has been appointed a court-appointed legal guardian. Her sister Wanda Finnie and niece Alex told PEOPLE in this week's cover story that they have seen a difference.

"She sounds really great. To hear my aunt now in terms of just how clear she is, just how focused she is on the importance of family and the reality in terms of facing and understanding where she's at physically and mentally and emotionally, it is like a 180," said Alex.

"I don't know what is working, but I do know that when she did reach out to me, it was a person who is remarkably different than what we see in that documentary," Wanda shared.

PEOPLE's cover about Wendy Williams
PEOPLE's cover about Wendy Williams

Related: Wendy Williams Takes Off Wig, Tears Up During Emotional Reunion with Blac Chyna in New Lifetime Doc (Exclusive)

Her condition is one that Wanda said her family feared would worsen.

"There were points during the past year when everyone in this family wondered whether that call [that she was dead] was going to come in the middle of the night," she told PEOPLE. "Everybody in this family sat on pins and needles every single night with their cell phones right next to the bed."

Alex told PEOPLE she's glad the documentary is giving Williams back her voice.

"I'm proud of my aunt for taking control of her narrative because my aunt has always been such a public person and has been an open book, and we've all seen the images over the last few months and really few years of what has been like a spiral for my aunt," said Alex. "So for her to actually put her voice in here and take ownership of what's happened, where she's at present day ... I think it's powerful."

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Where Is Wendy Williams? premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. and concludes at the same time the next day on Lifetime.

Related: Wendy Williams Cries Recounting On-Air Collapse: 'It Was Really Scary'

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