Wendy Williams decided to speak out about living in a sober house in order to stay honest with her fans.
A source close to Williams told Entertainment Tonight that the issue of sobriety is important to the talk show host.
"Wendy has been brave enough to make herself the face of addiction. It’s a disease and a very real and constant fight. It’s been extremely difficult to put herself out there and be vulnerable (as this is such a private struggle), but it’s too important a topic to ignore," the source said. "She is known for keeping it real, and felt the need to keep it real for her fans."
"Wendy Williams knew that the Daily Mail story was breaking and she wanted to be honest with the viewers," the source added of a story published by the British outlet on Tuesday. "She wanted it to be her story to tell."
“You know I've had a struggle with cocaine in my past. I never went to a place to get the treatment. I don't know how, except God was sitting on my shoulder and I just stopped,” she continued through tears. “I want you to know more of the story. So, this is my autobiographical story, and I'm living it. I'm telling you this.”
"After I go to the Pilates, I go to several meetings all around town in the tri-state area. And I see my brothers and sisters, caught up in their addiction and looking for help. They don't know I'm Wendy. They don't care I'm Wendy. There's no autographs. There is no nothing. It's the brothers and sisters caught up in the struggle."
She continued, "... After I finished my appointments, seeing my brothers and sisters, breaking bread, I am driven by my 24-hour sober coach back to the home that I live in, here in the tri-state with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family. They hog the TV and watch soccer. We talk and read and talk and read and then I get bored with them."
She called the experience "really interesting" and noted that only her husband and son knew about her living situation. "Not my parents, nobody. Nobody knew," she said. "Because I look so glamorous out here."
She concluded by encouraging people to call The Hunter Foundation 24-hour helpline that she helped launch (888-5HUNTER) if they need assistance, and adding that they've already helped to place 56 people in recovery shelters.
Williams' big announcement came a few weeks after she returned to her talk show after an extended hiatus in early 2019 to manage complications from Graves' disease and a shoulder fracture.
"I am happy to tell you I am doing swell," Williams said during her first show back earlier this month. "I'm at home and taking my thyroid meds and meditating and believe me, I am going to the gym seven days a week for two hours a day. Mother has not gained a pound!"
A result of a partnership between Williams’ family’s Hunter Foundation and T.R.U.S.T., the 24-hour helpline, offers treatment resources to those struggling with addiction and is staffed with certified recovery coaches, who will conduct assessments and match callers with lists of treatment facilities including detox, rehabilitation, sober living, and outpatient centers throughout the country.
The launch of the hotline follows her 2018 launch of the “Be Here” National Campaign, which is designed to combat drug addiction and substance abuse in communities.