Wendy Williams has been placed under a financial guardianship

Wendy Williams is notorious for her various controversies, her messy personal life, and most recently is known to be having some health struggles. She was also placed under a financial guardianship in March and can’t access her own accounts. The odd thing here is that it wasn’t done at the behest of a person close to Wendy, but is an action the bank — Wells Fargo — took on its own.

Wendy was suspicious of her financial advisor and requested her bank statements. But the bank refused and submitted a petition for guardianship, claiming that Wendy is a a victim of undue influence and financial exploitation. Okay, but isn’t that exactly what she was trying to check?

The chain of events that culminated this week with the installment of a financial guardian over Wendy Williams’ finances started with a simple request from the TV personality to check her bank statements, according to her attorney, La’Shawn Thomas. Williams, suspecting misconduct by her financial advisor, wanted to switch banks and needed her most recent statements to do so.

When Wells Fargo refused, it claimed in a petition for guardianship that Williams is an “incapacitated person.” The bank argued that she’s the “victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.”

A New York judge on Thursday appointed a guardian over Williams’ finances until July, Thomas said. A temporary guardian had been in place since March, when the judge agreed with Wells Fargo that one was necessary while the case is pending.

“Wendy doesn’t agree with a financial guardian being appointed,” Thomas told The Hollywood Reporter. “If it’s the court’s intention to have one appointed over her affairs for the long haul, she definitely isn’t going to accept that.”

In an affidavit to the New York Supreme Court, Williams stated that Wells Fargo improperly denied her access to her money, leading her to default or risk defaulting on several bills. She accused a Wells Fargo financial advisor of lying that she’s mentally unstable as a basis to lock her out of her accounts.

Despite the decision to terminate the advisor “as a result of her improper conduct in relation to my accounts, Wells Fargo continues to deny me access to my financial assets and statements,” the affidavit reads.

The case, which has been sealed, took a turn in March when Bernie Young, Williams’ former manager who was fired by the TV personality, moved to be placed as guardian for the court.

In a video posted to Instagram, Williams claimed Young improperly used her money, roughly $10,000, to hire a law firm to pursue guardianship over her.

Thomas, who said her client is doing “really, really good” after receiving treatment for Graves’ disease and thyroid issues, suspects that “there’s something someone has done with [Williams’] money” and that the bank is “attempting to hide something.”

Wells Fargo in 2020 agreed to pay a $3 billion fine to settle a civil lawsuit and criminal prosecution over fraudulently opening millions of savings and checking accounts without customers’ consent to meet sales quotas.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

The judge has set a guardian for Wendy’s finances until July. It’s not immediately apparent in the article, but it seems like she was suspicious of her Wells Fargo financial advisor specifically, not a third party advisor. And when she requested her statements to switch banks they then locked her out of her accounts. And then Wendy’s fired manager hired a law firm to be placed as Wendy’s guardian. This whole thing is very shady. Is Wells Fargo trying to cover something up like Wendy thinks? Are they in cahoots with her former manager? And the fact that Wendy has health problems is brought up in every story, but that shouldn’t preclude her from having access to her own money. Her health problems don’t necessarily affect her mental state or her ability to maintain her finances. This is sketchy all around and it’s always women that get these controlling measures implemented upon them.

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48 Responses to “Wendy Williams has been placed under a financial guardianship”

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  1. Danbury says:

    How is this even legal?

    • Anony83 says:

      The only answer is that hypothetically it is intended to be used largely for elderly people, especially those with memory problems. In financial situations, it’s usually about cthe person simply being incapable of agreeing to contracts legally as well as the concern for elder fraud which is hugely common in the elderly with memory loss (sorry, this has just been an issue with several of my older relatives and we’re starting to reach that point with my Mom possibly).

      All that being said, there are so many holes in this story it might as well be swiss cheese. How would the bank even know there WAS undue pressure? It’s not like they sent investigators out to do a safety check or discovered something terrible because that would have definitely made it into the court filings.


      • Sue E Generis says:

        Even if all you said is true, it is not a bank’s place to deny someone access to their own money. If I wanted to withdraw every cent I had in the bank and burn it in the middle of the street, that’s my prerogative. The bank doesn’t get to determine how I handle my finances. None of this makes sense unless Wells Fargo has committed a crime and is trying to cover it up.

      • Anony83 says:

        I wasn’t defending it. I was responding to the question about why it’s legal.

        I’m not endorsing it. As I said, this story makes no sense.

      • EllenOlenska says:

        It’s used when undue influence is suspected or mental incompetence and or elder abuse. This is mandated by law and there is a very precise procedure that must be followed and the bank will not make any comments outside of a courtroom due to privacy laws. Every bank in the US has these rules to protect people from being taken advantage of by caretakers or others.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wells Fargo also fraudulently opened credit cards in people’s names without their knowledge or consent to make sales quotas. It was RAMPANTLY part of their business culture. Lord knows what they did in Wendy’s name.

      I should add that I know this because it happened to a close in-law who was VERY competent and on top of their finances and it was only when they died and the estate had to be settled that Wells Fargo coughed up the info on ALL their accounts (the secret ones as well as the known ones), so it is TOTALLY plausible and maybe even likely that they are stalling to hide what they’ve fraudulently done in Wendy’s name.

      Someone being mentally unstable or unhealthy should not preclude them from being able to access their bank statements!!! Or their money!!!

      Someone being subject to undue influence should not preclude them from having access to their bank statements!

      In certain circumstances, might it be possible for someone to make the legal case that someone subject to undue influence cannot have access to all their money for a certain period of time? Maybe. But they should probably still have access to some of it, to pay bills and whatnot. How many rich athletes or trust finders have blown through their money with entourages full of “family” and “friends” and other hangers-on who were of “undue influence”? Plenty. And no one says much there’. Probably more so with men than women, but still. Something here stinks and it sure points to Wells Fargo.

      Side note: Supposedly Wendy used to do a lot of cocaine, I think both powder and crack. Obviously, if she was still using, she may have issues managing her finances. But assuming she is clean, does anyone know if that sort of drug use would interfere with someone’s brain in the long run in terms of their ability to functionally manage their finances and life (in that they are more subject to undue influence, for example, or loss of executive functioning)?

      • Anonymous says:

        Correction: (I didn’t hit the edit button in time). Even if someone is subject to undue influence and the bank were legally allowed to block their access to their OWN money for a short period of time, that person should have access to whatever they need to pay their bills, and so they have money to live and they don’t default, etc. and it’s NONE of the bank’s business anyway!

  2. Eurydice says:

    Something is missing here. A judge can’t rule she’s incapacitated without medical evidence.

    • Oh_Hey says:

      But we found out from Britney that that’s not true – her original finding of being incompetent was done with no diagnosis or exam completed and it came out during last years leaked hearings and filings.

      I don’t like how Wendy operates but that doesn’t mean she needs a conservator ship special (it’s literally the same they’re just called guardianship in NY)

    • MeganC says:

      No medical evidence was ever submitted to the court in Britney’s case.

    • Eurydice says:

      Ok, so I went to read some other sources and the story seems a little different. According to the financial services agreement, the bank can put a hold on accounts if they think something improper is going on. And this new guardianship is about taking Wells Fargo out of the equation and having a third party figure out what’s going on. But the case is sealed so we don’t know what actually caused the problem in the first place.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Ok, but the bank only has that right in relation to financial crimes like money laundering etc. Not personal or mental issues. They have no standing there.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Sue E Generis – I think there’s more going on here. There’s an ex-financial advisor who was fired but still had power of attorney over everything, it seems Wendy wanted her son to have power of attorney, the ex-advisor was claiming undue influence, there was another advisor who Wendy said stole her AMEX card and $100,000 – it sounds like there was a lot of confusion about who had the right to make financial decisions and access the accounts, so Wells Fargo froze the accounts until it could be figured out in court. And now there’s a temporary third- party guardian which takes the decision-making out of the bank’s hands. It doesn’t seem like a conservatorship as with Britney, more somebody to figure out the mess.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        @Eurydice That actually makes more sense.

  3. Southern Fried says:

    Thanks for covering this. In my unprofessional opinion Wells Fargo has been a crap institution for as long as I can remember. I’d sooner keep my money under my mattress as use them.

    • equality says:


    • Yup, Me says:

      Same. When I was younger and less aware, I had accounts with them. They’re terrible. I’m so glad I moved all of my money over to a series of credit unions.

  4. Haylie says:

    This sounds very shady and sinister. I’d trust Wendy with alleged dementia over racist Wells Fargo any day of the week.

  5. Wiglet Watcher says:

    We should all start keeping our money in coffee cans buried around areas…

    Banks can be nuts and I’m sure they do this a lot. I’m also sure they hate this public exposure of their practices. Poor Wendy. She either is in some bad situation or she has deceitful people around her stealing her money.

    • C-Shell says:

      Imagine how many non-celebrity clients Wells Fargo might have done this to with impunity. They have a looooong history of unethical, if not outright illegal, shenanigans with client accounts and funds. This smells to high heaven.

  6. Otside says:

    This seems really really unfair. Unless the judge has medical or documentation, and even then it sounds alll super sketchy on part of Wells and the Manager.
    I also wonder is it not common for people to have Wills that include someone who takes care of Finances/property when not capable of doing so yourself? Almost everyone I know (Canadian) that has a Will has this provision usually in there.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Also, Wendy’s diagnoses don’t affect mental capacity.

    • Jan90067 says:

      It’s called Power of Attorney. And most people should think about getting a Revocable Living Trust (which allows you to control/make changes) to your will while you’re alive, and it relieves you of having to go through probate as well.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    What a weird story. If Wendy wants to go to another bank how can Wells Fargo block her? That doesn’t seem right to me.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Right? It seems wild to me that a bank could just decide one of its customers is a victim of some financial impropriety & that it can, on its own, freeze that person’s assets & call for an investigation. Why on earth should a bank have that much power? This will be interesting to watch unfold, although I cannot imagine what Wendy is feeling right now. I hope she has some good support, somewhere?
      And small note: love that striped dress!

  8. Lolalola says:

    Why does this only happen to women? Am I missing the stories about male celebs that are cut off from managing their own money??
    Is this the Frances Farmer lobotomy of the 2020s?

    Someone please tell me I am wrong because what I’m seeing is sexist and terrifying.

    • equality says:

      Really. It seems the US is heading back to the days when women could be put away in institutions because a husband or father didn’t agree with how they led their lives. And, when it’s just random people you are doing business with, it’s even worse. Can just anybody hijack your life? Why bother to be an identity thief when you can do it legally?

      • Sue E Generis says:

        If the GOP seizes power in November, this is exactly where we’re headed. People aren’t taking this seriously enough.

  9. Cel2494 says:

    I am not a fan of Wendy but this sounds very very wrong. Since when is ok for a bank to file docs to keep you out of your accounts ? Your money? It was not a theory party but the want actively keeping her out of her money. She has health issues and all kinds of substance abuse issues but ever has been allegations about her mental capacity. I think Wells Fargo started that to denied her access to her money. I think there is something going on and they are covering and denied access to get time to get whatever they did in order. This is f up and abusive towards Wendy.

    • lemontwist says:

      “I am not a fan of Wendy but this sounds very very wrong.”

      Please not this again 🙁 This type of qualifying phrasing was all over the place when Kanye West was publicly stalking/harassing Kim Kardashian not long ago.

      If something is ‘very very wrong’ then it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a fan of whomever it happens to. There are no perfect victims, and all victims deserve support. You can just say it’s wrong and let that stand without worrying about whether anyone thinks you’re a ‘fan’.

  10. Kalana says:

    It sounds like Wells Fargo is legally gaslighting her. They have a massive legal department. If they don’t like Wendy Williams’ behavior, they have plenty of ways to protect themselves without blocking her from accessing information about her own accounts. Misogynoir.

  11. JRenee says:

    Something is definitely amiss here. No access to bank statements, let alone her money? I don’t have this kind of wealth but this would definitely be an example of not having all of your eggs in one basket.
    Wells Fargo has long been sketchy AH..

  12. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    I thought this was another cut-and-dry example of Wells Fargo being well, Wells Fargo but from the initial reporting in Page Six there was this statement from WF: “Wells Fargo’s priority is the financial well-being of Ms. Williams and the preservation of her privacy. As we have expressed to the court, Wells Fargo is open to working with Ms. Williams’ counsel to release funds directly to her creditors for bills historically and regularly paid from her accounts.”
    That signals to me something happened between Wendy and her former FA, likely an unusual request and the FA began following formal anti-fraud procedures.
    Note: I work in private bank wealth management and something is not right here…with Wendy’s team. This issue should never have been made public and it seems to me that this is largely the result of an escalation by her new lawyer.
    First of all, it is highly unlikely that Wendy has no one else as having authority over any of these accounts. For example a HNW individual May place their account as having inquiry-only authority. Who is this person or people? Where are they in all of this?
    Second of all, I am not saying Wells Fargo is to be completely trusted however ALL banks are horrible and the private bank I work for has intense anti-fraud procedures. (Make it make sense when the banks are biggest thieves stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. Anyways.) An FA needs to ask their client identifying questions if dealing with them over the phone, conversations over the phone between the FA and client are recorded for regular audits, and it is policy to escalate to one’s manager in situations where you suspect financial abuse which is quite common because of the client base. I get the sense that this is pretty standard across the industry and from what I piece together, the person Wendy’s FA reports to and the bank’s legal, risk and compliance department are on the same page, that Wendy is under the influence of a bad actor. I doubt WF would have their legal team spend time protecting a lone Financial Advisor if that FA had acted improperly. Now, if Wendy was accusing someone who held more power in the bank or perhaps how the bank handled one of the its investment strategies, that would be an attack against Wells Fargo as a whole and I can see how they would mount a defense to protect impropriety on their part. But going to court to lie for a single FA…? I can definitely be wrong but doesn’t seem likely.
    Lastly, it is suspicious that Wendy not only fired her longtime attorney but also manager. Not only that: In February, it was revealed that her new attorney also represents her ex-husband. Alarm bells should be ringing.
    I also wonder if when Wendy had established her accounts if she specified certain actions that should be taken to protect the money for Little Kev. I also wonder what Wendy requested of her FA that triggered all of this. It was not asking only for statements. Because Wendy should have BEEN receiving statements. Or Wendy’s accountant. Or Wendy’s former attorney. Bottom line: this should not be playing out in the public sphere. It is of no benefit to Wendy to have us continue to wonder about her mental state and if the rumor about dementia are true.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Interesting inside intel. Thank you!

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Also, no one has to ask for statements these days. You can get them online.

    • Abble says:

      Thank you! This whole thing seems so shady but very suspect that a bank would actually do that without something else going on.. But still seems very weird. And yes, seems like she is the one making it public and perhaps twisting some things. Or her ex.

  13. KBeth says:

    Wells Fargo sucks but I suspect there is a lot more to this story..

  14. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Wells Fargo is shady. I’ve been with them about 15 years and plan on changing banks soon. I’m battling them right now to get $500 back that was lost in an atm at one of their locations. The incident occurred in December and here we are, 6 months later…

  15. Louise177 says:

    I feel like something is going on. It seems too easy for Wells Fargo to deny Wendy her money. Not that I know how this works. It’s funny how banks are slow at some things and fast at others.

  16. Um what says:

    My question is…she should be able to access her statements online so…why can’t she do that?

  17. Leah says:

    This sounds incredibly fishy.

    We have all of our accounts w/ Wells Fargo, and I have to say that this makes me very nervous to have the special needs trust account for our son through that bank.

    • Whatnow says:

      Not to be nosy or anything but we used to have special needs trusts set up in my family but with the law changes our family lawyer informed us they were no longer necessary or relevant.

  18. Coco says:

    Ya i’m not believing this story their is something more is going on here. Wendy hiring the attorney that also represents her ex-husband. 🚩🚩🚩 Ether her old lawyer and manager are shady, the new ones or both.

    A bank can not keep you from accessing your money or place you have under financial guardianship.

    The only way I can see this happening is if someone else is on Wendy account and has access to her money , put a freeze on the bank account claiming Wendy is not in her right mind to make Financial decisions for herself.

  19. Wendi says:

    Hold up. Wells hired the same guy she fired to oversee her accounts? She has Graves disease. She’s not in a coma or a slobbering idiot. She probably walked in that bank mad as hell and they took umbrage with it, and showed her a thing or two about a thing or two.
    Its scary though, that a bank can do that. Kinda gave me handmaiden tales vibes, where the government and banks made women unable to access their accounts

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