Dr. Mehmet Oz has high hopes for his longtime friend Wendy Williams amid her journey to sobriety and divorce from Kevin Hunter.
“Separation from someone you loved and been with a long time is always painful, but [she will rise] from the ashes,” the cardiothoracic surgeon, 58, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, April 16, while attending HealthCorps’ 13th annual gala, which he cohosted with his wife, Lisa Oz. “She’ll come back up again and it’ll happen.”
Dr. Oz pointed out that his bond with Williams, 54, dates back to when his syndicated series, The Dr. Oz Show, premiered in 2009, a year after The Wendy Williams Show.
“We’ve been close friends that entire time,” he told Us. “I know how difficult it is to do what she’s doing. Going through, first of all, the alcoholism in itself, makes her one of the 25 million people in recovery in America. I love when people in recovery brag about it ‘cause it’s real and it lasts. She’s a wonderful example of that.”
Lisa, 55, also sent “all the love in the world” to the Ask Wendy author, telling Us, “We adore Wendy and just want great things for her always.”
An emotional Williams revealed on the March 19 episode of her talk show that she had been living in a sober house. Days later, she was reportedly hospitalized for an alcohol relapse after Hunter, 46, welcomed a baby girl with his alleged mistress, Sharina Hudson.
The Emmy nominee filed for divorce from her husband of more than 21 years on April 10, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The estranged couple share 18-year-old son Kevin Jr.
“While the future is somewhat unclear, what is clear is that Wendy has a huge support system comprised of her staff, industry colleagues and family,” a source later told Us exclusively. “She is already receiving a ton of support, and everyone is rallying around her.”
Hunter broke his silence on the split on Tuesday, April 16, admitting in a statement to Us that he is “not proud of my recent actions.” He added, “[I] take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans. I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs.”
Another insider told Us that the TV producer has been on the set of his estranged wife’s show, but his exit is “inevitable.”
With reporting by Marc Lupo
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