The chain of events that culminated this week with the placement of a financial tutor over Wendy Williams’ finances began with a simple request from the TV personality to check her bank statements, according to her lawyer, La’ Shawn Thomas. Williams, suspecting misconduct on the part of his financial adviser, wanted to change banks and needed his latest statements to do so.
When Wells Fargo refused, it claimed in a petition for conservatorship that Williams was an “incapable person.” The bank argued that it was “a victim of undue influence and financial abuse”.
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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 a guardian was needed while the case is pending.
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“Wendy disagrees with the appointment of a financial guardian,” said Thomas The Hollywood Reporter. “If it’s the court’s intention to appoint one over her long-term cases, she’s definitely not going to accept it.”
In an affidavit to the New York Supreme Court, Williams said Wells Fargo improperly denied her access to her money, leading her to default or risk default on multiple bills. She accused a Wells Fargo financial adviser of lying about being mentally unstable as a basis for excluding her from his accounts.
Despite the decision to terminate the advisor “due to her improper conduct with respect to my accounts, Wells Fargo continues to deny me access to my financial assets and statements,” the affidavit states.
The case, which was sealed, took a turn in March when Bernie Young, Williams’ former manager who was fired by the TV personality, offered to be appointed as court guardian.
In a video posted to Instagram, Williams claimed that Young misused his money, around $10,000, to hire a law firm to perform his conservatorship.
Bernie Young Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment.
Thomas, who said his client is doing “really, really well” after receiving treatment for Graves’ disease and thyroid issues, suspects “there’s something someone did with it. [Williams’] money” and that the bank is “trying to hide something.
The bank declined to comment when contacted by THR.
Wells Fargo agreed in 2020 to pay a $3 billion fine to settle a civil suit and criminal lawsuit for fraudulently opening millions of savings and checking accounts without customer consent to meet sales quotas .
Respond to ongoing rumors about his mental and physical health on hello america, Williams said in March that she was “absolutely” sane and would be ready to return to set in three months. She claimed that those who seek to take advantage of her are responsible for concerns about her competence.
“When people want to control [your] accounts, they say anything, including something crazy like that about me,” she said.
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