Wendy Williams’ ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, is suing the talk show’s production company amid Wendy’s health battle.
Hunter is suing Debmar-Mercury for wrongfully terminating him from his longtime role as executive producer on The Wendy Williams Show, according to court documents. The complaint claimed he was fired “on the basis of his marital status, which is barred by the New York City Human Rights Law.”
Hunter — whose role on the syndicated series began in 2007 — alleges that he received a notice from Debmar-Mercury founder Ira Bernstein informing him that his firing was “effective immediately.” Hunter also allages his employment status changed just days after Williams’ 2019 divorce filing.
The former couple married in 1997 and welcomed their son, Kevin Jr., in 2000. And in April of 2019, Williams filed for divorce after it she discovered that he fathered a child with his mistress. Their split wasn’t finalized until 2020.
“The termination of Plaintiff was based strictly upon Plaintiff’s marital status and his impending divorce to the Show’s host, ignoring all of the contributions that Plaintiff made to make the Show a success,” the filing states.
“As a result of Defendants’ aforesaid actions and the breach of their agreement with Hunter, the Defendants have been unjustly enriched from Plaintiff’s Executive Producer contributions to the Show, as well as enduring Product Integrations engagements Plaintiff has brought to the Show and that the Show has retained.”
The lawsuit also addresses the upcoming changes coming to the talk show.
Williams’ ongoing health issues have delayed her return to host her series, which has ultimately led The Wendy Williams Show to end after its current season. As a result, the frequent guest host Sherri Shepherd was given her own series, Sherri, which will take over Williams’ show’s time slot.
Citing published reports, Hunter’s complaint states “many of the elements” he “helped conceptualize and the product integrations he created” for Williams’ show will be incorporated into Shepherd’s new series.
“Even though The Wendy Williams Show will be over, Defendants will continue to be unjustly enriched by Plaintiff’s initial work including his initial concepts created for the Show and Plaintiff’s product integration agreements,” the document states.
Hunter also claims Williams’ show “never recovered” after his firing, and the production company “underestimated [his] value” to the program.
In addition, the filing declares Hunter “was an integral part of the inner workings of the Show and Debmar was unable to fill the absence of Plaintiff’s departure.” Hunter also claims that Debmar-Mercury has, therefore, “breached their foregoing agreements” with Hunter by firing him, failing to properly remove his executive producer credit and stopping payments of commissions that are “rightfully payable to him under the Product Integrations Agreement.”
As a result, Hunter seeks “compensatory, punitive damages, an award of costs, interest and attorney’s fees, and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.” Hunter claims that he has suffered roughly $7 million to $10 million in “economic loss” as a result of his firing, per the document.
Much like Hunter, Williams has also been in her own legal battle. Recently, she sued her bank, Wells Fargo, after they “denied [her] any access, whether online or otherwise, to her financial accounts, assets, and statements,” which has prevented her from obtaining “several million dollars.”
Per the court filing, the action is tied to the advice of Williams’ former financial advisor, Lori Schiller, that Williams “was of unsound mind.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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