According to legal documents obtained by NBC News on Tuesday, former daytime talk show host Wendy Williams signed a contract to participate in a docuseries that critics have deemed exploitative, allegedly without the presence of her financial guardian. The filing, submitted to the New York State Supreme Court by Williams' guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, on February 21 and unsealed on Thursday, asserts that Williams was impaired at the time of signing. Although not yet diagnosed with a neurological condition affecting her communication and comprehension abilities, Williams agreed in November 2022 to be part of a two-part Lifetime docuseries. The docuseries aired on February 24 and 25.

The legal papers assert, "She was not, and is not, capable of consenting to the terms of the documentary contract." Additionally, they state, "And no one acting in [Williams'] best interest would allow her to be portrayed in the demeaning manner in which she is portrayed in the trailer for the documentary."

Despite Williams being listed as the executive producer of "Where is Wendy Williams?" Morrissey has requested the court to declare the contract null and void. Furthermore, she seeks to prevent A&E Television Networks and Entertainment One Reality Productions from "releasing the documentary and any associated footage."

On the same day the court documents were filed, Williams' management team issued a statement announcing that she was undergoing treatment. She had been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, the same ailment actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with in 2022.

It was all for naught.

Citing the First Amendment, a judge on February 23 dismissed Morrissey's request for a restraining order to block the show from airing but did not dismiss her lawsuit.

In court documents, Morrissey stated that Williams was portrayed in a "demeaning and undignified manner." The airing of the two-part docuseries sparked outrage among Williams' friends and fans.

Morrissey, appointed as Williams' guardian by a New York state judge in February 2022, continues to pursue legal action against A&E.

In her lawsuit, initially obtained by NBC News and sealed to safeguard Williams' privacy, Morrissey indicated that the contract was signed in November 2022 by the "CEO" of The Wendy Experience, Inc. The identity of the CEO of this company, established in June 2022, remains unclear. Morrissey also stated that while the company was formed after she was appointed guardian, she did not authorize its creation.

Furthermore, Morrissey questions the authenticity of the CEO's signature in the court documents, stating, "The name in the signature is not clearly legible; however, it is highly distinguishable from [Williams'] signature."

In a statement to NBC News on Thursday evening, A&E expressed anticipation for the unsealing of their papers, suggesting they portray a different narrative.

Entertainment One Reality Productions LLC., the production company behind the project, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A source close to the matter revealed that the guardian was aware of a film crew collaborating with Williams on a comeback project and acknowledged a couple of days of filming. However, she was unaware that Williams had signed a contract.

In the court documents, Morrissey mentioned that Williams' manager, William Selby, asserted he would have "final creative control" over the documentary. She stated that she permitted the project to proceed "with the understanding that nothing would be released without review and final approval of the Guardian and the court." Selby declined to comment.

Previously, in an interview with, the filmmakers claimed they were unaware of Williams' diagnosis during production. However, they acknowledged, "Some days, Wendy was on and very Wendy. Other days, she wasn't."

The project moved forward because, according to showrunner Erica Hanson, "[w]e all felt this was a complex and sensitive story to tell, and we all felt a great responsibility to do it with dignity and sensitivity."

However, Morrissey argued that "Where is Wendy Williams?" was far from dignified or sensitive.

In the court filing, Morrissey described the docuseries as "humiliating" and "demeaning," accusing it of "unconscionably exploiting [Williams'] condition, and perhaps even disclosing her personal and private medical diagnosis, for perceived 'entertainment value' and the prurient interest of television viewers."

"This blatant exploitation of a vulnerable woman with a serious medical condition who is beloved by millions within and outside the African American community is disgusting and it cannot be allowed," the filing asserts.

In a recent interview, Williams' publicist, Shawn Zanotti, criticized the producers of the docuseries.

"I did not agree with what was going on with this documentary," Zanotti stated. "I made it very clear to the guardian. The production company was aware of that."

Zanotti expressed disagreement with the direction of the project, saying, "And instead of them dealing with me, they decided to ignore me. They ignored me from that moment, and I never heard from them again."

Williams, aged 59, hosted "The Wendy Williams Show" from 2008 to 2021, achieving strong ratings. In its 10th season, the show averaged more than 1.6 million viewers daily, according to Deadline.

Concerns about Williams' health surfaced in 2017 after she fainted live on air. She has been candid with her audience about her struggles with addiction, disclosing in 2019 that she was living in a sober house and seeking treatment for drug use. Months later, Williams revealed she was taking time off due to Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder.

Williams was absent from her show in 2021 and 2022 due to health reasons, as reported by Variety. Sherri Shepherd temporarily took over the time slot in 2022 before "The Wendy Williams Show" was ultimately canceled.

During Williams' hiatus, her bank, Wells Fargo, sought to place her under a financial guardianship, alleging she was "incapacitated" and "a victim of undue influence and financial exploitation," claims Williams contested.