Wendy Williams’ Ex-husband Kevin Hunter Wins Big Court Victory in $10 Million Legal Battle
Wendy Williams’ ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, won a big court victory in his $10 million legal battle against the production company behind the The Wendy Williams Show, when a judge shot down the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Court documents reveal that a New York federal judge ruled against Debmar-Mercury LCC and Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus, the heads of the production/distribution company.
In March 2022, Kevin filed a lawsuit accusing Debmar-Mercury, the producer-distributor of “The Wendy Williams Show,” of unlawful termination. Hunter claimed that the company’s decision to fire him was based on his marital status. Wendy filled for divorce in 2019, after discovering that her husband had been unfaithful.
“[Kevin] Hunter was one of the reasons behind the Wendy Williams Show’s tremendous success and everything seemed to go south after he left,” Hunter‘s attorney, Abe George, told Radar Online, at the time. “Mr. Hunter was unlawfully terminated solely due to his marital status to Wendy, which is contrary to human rights laws in NYC . This lawsuit seeks to compensate Mr. Hunter for the sweat equity that he put into the show and that Debmar-Mercury will continue to profit on even in their new reincarnation of the Wendy Williams Show.”
The lawsuit reads — “The termination of [Kevin] was based strictly upon [Kevin’s] marital status and his impending divorce to the Show’s host, ignoring all of the contributions that [Kevin] made to make the Show a success”
Kevin claimed that he began talks for his then-wife’s talk show in 2007, repping Wendy as he negotiated with Debmar-Mercury, Bernstein and Marcus. The budding chat show was given a six week trial run, and exceeded all expectations.
The lawsuit states — “[Kevin] was used to being behind the scenes of Williams’ prior ventures and used his business knowledge and street smarts to negotiate a significant financial increase from the initial contract being offered to Williams.”
Kevin believes that his input significantly contributed to the show’s success. He took credit for creating popular segments such as “Hot Topics” and “Shoe Cam.” He claimed that he had the final word on potential guests, developed marketing strategies and bolstered media contacts. He added that he helped Debmar-Mercury to connect with the black community and developed security protocols for the popular host.
He served as executive producer from 2007-2019, before Wendy discovered that he had been having an affair with a woman named Sharina Hudson. Sharina and Kevin, who welcomed a love child together, are still together.
Kevin also claimed that producers planned to recycle his ideas as they transitioned Wendy’s time slot to Sherri Shepherd’s new talk show, after his ex stepped down to deal with health and addiction issues.
He alleged that the maneuver broke New York state law.
The defendants denied that Kevin was mistreated or wrongfully terminated. They stated that the New York law cited by Kevin’s team prohibited an employer from discriminating against a potential employee based on basic martial status.
They noted — “[Hunter’s] claim warrants dismissal because his marriage to Williams, in particular, is not a protected characteristic.”
The judge determined that Kevin’s case had merit, stating — “Given Hunter’s allegations that he was terminated because of his impending divorce from Wendy Williams — i.e. terminated because he would no longer be married to Williams” the law requires this “Court to find that he has stated a claim for marital status discrimination” under New York law.
A court hearing is scheduled for later this month.
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.