Kevin Hunter is suing Debmar-Mercury, the producer-distributor of “The Wendy Williams Show,” for unlawful termination
Hunter claimed that Debmar-Mercury’s decision to terminate him was on the basis of his marital status
Wendy Williams’ ex-husband is seeking at least $7 million in damages, an award of costs, interest and attorney’s fees and more
Wendy Williams’ ex-husband Kevin Hunter is taking legal action against her namesake talk show’s production company.
On Tuesday, Hunter filed a lawsuit against Debmar-Mercury for wrongfully terminating him from his longtime role as executive producer on “The Wendy Williams Show,” Entertainment Tonight reported, citing court documents.
Hunter alleged in his lawsuit that he was fired on the basis of his marital status, which is barred by the New York City Human Rights Law.
A company spokesman for Debmar-Mercury did not comment on the lawsuit.
“[Kevin] Hunter was one of the reasons behind the ‘Wendy William Show’s’ tremendous success and everything seemed to go south after he left,” Abe George, Hunter’s attorney, told ET in a statement.
The lawyer continued, “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.'”
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Hunter claimed that just days after Williams filed for divorce in 2019, he was informed by Debmar-Mercury that he has been terminated from his role as executive producer of “The Wendy Williams Show” and that he was no longer allowed on studio premises, the lawsuit said.
In the court documents, Hunter stressed that he and Debmar-Mercury were both involved in the show since its inception in 2008. He claimed that he was “instrumental to the show’s success” and had been responsible for negotiating, producing and planning “most of the concepts and branding behind the show.”
“The termination message to Plaintiff made no reference to any performance related reason(s) or any decision(s) related to Plaintiff’s employment as an Executive Producer,” the documents obtained by ET read. “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 documents also claimed that the defendant’s “unlawful and discriminatory conduct” damaged Hunter “reputationally, professionally and financially.”
Hunter is demanding a jury trial and seeking compensatory, punitive damages, an award of costs, interest and attorney’s fees and more, which all amount to at least $7 million, the lawsuit said.
Hunter and Williams tied the knot in 1997, and they share 21-year-old son Kevin Jr. The TV personality filed for divorce in April 2019 following reports that he fathered a child with another woman.
In 2020, Williams claimed on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” that Hunter was a “serial” cheater and that she had known about his affairs “almost since the beginning” of their 25-year relationship. She alleged that he used his money to “wine and dine” his other partners.
“The more successful I got and he got, and we believed in each other, the more of a jerk he became — he used his good credit to purchase property that he chose to wine and dine his extramarital affairs,” Williams said. “This girl wasn’t the only one. She just happens to be the one who kept his baby.”
Last month, Debmar-Mercury announced that “The Wendy Williams Show” would be coming to an end, following Williams’ season-long absence amid her ongoing health struggles.
Sherri Shepherd will fill Williams’ timeslot with a new talk show, “Sherri,” which will include the previous host’s popular “Hot Topics” segment, Deadline reported.