Wendy Williams apologizes after backlash for mocking Joaquin Phoenix's cleft lip scar

Wendy Williams had some apologizing to do after making some controversial comments.

Earlier this month on The Wendy Williams Show, the 55-year-old TV personality appeared to mock Joaquin Phoenix's cleft palate lip scar and caught a lot of heat for doing so online. One of Williams' most outspoken critics was Adam Bighill, a Canadian football player whose son, Beau, had his lip repaired this week.

"Today is Beau’s big day. He is getting his lip repaired today in Winnipeg by the fantastic Dr. Ross," Bighill tweeted after requesting an apology from Williams several times. "Thanks to everyone who has reached out, and in advance, thanks for any of your well wishes for Beau. He is so loved!"

"We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery," Williams tweeted in response. "I want to apologize to the cleft community and in Beau’s honor, our show is donating to @operationsmile and @AmerCleftPalate and encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community."

Bighill accepted Williams' apology and encouraged others to do the same.

Williams' initial comments began when she praised Phoenix for his looks and talent.

"I find him oddly attractive. He played that Johnny Cash. It wasn’t Reese [Witherspoon] who kept me, it was him," she said of his 2005 flick, Walk the Line. "...He knows how to transform. When he shaves [his beard] off, but the way he looks at you. And he’s got the good nose. It dips way down, like he’s happy with it and so am I. And when he shaves off his mustache he’s got a hairline fracture."

The comments took a turn then, when Williams went on to describe Phoenix's mouth by holding her top lip above her teeth as she spoke.

"He’s got one of those -- what do you call it? -- cleft lip, cleft palate. He’s got this," she said while holding her lip. "I find it to be very attractive."

Williams' apology came shortly after she and Howard Stern reignited their feud. Watch the video below for more on that spat.


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