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Wendy Williams apologises for mocking Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘cleft lip’

US television host Wendy Williams has apologised to actor Joaquin Phoenix.

The apology comes after the presenter appeared to mock the actor and people born with cleft palates.

Speaking on The Wendy Williams Show, she described the actor’s distinctive facial scar as a “hairline fracture.”

Lavinia Fontana/Future Image/

She said: “He’s got one of those, what do you call it? Cleft lip, cleft palate.”

“I find it to be very attractive.”

She then used her fingers to pull her upper lip into a position which mimicked the appearance of cleft palate birth defects.

She was heavily criticised for her comments and took to social media to apologise for her actions.

Canadian American football player Adam Bighill, whose son Beau was born with the defect, slammed Wendy for her words on Twitter.

In response, Wendy apologised and pledged to make donations to two charity organisations who work to help people with cleft palates.

Adam’s son is today undergoing surgery to rectify his lip, and Wendy responded:

We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery. 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.”

Joaquin Phoenox has never officially confirmed that his distinguishing scar is the result of a cleft lip.


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