Wendy Williams Doc Producers Cite Britney Spears' Conservatorship Case as Reason for Releasing Lifetime Series

The filing was in response to Williams' court-appointed guardian Sabrina Morrisey's motion to block the documentary from airing

<p>Manny Carabel/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/WireImage</p> Wendy Williams (left) and Britney Spears

Manny Carabel/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Wendy Williams (left) and Britney Spears

Producers of Lifetime's Where Is Wendy Williams? invoked Britney Spears and her 13-year conservatorship while defending the "public importance" of sharing Wendy Williams' story.

In unsealed court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Mike Ford, executive producer for the docuseries, responded to Williams' court appointed guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, and her Feb. 20 attempt to block the 4.5-hour project from being aired.

In response to Morrissey's claims that the documentary would "shamelessly" exploit the star amid her challenges, Ford stated that he and his team "collaborated closely" with Williams, 59, who was "at all times eager to participate in the documentary."

<p>Calvin Gayle</p> Wendy Williams

Calvin Gayle

Wendy Williams

Related: Wendy Williams' Guardian's Lawsuit Unsealed, Claims Lifetime Doc 'Shamelessly Exploits' Star amid Health Troubles

As a longtime public figure, the producer went on to claim Williams, who also held an executive producer title, appeared to "feel most a home" when she was able to continue sharing her life. Ford also noted that her medical diagnosis of dementia wasn't revealed until filming was nearly complete and became a "part of the story she wanted to tell."

According to the documents, the series explored not only Williams' life out of the spotlight and her mental and physical health, but also her experience of having a court-appointed guardian and her family's criticisms of the guardianship.

Ford stated that he and his team considered that aspect of Williams' story to be "a matter of particular public importance" with recent headlines and national conversations around conservatorships and guardianships "in limiting the autonomy of those under their aegis."

The lawsuit then cited Spears, 42, whose own conservatorship "sparked enormous debate about the power wielded by court-appointed consecrators and guardians."

<p>Image Group LA/Disney Channel via Getty</p> Britney Spears in April 2017

Image Group LA/Disney Channel via Getty

Britney Spears in April 2017

Related: Where Is Wendy Williams? Producers Say They Continued Filming Star amid Her Struggles 'Out of Concern' (Exclusive)

The producer claimed that the documentary was "undertaken with full participation and cooperation" of Williams' family, as well as "Wendy's attorneys and the guardianship attorneys were consulted and signed off on" the project."

"The film was signed off on by Wendy, her management, her attorneys, the guardianship," he told PEOPLE for a February cover story. "They were aware of the filming all the way through. So, we did go by the book and get all the permissions that we needed to get. We went into this film thinking it was one thing, and the truth turned out to be another. Once we started seeing the truth of the situation, we couldn't ignore it. And the film had to go in the direction of the truth."

He also noted that the series showrunner, Erica Hanson, made multiple attempts to contact Morrissey for her participation but she allegedly declined.

In Morrissey's original filing, the guardian claimed that the completed documentary would portray Williams in a "humiliating and demeaning manner" as well as "unconscionably" exploit her condition for perceived "entertainment value" and "interest" of viewers.

She also claimed that that Lifetime failed to gain any approval from her or the courts and was "horrified" upon viewing the contents of the trailer after being told that the doc would portray Williams in a positive light.

<p>Calvin Gayle</p> Wendy Williams

Calvin Gayle

Wendy Williams

Related: The Biggest Bombshells from Lifetime's Where Is Wendy Williams? Documentary Currently Under Litigation

In a statement shared with PEOPLE earlier this month, Lifetime responded to Morrissey's allegations, noting, "We look forward to the unsealing of our papers as well, as they tell a very different story."

At the time of filing, Morrissey requested the court to put a temporary restraining order on the documentary, which was granted but eventually overturned by a superior court.

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Filmed between August 2022 and April 2023, Lifetime's Where Is Wendy Williams? captured a dark period in the former host's life as she spiraled following the cancellation of her synonymous talk show due to alcohol addiction and several health issues, including Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that can cause bulging eyes, and lymphedema, a condition that causes swelling in her feet.

The docuseries premiered on the network on Feb. 24 with the second installment of episodes airing the next day.

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