Michelle Williams Forced to Quit Broadway Musical After Doctors Order Her to Stop Performing
Williams only joined the cast two weeks ago.
Michelle Williams is stepping away from Broadway spotlight as she continues her journey to wellness.
The singer, 38, will be taking a leave of absence from her role as the goddess Erzulie in the Broadway production of Once On This Island.
Williams only joined the cast two weeks ago but has been advised by her doctors to step away from the Tony Award-winning show beginning Wednesday, the show announced in a statement.
“Effective immediately, Michelle T. Williams has been advised by her doctors to take a leave of absence from performing,” the statement read.
A representative for Williams had no additional comment.
Stepping in for the former Destiny’s Child singer will be her understudy Cassondra James, who will assume the role until Dec. 26. After that, Lea Salonga will take over until the Broadway production officially closes on Jan. 6.
The announcement comes just a week after the musician revealed she had ended her engagement to Chad Johnson.
While it is currently unclear what prompted doctors to advise Williams to step away from the show, the singer has been candid about her mental health struggles recently.
In October, the star — who was engaged to Johnson at the time — admitted to PEOPLE that as she planned her summer wedding, she fell into a deep depression that impacted all aspects of her life, including her new engagement.
The singer later quietly broke off her engagement just weeks after Johnson, a pastor she met a year prior at a spiritual retreat, popped the question.
Though they worked on their relationship for the next three months, Williams again broke up with Johnson at the end of July hours before she drove herself to an L.A. area hospital. Days later, she checked into a treatment facility.
“I thought I was over depression. I thought, ‘I’m good! I’ve got love, I’m working out,'” the entertainer told PEOPLE. “But I was so angry. The rage built up in me. I did not attempt suicide, but I was questioning [life].”
Williams first battled depression as a teen, and the mental illness was exacerbated during the height of her fame with Destiny’s Child. When the familiar feelings of hopelessness began settling back in this past spring, the star brushed her demons under the rug to focus on her upcoming performance at Coachella alongside Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland.
“The entire year we were rehearsing every day for hours,” she said of their grueling schedule. “I was burying it, and before you knew it, I was looking up out of the pit like, ‘Oh my God.'”
But after their highly anticipated performance in April at the annual music festival, Williams hit her breaking point. “I’d been there before in that darkness,” she said. “I was like ‘No, you better go [to the hospital].’ By the time I got there, I was stable.”
Though Johnson remained by her side as Williams sought further treatment, the pair eventually called things off for good earlier this month.
“I still remain fearless,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories on Dec. 7, the same day she dropped her latest single, “Fearless.”
“I guess I still remain single!” she continued in the since-deleted post. “Things didn’t work out. The healing that needs to take place is a must! I don’t wanna destroy another relationship. Blessings to him, his family and ministry. #FEARLESS”
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