Selma Blair gives first interview after revealing multiple sclerosis diagnosis: 'I was giving it everything to seem normal'

The actor cried 'tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control' when she received her diagnosis

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 26 February 2019 14:12 GMT
Selma Blair gives first interview since MS diagnosis: 'Not taken seriously by doctors, single mother you're exhausted'

Selma Blair has given her first televised interview after revealing her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, saying that she was "was giving it everything to seem normal".

The actor, best known for her performances in Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde and Hellboy, revealed in October 2018 that she'd been diagnosed with MS two months prior.

The chronic condition can affect the brain and spinal cord, and can lead to symptoms including problems with vision, muscle spasms and fatigue.

Four months after opening up about her diagnosis, Blair has been interviewed by TV broadcaster Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about how MS has affected her life and career.

She stated that when she received her diagnosis, she cried "tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control".

Blair said that she'd unknowingly been experiencing symptoms of MS since the birth of her son in July 2011, and that she self-medicated when her son wasn't with her.

During the interview, the actor explained that she's currently experiencing spasmodic dysphonia on account of her MS, a disorder which causes the muscles that control a person’s voice to go into periods of spasm.

Prior to her diagnosis, Blair sought out the help of fellow actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 at the age of 29.

"He really helped me, and I was like, I have Michael J. Fox's email now," Blair joked with Roberts.

On days when Blair is particularly struggling with her MS symptoms, she explained to Roberts that she gets into bed and doesn't move.

"You just have to, you can't do it all," the actor stated. "It's fine to feel really crappy, and my son gets it, and now I've learnt not to feel guilty."

Prior to the Good Morning America interview, Blair posted a photo of herself with Roberts on Instagram, expressing her excitement in the caption about the interview, which will air on Tuesday 26 February.

"This was a pleasure. A gift of love and support to all of us from @goodmorningamerica @robinrobertsgma and me," she wrote in the image's caption.

"Meeting and talking with #robinroberts was everything."

Roberts also shared a photo of the pair on Instagram, describing Blair as "incredible, talented and hilarious".

Blair made a powerful appearance at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty on Sunday 24 February, marking her first red carpet appearance since being diagnosed with MS.

While posing for photographers in an ethereal, chiffon gown by couture label Ralph and Russo, with a matching cape and a personalised cane, the actor appeared visibly emotional.

"It took a lot to come out here," she told reporters.

Blair has been lauded for her bravery and for raising awareness of those with disabilities.

"I cannot understate how much this would have meant for me to see in my late teens/early 20s," one person tweeted after seeing a portrait of Blair taken at the afterparty.

"I can't tell you how much it means now. Representation matters, and Selma Blair looks like a goddess."

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More than 2.3 million people around the world are believed to be affected by MS, the National MS Society states.

However, as some symptoms may not be visible, the number of people affected by the chronic condition can only be estimated.

For more information about multiple sclerosis, click here.

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