Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler recently revealed that she’s battling multiple sclerosis.
Not only that, but that she’s been struggling with the illness for about 15 years, having first been diagnosed when she was 20 years old.
“I wasn’t ready until now,” Sigler said in revealing her fight. “You’d think that after all these years, somebody would be settled with something like this, but it’s still hard to accept.”
Now, she’s opening up about why she kept her diagnosis a secret for so long.
Apparently, it was due to concerns about her career.
During an appearance on the Today Show, Sigler said that an “industry professional” actually advised her to hide it, as it could affect her ability to land roles.
“One of the first people I told was an industry professional, and I know they were looking out for me at the time but they said: ‘Pretend you didn’t tell me that, and I don’t think you should ever tell anyone that you have this disease. Because people will limit you, people will judge you and they won’t hire you,’ ” Sigler recalled. “And I took that advice. I was 20 years old, I was scared and I thought that was the best thing.”
Sigler is probably best-known for her role on The Sopranos.
“It sounds crazy but when you hold a secret those feelings just come along with that, especially when you hold a secret as long as I did,. And you know, with something like MS, you lose control over things that you once had and it’s slowly taken away from you and that could chip away at your self-worth and you can feel less-than and a lot of negative feelings and you know, you have to ask for help sometimes – which is something I’m not good at doing, but you have to be able to reach out and when you have a good support system like I have I think it helps a lot,” she said.