Selma Blair opened up about her battle with multiple sclerosis in her first ever television interview and described the moment she learned of her diagnosis.
“I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic,” she told Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” in a taped interview that aired Tuesday. “They were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control, and there was some relief in that.”
Blair, 46, first shared her diagnosis publicly in October. The actress rose to fame with her role in the 1999 film, “Cruel Intentions.” She’s gone on to star in movies like “Legally Blonde” and “The Sweetest Thing.” More recently, Blair starred in “American Crime Story” on FX.
“Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,” Blair said. “And I was self-medicating when he wasn’t with me. I was drinking. I was in pain. I wasn’t always drinking, but there were times when I couldn’t take it.”
For Blair, telling her 7-year-old son, Arthur Saint, was the most difficult.
“I did have to tell him after the MRI. I said, ‘I have something called multiple sclerosis,’” she recalled. “And he almost cried and said, ‘Will it kill you?’ And I said, ‘No. I mean, we never know what kills us, Arthur. But this is not the doctor telling me I’m dying.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, ok,’ and that was it.”
The actress said that she reached out to fellow actor Michael J. Fox, who revealed in 1998 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“I said, ‘I don’t know who to tell, but I am dropping things. I’m doing strange things,’” Blair said. “He got in touch with me and we began conversations. He really helped me … he gives me hope.”