Jamie-Lynn Sigler Feared Multiple Sclerosis Admission Would End Career
Jamie-Lynn Sigler kept her multiple sclerosis diagnosis secret for almost 15 years because she was convinced going public with her condition would end her acting career.
The Sopranos star was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder, which affects the nervous system, when she was just 20 years old, and she decided not to tell prospective employers about her M.S. amid fears they would not hire her.
Sigler, 34, opened up about her health battle last week and has now admitted she kept her struggle private for such a long time because she did not want to harm her career prospects.
During an interview on Today, Sigler revealed she told a Hollywood contact about her M.S. and they responded by saying, “I’m going to pretend you didn’t tell me that” and warned her that “people will limit you, they will judge you and they will not hire you.”
The actress still fears her admission may have professional repercussions, but she did not want to keep her secret any longer.
“I’m excited to go back to work without feeling that I have something to hide,” she added. “I understand some people may not want to hire me, and some people may, but I have every intention of continuing my career.”
She also hopes her public declaration will inspire others who suffer from the disease, adding, “I didn’t anticipate the level of responsibility I now feel for representing a whole group of people that suffer in silence. I hope I can change people’s idea of what this disease is.”