In a new interview with People magazine, Soprano‘s actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler dropped a major bit of bombshell news: She’s been living with multiple sclerosis for 15 years.
Sigler, who got married four days ago, told the magazine that her disease, an auto-immune disorder that effects the nervous system, was largely a-symptomatic for the first few years, but has gotten worse for the now 34 year-old in the last ten years.
“I can’t walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run…Stairs? I can do them but they’re not the easiest. When I walk, I have to think about every single step, which is annoying and frustrating.”
The actress says the reason she hasn’t gone public is twofold: One, she’s still struggling to “accept” her diagnosis, and two, she was concerned it would hurt her ability to work in Hollywood. In fact, for all the years she was on the HBO smash The Sopranos, she would “cover up” her illness, taking quick 10 minute breaks to recharge without explaining why.
Sigler says her illness is currently “manageable” thanks to new medication, and despite the disease’s challenges, she’s optimistic about the future:
“It takes a fighting attitude to deal with all this,” she said.