Melanie Griffith is opening up about a serious health diagnosis she kept private for years.
The actress, 60, revealed she had been diagnosed with epilepsy six years ago during a Women’s Brain Health Initiative panel Wednesday night in Beverly Hills, California. The panel was moderated by actress Sharon Stone, who suffered a stroke in 2001.
Griffith was diagnosed after she had two seizures, which occurred on a yacht outside of Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.
“I had this major grand mal seizure and they took me to the hospital in Cannes and then brought me back to the boat,” she said during a panel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “And then I had another seizure and I went back [to the hospital]. They did the EEG and started to look at it seriously.”
She continued, “When I came back [to the U.S.], I was diagnosed with epilepsy and nobody had said to me over a period of 20 years, no one paid enough attention to even diagnose me.”
Griffith said she has been seizure-free for four years and she said they were due to stress, according to THR.
“I was extremely stressed out,” she said. “Every seizure that I had was at a point when I was extremely stressed.”
The three-time Golden Globe nominee said she began to have fewer incidents after her divorce to actor Antonio Banderas, to whom she had been married to for 18 years.
“I got divorced, which is a real healer for me,” she joked, earning laughter from her audience.
Since then, she said, she has been able to lead a healthier life.
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“It’s been three years [since a seizure],” she said. “As women, we take on family, we get the husband, we have the life, we have the children, we take care of the house, we also go to work, we can’t sleep at night because we are up with the kids. I don’t think I’ve slept for 35 years. I still don’t sleep; it’s totally f—– up my sleep cycle.”
She said that despite her health troubles she still feels grateful she was able to access the best health care. Griffith revealed she had recently visited the Health Nucleus facility in San Diego, California, for genome testing to see if she still had epilepsy. The results turned up negative.
“They did all the tests on my brain,” she said. “They couldn’t find the epilepsy; they couldn’t find anything wrong. It’s pretty much that it was stress. My brain is f—– up. Really — you know? I thank God that I’m in a position where I was able to, like, find out where I could go to that’s the newest high tech place to find out the most information that I possibly can.”
She continued, “If I was living in poverty with four kids, and I couldn’t make ends meet and I had a f—— seizure, what do you do?” she asked. “How does the average person, man or woman, get the help?”