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Jamie-Lynn Sigler says she was told not to disclose her multiple sclerosis diagnosis on The Sopranos by the set physician.

While appearing on Sophia Bush’s podcast Work in Progress, the actress shared that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 20-years-old, a year after receiving a Lyme disease diagnosis.

Shortly after being told she had MS, she had her cast physical and told the physician about her latest health update. “He’s like, ‘Uh yeah, I don’t think you should tell anybody about that and I’m not going to put this down [on your medical records],’” Sigler recalled.

“I just followed his advice because I also wasn’t that symptomatic at the time so it wasn’t something that I thought about, or that I had to think about all the time,” she explained. Sigler then confirmed she initially “told no one, absolutely no one” on the set about her MS diagnosis.

She said that during the show’s final season, she experienced a breakdown on the makeup chair during her divorce from A.J. DiScala, which she also hadn’t told the cast and crew about. “Everyone was wrapping their arms around me and I remember thinking, ‘You can tell them [about the diagnosis].’ And I just couldn’t do it,” Sigler shared.

“I was so scared,” she added. “I’d already told them one secret. I couldn’t tell them two.” When the stress from the divorce took a toll on her health, affecting her work on set, her TV dad checked in on her.

“James Gandolfini pulled me aside and said, ‘What’s going on? I can see that something’s happening.’ I felt tears welling up in my eyes,” Sigler remembered. She disclosed her medical issues and told him that she was “so fucking scared.”

“I remember him putting his big paw on my shoulder and he’s like, ‘Whatever you need — I’m not gonna tell anyone — but whatever you need, you let me know,” she recalled.

Sigler didn’t tell any of her other castmates until they were doing a photoshoot for The Sopranos, where Edie Falco told her that she had been secretly battling breast cancer. “I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know. I was looking at her and I saw myself,” she said. “And so that was the moment that I told her.”

The actress first shared her MS diagnosis publicly in 2016. That year, she told WebMD that she was told by a medical professional in the entertainment business that he was “going to pretend you never told me you have MS, and you are never going to tell anyone at work. You will get fired. No one will hire you. People will judge you. Keep it between us.”

At the time, Falco told the publication, “When I found out that she had MS, it broke my heart. Just knowing how difficult it must have been to go through that — as a kid, really — and to do it so quietly. She was always so professional, so beyond her years.”

HBO declined to comment on Sigler’s remarks about the on-set physician.



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