Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: Why She Kept It A Secret

Jamie-Lynn Sigler has been keeping her multiple sclerosis diagnosis a secret for years. The Sopranos star kept her battle with the crippling disease out of the public eye, but she had a reason for it.

It literally all started when Jamie-Lynn was diagnosed at the age of 20. Someone told her not to let the industry know because they wouldn’t hire her if they knew.

This is one of many problems women in Hollywood face regularly. Not only are they generally ignored when it comes to taking over directing responsibilities, but the ones in charge have been known to pay women a fraction of what they pay the men. They do the same amount of work and, in some cases, even deliver better performances, but as Jennifer Lawrence revealed, they don’t earn as much generally.

Add to this the fact of Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis and you can see the difficulty she would have faced if she’d let the industry know. It was a struggle to keep up with others, but she dealt with it because she felt it would have crippled her career as well, UPI states.

It’s unknown if it would have made a difference, but Sigler has proven her worth by landing several roles in her career. From A Brooklyn State of Mind to Loserville, Jamie-Lynn has proven her disease won’t keep her down.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and the industry insider told her to keep it quiet, as she revealed on the Today show on Wednesday morning.

“I know they were looking out for me at the time but they said, ‘I’m going to pretend you didn’t tell me that, and I don’t think you should every tell anyone that you have this disease, because people will limit you, people will judge you, and they won’t hire you. And I took that advice. I was 20 years old and I was scared and I thought that was the best thing.”

When Jamie-Lynn Sigler finally decided to come out last week about her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, she said she felt a sense of relief.

“I’m good, I feel relief. You know, I lived with this secret that caused me to have so many feelings of shame and guilt and fear for so many years…. I feel a great weight off my shoulders…. It sounds crazy, but when you hold a secret, those feelings just come along with that. Especially when you hold a secret as long as I did. With something like MS, you lose control over things that you once had and it’s slowly taken away from you, and that can chip away at your self-worth. You have to ask for help sometimes, which is something I’m not good at doing. When you have a good support system like I have, it helps out.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s diagnosis isn’t a part of why she hasn’t been in anything so far this year and doesn’t appear to have anything planned. After possibly taking some time out to focus on her 2-year-old son, Beau, she says she’s “excited to go back to work without feeling that I have something to hide. I feel like I can be a better actress now that I can be me.”

Fans can only hope that Sigler isn’t simply being “blacklisted” by casting agents afraid to commit her to something they feel she can’t handle. She has a whole list of reasons she can handle new projects, the most famous of which was The Sopranos, a show she stayed with for eight years.

Are you excited to see Jamie-Lynn Sigler come back after revealing her multiple sclerosis diagnosis to the world?

[Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images]