Melanie Griffith Reveals She Has Epilepsy, Jokes Divorce Was A ‘Real Healer’

Published on October 20, 2017.
Photo by John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Actress Melanie Griffith is ready to open up about a major health diagnosis that she found about years ago, and joked her divorce from Antonio Banderas was “a real healer.”

On Wednesday, October 18, the 60-year-old actress spoke at the Women’s Brain Health Initiative panel in Beverly Hills where she revealed she had been diagnosed with epilepsy six years ago following two seizures which happened on a yacht near Cannes, France during the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

“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 stated during the panel. “And then I had another seizure and I went back [to the hospital]. They did the EEG and started to look at it seriously.”

Once back in the U.S., the actress received an answer, “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.” Now, Griffith revealed she has been seizure-free for four years after realizing her seizures were stress related. “I was extremely stressed out. Every seizure I had was at a point when I was extremely stressed.” She noted that she had fewer episodes after her split from actor Antonio Banderas, to whom she had been married to for 18 years, joking, “I got divorced, which is a real healer for me.”

“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.”

Griffith expressed her gratitude at being in the position to access the best of health care, a luxury many cannot afford.  “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?”

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