Selma Blair has dropped out of competing on this season of America’s Dancing with the Stars due to health concerns.
Blair, who first shared she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, has competed strongly on the series over the past five weeks. Her body, however, “has taken a hit”, she said.
“I’ve been monitored … I had MRIs and the results came back, and it all adds up to, I can’t go on with the competition,” Blair revealed to her Australian professional dance partner, Sasha Farber.
READ MORE: Reese Witherspoon recalls first-ever photoshoot: ‘I thought I would pass out’
“I’ve pushed as far as I could. With a chronic illness, you do have special considerations, and my body has taken a hit. It’s way too much for the safety of my bones. I could do extensive damage that I, of course, do not want,” the actress continued in the pre-taped piece that aired during Monday night’s live episode (Tuesday AEDT).
Blair, 50, completed a final waltz with Farber, 38, to the song What the World Needs Now Is Love, earning the first perfect score of the season.
“This is a dance for everyone that has tried and hoped they could do more, but also, the power in realising it’s time to walk away. I am so, so grateful to be able to do one last gentle dance,” Blair said through tears.
After the duo’s performance Farber told reporters “there aren’t enough words to say how proud I am” of Blair, according to Page Six.
“She is a true inspiration. She has not only inspired myself, but so many people around the world … there’s nothing this lady can’t do,” he said after the show.
While the actress told reporters through tears that she was grateful for the show, saying “my heart is broken in the best way”.
“From day one of joining this show and knowing Sasha before that some, this has been such an awakening in ways that I didn’t think would happen in my lifetime,” she told Variety in the ballroom.
“I didn’t think I’d even have this earnestness in my lifetime to genuinely want to do this and for risk of embarrassment. Forgetting my disabilities or my chronic illness, I wasn’t an accomplished dancer at all. So it’s always scary to put it out there.”
Blair hopes to return for the season finale but Farber put a question mark over the appearance, saying: “Her health and her body, that’s priority number one.”
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, who co-starred with Blair in the movie Cruel Intentions, shared a photo of her and Blair on her Instagram account after the announcement, captioning it with a heartfelt message expressing gratitude and appreciation for their friendship.
“Selma I’ve never been so proud of you (and I’m often proud of you) You make the rest of us believe that we can do anything. That we can never give up,” Gellar wrote.
“I will miss getting to watch the happiness radiate from Selma each week as she stepped on stage.”
Multiple sclerosis, known as MS, is an autoimmune disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body. Its exact cause is unknown.
Blair shared her experience with the illness in the documentary Introducing, Selma Blair, which premiered at South by Southwest festival last year.
The film shows the actress undergoing stem-cell treatment, including chemotherapy, revealing the toll the treatment has had on Blair’s body.
For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here