How Divorce Cured Actress Melanie Griffin's Epilepsy


By Ian Mohr

Melanie Griffith revealed at a panel talk on Wednesday that she’s epileptic — and she thinks divorcing Antonio Banderas helped her to stop having seizures.

At the Beverly Hills discussion hosted by Sharon Stone for the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Griffith told fellow panelists including power producer Paula Wagner and fashion designer Tamara Mellon that she finally found out about her mysterious medical condition after an incident on a yacht in Cannes.

For years before, “It was an anomaly they didn’t know what it was — I had these seizures,” Griffith said. “I never knew why it happened or what it meant or what it was going to do to me … nobody explained anything.” But “then the last two that I had — I was in a boat outside of Cannes, on a big yacht, and I was extremely stressed out … every seizure that I had was at a point where I was extremely stressed and I had two seizures … one they took me off the boat. I had this major grand mal seizure they took me to the hospital in Cannes, then brought me back to the boat and I had another seizure.”

She said that’s when “they started to look at it seriously … I was in France, that’s where I got care, not here. And then when I came back, I was diagnosed with epilepsy, which no one had said to me over a period of 20 years … no one paid enough attention to diagnose me.”

But today, “I’ve been on a drug for four years … I haven’t had a seizure, which is amazing — but I also got divorced, which I think is the real healer for me.” That remark brought the room of 80 VIPs, including Rufus Wainwright, Jamie Tisch and Tara Subkoff, to laughter. “I mean it!” Griffith insisted. “I am not stressed anymore!”

While she never mentioned Banderas by name, the pair divorced in 2015 after 18 years of marriage. She’s been married twice before, to actors Don Johnson and Steven Bauer.

The column added that Griffith said at the event, “My brain is so f–ked up,” and that she was in Cannes several times over the past decade, most recently at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2011 with Banderas when the couple was still together.

Griffith also told the audience that more recently, “They did all the tests on my brain. They couldn’t find the epilepsy; they couldn’t find anything wrong. It’s pretty much that it was stress. My brain is f–ked up.”

Also during the event, a spy told us, “a somewhat dramatic and bizarre incident took place … the group happened to be discussing seizures when a guest fainted, was taken out, and lapsed into a seizure. Paramedics arrived and the woman was fine, but the occurrence was eerie given the topic.”


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