Montel Williams Opens Up to Oprah About His Private Pain and Public Battle with Multiple Sclerosis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2009
CHICAGO — Emmy-winning talk show host and author Montel Williams is opening up like never before and sharing the private pain behind his very public battle with multiple sclerosis (MS) on The Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday, March 17, 2009.
For the past 10 years, Williams has been in the fight of his life. Diagnosed with MS, a life-threatening neurological disease, he spiraled into depression and came close to ending his life. Now, in an emotional interview, Williams talks candidly about his daily battles, his hopes, his fears and his new book, Living Well Emotionally.
Says Williams: "My primary symptom is pain. I've got pain from my shins to my feet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it's been there for the last 10 years."
He reveals to Oprah the times when he struggled behind the scenes during his 17 years as host of The Montel Williams Show: "A couple times my commercial breaks would be a little long and people wouldn't understand why. Because when I hurt like this, I go backstage, sit down for a second, let out a good cry, let it go, refocus, come back out and sit down and do another interview. ... I was doing that every day."
Williams shares a revealing day in the life that includes his daily medication regimen (about 27 pills every day, according to Williams), the injections he must take and his fight to stay active. Williams says: "I can't run anymore. Running is gone." And when asked what his biggest fear is, he answers, "Not being able to walk."
Through it all, Williams maintains his determination. Says Williams: "I could quit and say that's it—stay in bed and not get up. Or I can get my butt up every single day [and be] a contributing member to this society and try and figure out how I deal with it. This is what God gave me. So rather than look at it as a bane, it's got to be a gift."
Finally, Dr. Oz gives a special report on how to cope after being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Plus, basketball legend Magic Johnson, actress Fran Drescher and figure skater Scott Hamilton share their stories of how their lives have changed since being diagnosed with critical illnesses.
The Oprah Winfrey Show has remained the number one talk show for 22 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.** It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 214 domestic stations by CBS Television Distribution Group and to 145 countries by CBS Paramount International Television.
**Nielsen Cassandra Ranking Report - Nov'86 to July '99 and Wrap Sweeps, Nov '99 to July '08. Primary Telecasts Only.