Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler Are Navigating MS Together

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2021 while filming the final season of Dead to Me, Christina Applegate has spoken publicly a handful of times, including in an interview with the New York Times, and earlier this year at the Emmys, where she made a rare in-person appearance. This week, she sat down for a Good Morning America segment with Robin Roberts, where she said that she lives “kind of in hell.” And in a new interview published on Wednesday, she and fellow actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who revealed in 2016 that she’d been diagnosed with MS in 2002, spoke with People about how they’re helping each other navigate the ups and downs of their shared condition.

Applegate and Sigler say they were connected by their mutual friend Lance Bass in 2021 after Applegate was diagnosed. “The way Christina allows me to talk about the hard stuff, I needed desperately,” said Sigler, who was 20 when she received her diagnosis. “Christina opened me up. I didn’t realize how desperately I needed to stop trying to be perfect.” Calling Sigler her “hero,” Applegate added, “If I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t be able to do this life thing.”

Applegate also talked about the prospect of returning to acting, which she previously said was out of the question. “On Dead to Me, I had the support I needed,” she said. “I don’t think I’m going to have a set that’s going to be that accommodating.” Sigler, who continued to play Meadow on The Sopranos for five years after she was diagnosed, said, “Right now I’ll hold the big dreams for both of us.”

Both women also talked about living with MS while raising children. “My daughter’s had to see the loss of her mom,” Applegate said, “in the way that I was a mom with her.” Sigler, who welcomed children in 2013 and 2018, said that her “kids have only known me with MS. They know that certain things are hard for me, and they don’t even come to me anymore. A lot of times I can’t muster the energy.”

The duo is launching a podcast, MeSsy, on which they plan to talk about their friendship and ongoing struggle with the condition. “I spent my career pretending to be someone else for everybody in the public eye,” Applegate said of sharing the details of her life with the world. “I don’t have time to be inauthentic anymore.”

Christina Applegate on MS: Jamie-Lynn Sigler Is Her ‘Hero’