Published May 12, 2009
Farrah Fawcett is finally breaking her silence, slamming tabloids and a California medical center for releasing information, some of it false, regarding her condition.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times from August, but held at Fawcett's request until now, the actress said that the gravity of her struggle with anal cancer was exacerbated by having to endure it under public scrutiny.
“It’s much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope,”Fawcett, 62 said. “It was stressful. I was terrified getting the chemo. It’s not pleasant. And the radiation is not pleasant.”
Moreover, the actress was stunned to learn just how far supermarket tabloids would go with false and misleading headlines, such as a December 2006 story that read “Farrah Begs: ‘Let Me Die.’”
“God, I would never say something like that,” she told the Times. “To think that people who did look up to me and felt positive because I was going through it too and yet I was strong … it just negated all that.”
But the manner and speed in which details about her condition leaked to the tabloids caused the “Charlie’s Angels” star to grow suspicious that someone at the UCLA medical center was sending her confidential medical information to the press. Indeed, even when the tabloid reports were false, Fawcett told the Times that they were based on some truth.
So Fawcett decided to attempt to catch UCLA in the leak in May of 2007, deliberately not revealing to any of her friends or family that her cancer had returned.
Within days of her diagnosis, the Enquirer was reporting the news. When UCLA investigated, the discovered that one employee, Lawanda Jackson, was the specialist who was going through her records. But it took Fawcett’s lawyers months to obtain Jackson’s name, who later quit and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of violating federal medical privacy laws.
"I'm a private person," she told the Times. "I'm shy about people knowing things. And I'm really shy about my medical [care]. It would be good if I could just go and heal and then when I decided to go out, it would be OK.
Last week, Fawcett’s long-time partner Ryan O’Neal revealed that Fawcett’s condition was deteriorating, that she had lost all of her hair and that her treatment had “pretty much ended.”