Actress Selma Blair has announced her departure from the US competition show Dancing With The Stars over health concerns related to multiple sclerosis (MS).
On Monday night’s episode, the star tearfully told her competition partner Sasha Farber that she would have to bow out of the show, but was determined to perform one last ballroom dance before leaving.
Diagnosed with the lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves in 2018, the 50-year-old said it was her most memorable year, having been ill for “so many years” before her diagnosis.
In a pre-recorded clip, she told Farber that she has been “monitored and in touch” with her doctors throughout her time on the series and had recently had some MRI scans done.
“The results came back and it just all adds up to I can’t go on with the competition,” Blair said.
“I pushed as hard as I could. I’m sorry Sash.”
Turning to the camera, and choking back tears, she explained: “With a chronic illness you do have special considerations and my body is definitely taking a hit.
“It’s way too much for the safety of my bones. There’s just intensive bone trauma and inflammation among rips and tears, and I could do extensive damage which, of course, I do not want to do.”
‘For everyone that has tried and hopes to do more’
However, Blair insisted that she wanted to perform “one last beautiful dance”, with last night’s show challenging stars to showcase an emotional routine that represented the most impactful years of their lives.
“This is a dance for everyone that has tried and hopes to do more, but also the power in realising when it is time to walk away. I’m so grateful to do one last gentle dance,” she said.
Dancing to the song What The World Needs Now, Blair and Farber dazzled with their waltz and were awarded a perfect score of 40 from the judges.
Many of Blair’s competitors and members of the audience could be seen crying after the emotional performance.
‘You continue to inspire countless millions around the world’
In an Instagram post, Dancing With The Stars praised the duo, saying: “Selma Blair and Sasha Farber gave us a memorable night with a beautiful final performance.
“Thank you, Selma, for inspiring us with your perseverance and radiant energy.”
Others have described the actress as an “inspiration”, a “world changer” and a “dancing queen”.
The National MS Society thanked Blair for sharing her journey with the condition.
“Selma Blair, your journey on Dancing With The Stars might have come to an end, but you continue to inspire the nearly one million people with MS in the US and countless millions around the world,” the organisation said in a tweet.
Throughout her career, Blair has co-starred in a number of films and TV shows, including the 2001 hit Legally Blonde.
She got her big break back in 1999 in the cult classic film Cruel Intentions and opened up about her MS diagnosis in the 2021 documentary, Introducing, Selma Blair.