NEW YORK—“Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke revealed March 22 that she has had two life-threatening aneurysms, and two brain surgeries, since the show began.
An unknown actress before landing the role, Clarke had just finished filming her first season as Daenerys Targaryen, the “Mother of Dragons,” on the HBO fantasy series when she had the first aneurysm in 2011 at age 24 while working out at a London gym.
“Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life,” Clarke writes in a first-person story in The New Yorker. “I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time.”
In 2011, just as "Game of Thrones" was about to become a worldwide phenomenon, Emilia Clarke faced the first of two life-threatening brain aneurysms. Clarke tells her story for the first time: https://t.co/WeyFgn9CuL pic.twitter.com/C8eoFtfIx6
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 21, 2019
Clarke said she had been healthy all her life, but was suffering from serious stress when the artery burst in her brain. Much of it came from constant press questions about the nudity of her character, a conquering queen, in the show’s first episode.
“I always got the same question: some variation of ‘You play such a strong woman, and yet you take off your clothes. Why?’” Clarke writes. “In my head, I’d respond, ‘How many men do I need to kill to prove myself?’”
— Aishwarya Kumar (@kumaraishwarya) March 21, 2019
She said she suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which can very easily be fatal. She was unable to speak her full name even weeks later.
The second surgery, which was more invasive and involved opening her skull, came after Clarke finished shooting the third season.
"I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. There was terrible anxiety, panic attacks. I was raised never to say, “It’s not fair”; I was taught to remember that there is always someone who is worse off than you."
-Emilia Clarke pic.twitter.com/OXhAJBHTpy
— beyza! 23 (@vivisenya) March 21, 2019
“I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced,” Clarke writes. “I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium. These days, you can’t see the scar that curves from my scalp to my ear, but I didn’t know at first that it wouldn’t be visible.”
And, she adds, there was “the constant worry about cognitive or sensory losses.”
She recovered fully, however, and was able to keep the problems from the media with one exception.
Emilia Clarke opens up about suffering two brain aneurysms during her early #GameOfThrones days: "In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die" https://t.co/EPFa8ioUOE pic.twitter.com/Md5APcP0hD
— Variety (@Variety) March 21, 2019
“Six weeks after the surgery, the National Enquirer ran a short story,” Clarke writes. “A reporter asked me about it and I denied it.”
Wendy Williams Reveals She Is Living In ‘Sober House’
NEW YORK—Wendy Williams says she’s living in a “sober house” because of addiction struggles.
The 54-year-old talk show host tearfully revealed the information on March 19 to the audience at “The Wendy Williams Show.” She says the only other people who knew about where she was living up until her announcement Tuesday were her husband and son.
Williams says she works out after her show and then is driven by her “24-hour sober coach” to a home where she lives “with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family.”
She says she has been addicted to cocaine in the past and never sought treatment.
Williams returned to her talk show earlier this month for the first time since December, saying she was off because of continued thyroid issues associated with Graves’ disease.