Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones remained silent after her husband Michael Douglas essentially said his wife gave him cancer through cunnilingus, but now the 44-year-old mother of two has spoken out. The star didn’t address Douglas’ controversial statements, but she said she was devastated when she found out her spouse had throat cancer.
"I was a mess. I'll be quite frank. I was a mess," Zeta-Jones said at the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies 5th World Congress opening ceremony Sunday, the New York Daily News reported. Sunday was labeled "World Head and Neck Cancer Day."
"When I'm married to a man who has such a conviction for life … he fights to make the wrongs right. For the first time, he was fighting for his life," the "Chicago" star added.
The Hollywood stars have been together for 14 years and have two children: daughter Carys, 11, and son, Dylan, 12.
The couple, who recently reconciled after a brief separation, spoke to a 3,000-person audience that was filled with doctors. Douglas said she was misdiagnosed three times, and then ultimately told he had throat cancer in 2010 after he went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Douglas, 69, said he lost 40 pounds after he started chemotherapy. He said things got “a lot worse” before they got better, but he is happy to be alive.
"In all seriousness, and in every sense of the word, I'm very fortunate to be here today,” he said.
In January 2011, he was declared cancer-free.
"We can only imagine what the next century will bring,” Douglas said. “Thank you for saving my life."
Zeta-Jones also expressed her gratitude for having her husband with her.
"I'm very happy to be here this morning with my husband," the actress said. "I mean that literally. I'm very happy to be here with my husband."
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