Salma Hayek has admitted that she came close to dying after contracting COVID-19, prompting doctors to “beg” her to seek care in a hospital.
The 54-year-old actress admitted she contracted the virus last year and had to recover for several months.
Hayek revealed the condition for the first time in an interview with Variety magazine.
“My doctor pleaded with me to go to the hospital because the situation was so severe. ‘No, thank you,’ I replied. She told the paper, “I’d rather die at home.”
The actress is said to have spent “seven weeks” in self-isolation in a room of her London home with her husband, François-Henri Pinault, and their 13-year-old daughter Valentina.
She was also not back to full strength, according to the magazine.
“She was placed on oxygen at one stage. She hasn’t completely recovered her former capacity, according to Variety.
Although she couldn’t see her husband or daughter while she was self-isolating, she did have the company of her southern white-faced owl, Kering, who she recently confessed sleeps with her whenever her husband is gone.
After responding to an ad for rescue owls, the Frida star adopted Kering, who is named after the business Francois-Henri owns, and the two are now inseparable.
“I gave it to my husband as a Valentine’s Day gift and called her Kering after his company’s name and their owl symbol. ‘Well, thank you, but I know this is your own gift for yourself,’ he said last month.
“She sleeps in the bed with me while my husband is not in town. Before going to bed, we follow a collection of rituals. I use my iPad to watch TV, and she likes to stand on it.”
Kering is also more “curious” than other owls, according to Hayek, and has an odd yet “healthy” sense of taste.
“[She is often found] on my head, shoulder, or arms. I can sometimes feel her rubbing against me when she is really close to me, which is really cool. And I consider myself extremely fortunate. There’s an aura to just being in the same room [with her], and it’s mesmerising.”
- Salma Hayek: Jens Kalaene/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images