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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Toni Braxton reveals she was told to hide lupus diagnosis

Toni Braxton attends Grit Before the Gram returns for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards at the West Hollywood Edition on Feb. 2, 2023, in West Hollywood, California.    (Unique Nicole/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Karu F. Daniels New York Daily News

Managers reportedly advised Toni Braxton against going public with her lupus diagnosis back in 2010.

The 56-year-old singer-songwriter revealed in a recent sit-down that her handlers told her to hide her chronic illness out of fear it would impact her ability to get work.

“People get scared around sick celebrities,” Braxton said on the latest episode of the SHE MD podcast, published Tuesday. “And I couldn’t get insured. … The second I was told I had [lupus], I didn’t get work at first.”

“No one wanted to put me on a stage. ‘Well, suppose she collapsed on stage, and the insurance, how are we going to do that?’” she added. “So at first I did not work.”

The seven-time Grammy winner, who disclosed she had lupus during a 2010 awards ceremony in Los Angeles, said that she saw at least six doctors before receiving a proper diagnosis.

“Lupus can be very challenging and difficult to diagnose because everything has to line up, it’s almost like an eclipse,” Braxton told the women’s health podcast. “No one could find out what was wrong with me.”

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system becomes altered and starts fighting the body’s own tissues along with infections. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, the disease can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body.

Nick Cannon, Selena Gomez, Seal and Lady Gaga are among the other celebrities who have previously opened up about their experience with lupus.

Last year, Braxton served as a spokesperson for Aurinia Pharmaceuticals’ “Get Uncomfortable” campaign, which encouraged people living with the disease to keep up on their health checks.