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Salma Hayek Recalls Near-Death Battle With COVID-19

The Oscar-nominated actress opened up about her illness for the first time in a Variety interview.

Salma Hayek almost died after contracting COVID-19.

The 54-year-old actress has revealed she caught the virus last year and spent several months recovering from the illness, which she says was so bad her doctor was “begging” her to go to hospital for treatment.

Speaking to Variety for the first time about her COVID-19 diagnosis, Hayek said: “My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad. I said, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.’ ”

Hayek spent “seven weeks” in self-isolation in a room of the London home she shares with her businessman husband, François-Henri Pinault, and their 13-year-old daughter, Valentina.

Her illness got so bad that at one point, she was put on oxygen. The Variety article also noted that "she still hasn’t fully regained the energy she once had.”

Although she wasn’t able to see her husband or her daughter while self-isolating, Hayek did have the company of her southern white-faced owl named Kering, as she recently admitted her feathered friend sleeps with her whenever her husband is away.

The Frida star adopted Kering — who is named after the company Francois-Henri owns — after she responded to an advertisement about rescue owls, and the two are now inseparable.

She said last month: "I gave it to my husband as a Valentine's present and named her Kering because that's the name of his company and their symbol of the owl. And he was like, 'Well, thank you, but I know this is your own present for yourself.'

“When my husband is not in town, she sleeps in the room with me. We have certain routines before we go to sleep. I watch TV with my iPad, and she likes to stand on the iPad.”

Hayek also insisted Kering is more "curious" than most owls, and has an unusual but "good" sense of taste.

She added: "Even though owls don't drink liquids because they take everything from their prey, she likes good wine, this one.

“[She can often be found] on my head or my shoulder, my arms. Sometimes, when she is really close to me, I can feel her rubbing against me, which is really nice. And I feel so blessed. Just being in the same room [with her], there's an energy to it, and it is mesmerising.” 

Hayek can next be seen in The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (in cinemas Aug 19) and Marvel's Eternals (Nov 4).  — BANG SHOWBIZ

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