Maria Menounos is recovering from surgery to remove a tumor the size of a golf ball from her brain. She’s also stepping down from E! News, her TV home since 2014, while her mom fights Stage 4 brain cancer.
With her seven-hour surgery nearly a month in the rearview mirror, Menounos went public about her benign meningioma in an interview with People.
“I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches,” she told the magazine, which features her on its cover this week. “My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.”
She thanked her doctor via Twitter, saying Monday to Dr. Ryan Aronin, “You were so thorough&thank u for … not making me feel like I was crazy to think I had a Brain tumor.”
News that she would step down from “E! News” also came Monday, in a statement from E! Entertainment obtained by The Times.
“I had such an amazing time co-hosting with Jason Kennedy and working everyday with the wonderful roster of talent on the show including producers, staff and crew,” Menounos said. “It was such a special, good-hearted group and one I’ll always consider family.”
But her real family is taking precedence. The 39-year-old said she actually laughed when she heard her diagnosis — because her mother, Litsa, has been battling Stage 4 brain cancer.
“It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor — and now I have one too?” Menounos said. Surgery on June 8 removed 99.9% of the benign tumor, she said, but she’s still recovering motor functions. There’s a 6% to 7% the tumor could recur, she said. Her mom’s cancer is stable, she said.
Mary Tyler Moore, Sheryl Crow and Scott Baio’s wife, Renee, have also had surgery to remove a meningioma, 90% of which are benign. Benign or not, they can cause ancillary problems — like Menounos experienced — depending on their size and location.
“I don’t have my balance fully yet. … My face is still numb,” Menounos told People. “This is something that takes at least a month of healing, but I’m getting stronger and stronger every day and I’ll be back to normal very soon.”
E! Entertainment President Adam Stotsky wished her well on behalf of the company.
“Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for,” Stotsky said in a statement.