Jennifer Esposito, a star of the hit TV series Blue Bloods, is in the midst of her own drama with employer CBS – and at the center of the dispute is her continuing struggle to control celiac disease.
CBS has put the actress and her character detective Jackie Curatola on a leave of absence. In a statement to the TV website Deadline.com on October 20, 2012, CBS Studios said: “Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.”
Esposito took to Twitter, accusing the network of “shameful behavior”, saying that: “CBS put me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doc said ‘you needed a reduced schedule due to celiac’. CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw!”
She further says that once she was cleared to return to work, “CBS implied that I was not truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise!”
Esposito has been a vocal advocate of celiac disease awareness, speaking out about the many years it took her to get diagnosed and the struggles she had faced before going gluten-free with extreme fatigue, gastrointestinal distress and hair loss.
In reply to some critical comments on one article about the dispute with CBS, Esposito elaborated on her current celiac-related health issues: “I can work on a limited schedule due to the vitamin IVs I need three times a week because I don’t absorb [nutrients and], due to the exhaustion from that as well.”
Esposito blogs at the site Jennifersway.org, where she shares advice and recipes.
View Esposito’s documentary on life with celiac here.
Posted: October 21, 2012