Maria Menounos, host of E! News since 2014 and author of the EveryGirl series of lifestyle guides, announced Monday she is stepping down from her gig at E! after battling a brain tumor. The news is featured in a July 17 People magazine cover story that discusses Menounos and her mother, who has stage four brain cancer. Her mother’s illness caused Menounos to keep the news from her parents, until right before her June 8 surgery to remove a golfball-sized tumor from her brain.
Menounos’ symptoms included “getting lightheaded on set and having headaches… My speech has gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.” An MRI revealed the tumor that ”was pushing on her facial nerves.” Menounos told People, “I actually laughed. It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
The surgery removed 99.9 percent of the tumor, although doctors caution that there’s a slight (6 to 7 percent) chance it could come back. In the meantime, Menounos is recuperating with her family. Says People, “Menounos is currently at home healing and spending time with her mother. The matriarch’s MRI scans show her cancer is stable.”
In light of Monday’s announcement, E! Entertainment president Adam Stotsky released the following statement: “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. We are grateful for Maria’s many contributions to E! over the past three years.”