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2018 Sundance Film Festival

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The last time many people saw actress Nicole Beharie, she was portraying Abbie Mills on the huge Fox hit Sleepy Hollow. Just like that though, in 2016, her popular character was killed off at the end of Season 3, to the immense disappointment of fans. The show lasted for another season without her, and Beharie virtually withdrew from the spotlight.

Well, in a video posted to her Instagram page on Friday, the 34-year-old explained that she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition years ago that she was struggling to get a handle on until recently. The condition, which she didn’t name for now, was one of the reasons she said she actually left the series.

“For the last like five years I’ve been battling an autoimmune condition. It actually happened while I was on Sleepy Hollow,” she said of her situation and the series, which began in 2013. “For all those Sleepy Hollow fans out there, that’s one of the reasons I had to [walk]. It’s been challenging, but in the next few weeks and months, I’m going to be sharing some of the things I have done to reverse the situation and to strengthen my body and my mind to get back to a place of sustainability and power and gratitude and ease. For the people who watched the show, I think you remember, my weight was fluctuating, I had rashes…things have improved a great deal. I just want to share for the sisters and brothers and everyone else out there, that there are ways of changing your diet, some of them can be rather restrictive, but there are things that we can do to improve and optimize our health and our mental state. I look forward to sharing this with you.”

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about when people have health challenges and restrictions and I think you can get demonized for setting limitations and boundaries, but I think that is something that we can not allow to happen to our bodies as women, as people of color,” she said. “It’s important to own and master and love what we got.”

It’s interesting to know this now, because when news broke in 2016 that Beharie was leaving the series, there was a lot of controversy about what the reason was. At the time, former FOX CEO Dana Walden (now at ABC and Disney Television Studios) implied that they had no real choice in how that season ended and her departure. Beharie never spoke out about it.

“There were a variety of factors that led to the end of the season,” she said. “It was not a decision that we wanted to make initially. We ended up being put in a situation where that was a decision that needed to be made.”

We’re glad to see Beharie is feeling better, and we’re also excited because she will be back on “TV” and on the big screen soon enough. She is in the upcoming season of Netflix’s Black Mirror, just wrapped a film with Michael Ealy and Jesse Williams called Jacob’s Ladder, and was in 2018’s Monsters and Men with John David Washington. Look out Hollywood, sis is back.

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