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Renee Zellweger: 'New face drama was sparked by friend's ALS diagnosis'

Published 03/09/2016

Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger

The actress attributes her new look to a more relaxed lifestyle.

A friend's ALS diagnosis was behind Renee Zellweger's shocking appearance at an event in 2014.

The Bridget Jones's Diary star hit headlines and became a trending topic on Twitter.com after she made her first public appearance in months at an awards show in Los Angeles and sparked a debate over her 'new face'.

Renee shrugged off the media storm at the time, and put her 'altered' appearance down to a new, relaxed lifestyle, but now she reveals she wasn't concerned about her red carpet look, explaining she was only there to support a friend, who had been diagnosed with neurological disorder Lou Gehrig's disease, aka ALS.

"I'd been staying with a friend in Los Angeles and the month before she'd been diagnosed with ALS," she tells the Daily Mail. "The reason I went to that event was that she wanted me to go, so she could be on the red carpet with me and prove to herself she wasn't being defeated by this terrible disease.

"That's what I was thinking about that day. I wasn't thinking about what I looked like or what people thought. I was thinking about my friend."

Renee has previously defended her image, insisting she looks different from how people remember because she is much happier in life.

"I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows..." she told People.com. "For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself... I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things...

"I did work that allows for being still, making a home, loving someone, learning new things, growing as a creative person and finally growing into myself... I am different. I'm happy."

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