Priyanka Chopra Jonas is opening up about how a botched cosmetic procedure took a toll on her mental health.
The 40-year-old actress appeared on an episode of The Howard Stern Show and explained that she had a botched nose surgery in the early 2000s after doctors recommended she have a polyp in her nasal cavity removed.
“It was a dark phase,” she told Howard Stern of the aftermath when she learned the surgeons made a mistake during the procedure.
“This thing happens, and my face looks completely different, and I went into a deep, deep depression,” Chopra Jonas said, adding that she was later fired from three different movies and thought her acting career “was over before it started.”
The Citadel star admitted that her mental health struggled so badly that she wasn’t leaving the house. She only did when her dad, a doctor himself, encouraged her to get a corrective surgery done.
“I was terrified of that, but he was like, ‘I will be in the room with you,'” she recalled. “He held my hands through it and helped me build back my confidence.”
Chopra Jonas previously shared details about the botched nose surgery in her memoir, Unfinished, writing that the results left her feeling “devastated and hopeless.”
Not long after catapulting to global fame when she was crowned Miss World 2000, she began to develop a “lingering head cold” in the summer of 2001, which at the time she believed was simply a “very bad sinus infection.”
“I was having trouble breathing. This is a problem someone with asthma can’t ignore,” the star wrote in her book. She ended up seeing a doctor recommended by a family friend, who discovered a “polyp in my nasal cavity that would need to be surgically removed.”
At the time, Chopra Jonas felt thankful that a polypectomy “sounded like a pretty routine procedure,” but unfortunately for her, it didn’t go quite as planned. “While shaving off the polyp, the doctor also accidentally shaved the bridge of my nose and the bridge collapsed. When it was time to remove the bandages and the condition of my nose was revealed, Mom and I were horrified. My original nose was gone. My face looked completely different. I wasn’t me anymore,” she said.
The procedure left Chopra Jonas feeling “devastated and hopeless,” she wrote. “Every time I looked in the mirror, a stranger looked back at me, and I didn’t think my sense of self or my self-esteem would ever recover from the blow.”
Dealing with the aftermath of the botched surgery was made even more difficult due to her newfound stardom. She remembers the media giving her a nickname — “Plastic Chopra” — after her surgery. “Let’s just call it out right now. Immediately the name started to show up in articles and newspaper items and it has followed me my entire professional life,” Chopra Jonas said.
While she felt “dared to give an explanation for the obviously different nose” over the years, the actress decided to “draw a line” and simply keep it private. “I am an entertainer. That’s what I’ve signed on to do, and that’s what I love doing. I will say my lines, dance my dance, hit my mark. I’ll do my best to make you laugh, and I’ll do my best to make you cry, but just because I’m a public person doesn’t mean everything about my life has to be public knowledge. I get to choose what I share and when I share it,” she wrote.
She ultimately ended up getting multiple corrective surgeries to fix the damage that was done during the polypectomy, and now, the star feels like her “nose normalized.”
“While it took a few years of seeing a stranger gazing back at me every time I looked in the mirror, I’ve gotten accustomed to this face. Now when I look in the mirror, I am no longer surprised; I’ve made peace with this slightly different me,” Chopra Jonas said. “This is my face. This is my body. I might be flawed, but I am me.”