Jillian Michaels says she was misquoted on pregnancy claims

NBC Universal Summer Press Day
Last week, Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels drew ire with some comments in Women’s Health in which she said she would rather adopt than have biological children because “I can’t handle doing that to my body.” She added “Also, when you rescue something, it’s like rescuing a part of yourself.” I took issue at both Michaels’ reason for not having biological children, and the way she phrased her desire to adopt. It was as if she were looking for a pet that would provide personal fulfillment. Many of you took me to task and said that it was Michaels’ prerogative not to have children for whatever reason and at least she was being honest.

Now Michaels is trying to clarify her comments. She’s not saying that she didn’t say she wanted to adopt in order to keep her fit body. Michaels claims that some outlets put words in her mouth though and added that she said pregnancy would “ruin” her body or that she refused or “won’t” get pregnant due to that. It sounds like she’s splitting hairs, but I hear what she’s saying. She said she’d probably chose adoption but didn’t rule out pregnancy, and in the repeating her claims became more severe-sounding than they were. In her denial, Jillian kind of hints that she has some medical issue that would make it impossible to have children, at least that’s the impression I got from this:

Jillian Michaels is upset with some media outlets for misquoting her comments regarding pregnancy.

“The Biggest Loser” trainer is angry that she was mistakenly quoted as having told the May 2010 issue of Women’s Health that she wants children, but didn’t plan to get pregnant because it would “ruin” her body.

“I never ever said that,” Jillian told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman as she promoted her new show, “Losing It With Jillian,” as part of NBC’s Summer Press Day on Monday in Pasadena.

“The word ‘won’t’ and the word ‘ruin’ are not even in the article,” Jillian said emphatically. “It’s amazing, everybody’s asking about this and I’m like, ‘Did you read the article?’ ‘No I didn’t read the article.’”

What Jillian did tell the magazine about pregnancy is: “I’m going to adopt,” and, “I can’t handle doing that to my body.”

The trainer added she is shocked by the public’s reaction considering she was misquoted.

“I can’t understand how people can judge or question something that they haven’t even bothered to find out if it’s real or not,” she told Laura.

When asked to set the record straight, Jillian said her comments were too complex to get into during the press day.

“It’s more complicated, way more complicated than that and again, that’s not what I’m here to do today, but I used the word ‘can’t’ and I used the word ‘handle,’” she said. “‘Handle’ is not ‘ruin’ and ‘can’t’ is not ‘won’t.’

”‘Won’t’ is a choice,” Jillian continued.

Jillian added that the controversy has affected the pint-sized trainer deeply.

“I’m disappointed about the way that my words have been twisted by the media. ‘Heartbroken’ is actually more the word I’m looking for,” she said. “I support all women in any and every endeavor they choose and I wish that they would do the same for me.”

[From Access Hollywood, link has automatic video]

Is she saying she really “can’t” have kids and that it’s not a choice? If she’s heartbroken by the way this has been portrayed I kind of feel for her whether she has some medical issue or not. She shouldn’t have said all that if she didn’t want it to be analyzed, though. The magazine didn’t misquote her, either, from what she’s said. So she “can’t handle doing that [pregnancy] to [her] body.” Fair enough, pregnancy is not for everyone. I’m just curious as to why she’s so upset and defensive, though. She admits she basically said it, just that the words were a little different and she never said “ruin” or “won’t.” It just doesn’t make sense to me why she would be so upset at people paying attention to what she said unless there was something else going on.

NBC Universal Summer Press Day

NBC Universal Summer Press Day

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27 Responses to “Jillian Michaels says she was misquoted on pregnancy claims”

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  1. Obvious says:

    i’d split hairs too. The way it came across wasn’t pretty. and then the backlash. i’d try to clarify myself too. however i’m curious as to the reasons which she said she couldn’t go into on press day.

  2. canadianchick says:

    Fug and self-righteous smug, what a lucky future adopted child she may have someday.

  3. Lisa says:

    Who cares…it’s her choice and as women, why is admitting you don’t want kids or to have biological kids such an issue, there are plenty of kids that need good loving homes…

  4. bite me says:

    bitch you said it. so own it.

  5. AC says:

    there’s nothing wrong with what she said. also maybe she has weak kidneys and actually can’t handle doing that to her body…

  6. freckles says:

    When the controversy first happened I wondered if what she meant by “I can’t do that to my body” was more like her suggesting she has some kind of reproductive or another kind of issue, and that pregnancy would put her at risk because of it. But I immediately dismissed it because I really, really don’t like her :P

    I too find it odd that she wouldn’t try to explain what she meant. So she went out of her way to tell us she was misquoted, but she refused to clarify what she really meant? Seems strange to me. Whatevs.

    And #3, I totally agree! But whoever said Jillian could love anyone but herself? :)

  7. Q says:

    I agree that this has been blown way out of proportion, and I get why she’s defensive. She was overweight and now she’s fit – - but that doesn’t erase the psychological scars of having been overweight. She certainly wouldn’t be the first formerly-overweight person in the world to be pathologically afraid of “going back.” Everything she has – her whole career – is based on her fitness. I can’t even imagine that kind of pressure to remain fit.

    But I agree that her adoption comments were a little pet-like. I call it bad word choice.

  8. bellaluna says:

    Kind of like Rielle Hunter? Wonder if it was recorded…

  9. ligeia says:

    noone ever gives a shit if a man doesn’t want to have kids. that is his god given right. but if a woman states she doesn’t want kids for whatever reason its burn the witch at the public stake time. let her be. the orphanages across the world are not empty.

  10. Lilias says:

    I agree that there must be something else going on. No one gets that defensive over nothing.

    “So she went out of her way to tell us she was misquoted, but she refused to clarify what she really meant?”

    Maybe it’s because it’s a medical issue that’s none of our business? Maybe it’s a psychological issue that’s none of our business?

  11. ashleigh says:

    If she really has been mis-quoted regarding why she wouldn’t get pregnant, then she has a right to be angry. The two quotes seem completely different to me. I’m choosing to build a family through adoption, in part because my family has a history of multiple miscarriages. I’m NOT WILLING to go through a miscarriage. That’s a choice, and it’s a completely legitimate choice to make.

    Having said that, I still hate the way that she phrased the choice of adoption. It’s not a second best. It’s not rescuing something. Adoption is a way to build your family that is based on grief and loss for at least some of the parties involved, including the child. To act as though you are rescuing or saving someone makes it likely that you will expect the child to be grateful. Since I started working in child welfare, I’ve come across this quote that I think should be mandatory discussion material with all adoptive parents.

    “Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful”

  12. Miss Thang says:

    So, she has a severe emotional trauma from being fat? I think this is what she’s getting at. Either way, it’s her choice, and I don’t think people are upset because she simply doesn’t want to have kids. They’re upset because she doesn’t want to have kids because she “can’t handle” what it will do to her body. Essentially, she still has body issues from her youth and I agree that she’s probably not the best person to coach other people in weightloss because of that reason. HOWEVER, she’s a fitness expert NOT a body image expert.
    Meanwhile, I don’t think she actually clarified anything with this interview.

  13. Lucinda says:

    I completely agree that if a man said he won’t have children, no one would give it a second thought. It’s like a woman should be so grateful she has the ability to bear children that she has no right to suggest she might not want to do that.

    If in fact she cannot bear children, I can see her being very angry that her words were misconstrued while still feeling like she doesn’t need to share her medical history with the entire world. If she can’t have children, she should be pissed. And NO, she does NOT have to explain why she can’t have kids. That’s her business and no one else’s.

    Personally, I don’t get all the hub-bub. Even if she had said she won’t have kids, who cares? That’s her choice. Seriously people.

  14. Cath says:

    This is just ridic. You know what else works? Saying “I believe in adoption.” Period. And leaving it at that. This whole thing reeks of “OH NOES, I SAID SOMETHING PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE” backpedaling. It’s the verbal equivalent of a dumb celeb deleting something from Twitter.

  15. lucy2 says:

    I figured before that it was a poor choice of words, but this clarification didn’t really clarify anything for me.

    It does kind of sound like there’s something else going on, but here’s what I don’t get with celebs – if it’s too personal to discuss, don’t discuss it! No one holds a gun to their heads and demands they talk about such things, you can always say “I don’t care to discuss private matters like that publicly” and be done with it. So many of them put stuff like this out there and then get mad when people pay attention to it.

  16. JC126 says:

    Lay off her, I say. It’s no one’s business if she has gyn issues, and she doesn’t owe anyone a clarification.

  17. Catherine says:

    I don’t see the problem with what she said. She was honest that she didn’t want kids to lose her body, which is totally understandable when her body is her career. She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation of what she will and will not do with her body.

  18. freckles says:

    #10: I said that because I was under the impression she had meant to disclose it during the interview but it didn’t come across, but she didn’t want to take the time to try again. Not that she had been skirting around a medical/psychological issue all along. I just got something different out of what she said, no need to be hostile.

  19. mrbaskums says:

    I find it more obnoxious that she was even asked if she wanted kids.

  20. Moore says:

    The two quotes are completely different. Seeing as how the reasons are probably very personal, I can understand wanting to defend what was said without feeling the need to get personal with it. People should just accept her choice and quit hounding her for it.

  21. Lilias says:


    I wasn’t being hostile. You insinuated that she flatly refused to talk about it as though we are somehow entitled to know and I disagreed. Nothing hostile about it.

  22. Cletus says:

    who the hell is this person? I’ve never heard of her.

  23. embertine says:

    Catherine at #17, I couldn’t agree more. I am sick to the back teeth of women having to justify, in law and in society in general, what they want to do with their own damn body.

    So what if she doesn’t want to ruin her body with pregnancy? Given the horror stories you hear about uterine prolapses, cracked nipples, incontinence etc it’s a wonder anyone wants to go through it.

  24. westender says:

    Maybe all these celebrities when they are asked personal questions like that, should turn around and ask the interviewer the same question. If she wants to or does not want to give birth to a child that is her own business

  25. Karin says:

    If she doesn’t want kids then ANY reason is a good reason. She has every right in the world to not want kids for whatever reasons she finds appropriate…mostly because there is no exact reason for wanting or not wanting kids. It’s a life preference and all the “reasons” never add up. For HER, the idea of having a bio kid doesn’t justify what her body will go through to create such a child. In a world where there are PLENTY of people to go around, there is absolutely no problem with this.

  26. original kate says:

    this is such a non-story.

  27. Char says:

    THANK GOD she doesn’t want to be a mother! If she ever “rescued” someone it should be herself for her stupid commnents about how motherhood will ruing your body etc.
    Get over yourself Jill. I really do pity you though because you will NEVER understand the joy of love, life or motherhood because you are too stuck on yourself!