Stephanie March's Plastic Surgery Nightmare Happened as Marriage to Bobby Flay Was "Disintegrating"

"I decided to change my body because I couldn't change my life," recalls actress, who was allergic to breast implants

By Rebecca Macatee Jun 28, 2016 6:12 PMTags
Stephanie March, Bobby FlayLarry Marano/Getty Images for amfAR

Stephanie March is now happily moving forward from her split from Bobby Flay, but the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star definitely hit some rough patches along the way.

In a candid piece for Refinery 29, the 41-year-old actress opens up about getting plastic surgery at a time when everything in her life—marriage to Flay included—seemed to be "disintegrating." March knew from the start having breast augmentation in 2014 "was the wrong decision, for so many reasons" and went on to have her implants removed—but she isn't ashamed of her story or her scars.

As March explains, she went under the knife for the wrong reasons. "Couldn't get a job I wanted on camera, couldn't get attention for my production projects, couldn't travel the world far enough or fast enough or immerse myself in philanthropy enough to make it all go away," she recalls. "It was like watching a glacier cleave into giant chunks: massive and seemingly well beyond my control. See, the other thing that was happening was that my marriage of nearly 10 years (and 14 together) was falling apart. And nothing, nothing was helping me cope..."

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Because March "could not fix it—any of it" she "decided to try one last thing," which admittedly, she writes, "was exactly what you are not supposed to do when it comes to plastic surgery. I decided to change my body because I couldn't change my life."

Initially, March was pleased with her decision. "In 5 weeks I looked darn good," she writes in her Refinery 29 piece. "Skinny from my misery. Nice breasts from my wallet. My life may have been falling apart, but this? This was pretty good."

It was pretty good, that is, until two months in when March "sat up in bed and felt a sickening wet mucus sliding down my chest." One of her implants was infected and the seams of its scar had burst. She was rushed in for corrective surgery, and then "had a hole in my breast for 6 weeks" before she "had the implant put back in." The second implant became infected, ruptured and was ultimately removed.

Stephanie March Has a New Boyfriend After Divorce From Bobby Flay via AP Images

March "had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall," but they ultimately reached the same conclusion: "The problem wasn't something anyone could have prevented or predicted—It was that I am allergic to implants. Plain and simple," she writes. "My body did. Not. Want. Them."

So March had the implants removed, for good. She writes for Refinery 29 that "a new person has seen my breasts" since—presumably boyfriend Dan Benton, a NYC-based CEO and technology investor—and that it "felt awkward at first: Those scars announce news about my medical history a little earlier than I might have wanted to share it."

But March's new man was "quite tender about it," she writes. More importantly, the actress has come to the conclusion that her ordeal "isn't about what anyone else thinks." March has "accepted this episode as part of my larger story," she writes, "and I refuse to be ashamed of it."

Read her entire essay on Refinery 29.

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