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Sam Taylor-Johnson reveals her past battle with colon and breast cancer

The Fifty Shades of Grey director has overcome two battles with cancer

by Ainhoa Barcelona

Sam Taylor-Johnson has opened up about her past battle with cancer and how the diagnoses led to a change in her lifestyle. The Fifty Shades of Grey director discovered she had colon cancer in 1997, six months after she welcomed her first child, Angelica, with her ex-husband Jay Jopling. She and art dealer Jay had only recently tied the knot. Sam, 50, overcame the health battle but three years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"The first time didn't change my perspective," Sam told The Hollywood Reporter. "The second time, I changed everything. I went through all the treatments. I did chemotherapy. I lost hair. I did the mastectomy. And then I changed my diet, my world, my art."

Sam has 'zero interest' in 50 Shades sequels

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Sam Taylor-Johnson and husband Aaron have two children

Changing her art meant becoming a film director, and it was on the set of her first feature, Nowhere Boy, that she met her second husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Sam, who was newly divorced at the time, was 42 while leading man Aaron was 18. Eyebrows were raised over their age gap, but Sam and Aaron went on to defy their critics, marrying in 2012 after welcoming two children.

"If I gave a second thought to other people, I would be the unhappiest person, probably still in a miserable marriage," said Sam. "People like to talk about it. I'm like, 'Yeah, but it works better than my last marriage.' It's lasted longer than a lot of my friends' marriages."

Why Sam didn't cast Aaron in 50 Shades

Aaron, 27, has previously defended their age gap, telling The Times: "I don't notice it now - we just instinctively gel." He added: "I knew I wanted to be with her. I wanted kids, we had kids and I was really into that, taking time off and involving myself in the bubble of her pregnancy."