April 26, 2011 -- Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was "outed" as she sought treatment for bipolar II disorder, her husband, actor Michael Douglas, said on the "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in an interview scheduled to air today.
"I must say, Catherine's being quite open about it because she was outed, you know," Douglas, 66, said. "She went to go get some help and some other patient probably in there said, 'Hey, you won't believe who's in here now.' And, so, once that happens, I think she felt [it] best to kind of get out the story."
The couple, who married in 2000, and their family have had a difficult year.
"My oldest son ... is in federal prison. My ex-wife is suing me and I got cancer," said Douglas, who was diagnosed last year with throat cancer.
Douglas' eldest son, Cameron, 32, was sent to prison last year after being convicted of dealing the drug crystal meth. Douglas' ex-wife, Diandra, is suing him for a bigger portion of the profits Douglas made from the movie "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
Through it all, Zeta -Jones, 41, has been stoic, Douglas told Winfrey.
Sharon Cotliar, an assistant editor at People magazine, said Douglas' cancer struggle took its toll on Zeta-Jones.
"Catherine has talked about the fact that Michael is incredibly strong," Cotliar told "Good Morning America." "It was very hard for her during his cancer treatment to watch him lose weight and not be the energetic man he always has been.
"It's been very difficult for them but I think now they are very united, they know what 'for better or for worse' means and they are looking forward to some 'for better.'"
Support for the actress has been overwhelming, and her revelation about her illness might have far-reaching implications.
"It's very unusual for a star like Catherine Zeta-Jones to come forward with this kind of diagnosis," Cotliar said. "And come clean, and say 'This is what I have.' She is hoping to de-stigmatize this illness.
"She is hoping that people will be inspired to get help themselves if they're struggling. ... The fact that she came forward and announced to the world that she has bipolar II disorder really meant a lot to people, especially people who are struggling with [it]. So I think it will be only be positive for her career."
Douglas said his wife is doing well, and that she is already back to work shooting a movie. The actor also told Winfrey that his monthly checkups reveal that he remains cancer-free.