Judy Ann Santos and Sharon Cuneta perform in a 2010 episode of 'Sharon.' ABS-CBN
MANILA - Judy Ann Santos expressed her support for screen veteran Sharon Cuneta, who recently admitted in an open letter to her fans that she is "going through one of the lowest times of my life and career."
Santos was asked for her reaction to Cuneta's statements Wednesday on the sidelines of a press conference for ABS-CBN's new reality TV series, "I Do," which she will host starting August 30.
According to Santos, who co-starred with Cuneta in the 2002 drama film "Magkapatid," they have remained in constant communication despite not seeing each other personally for a long time.
Santos said she visited Cuneta at her home last Monday, the same day the 48-year-old singer posted her emotional message on Facebook.
"[Binisita ko siya] para lang mangumusta, para lang makipag-kuwentuhan, gano'n naman kami," Santos said. "And ako, I'm very grateful na hanggang ngayon, na-preserve ko 'yung friendship ko with Ate Sharon, kasi it's something na talagang hindi mo makikita sa ibang tao."
Asked how Cuneta is doing now, after her letter made headlines and announcing her intent to "go back to basics," Santos said the "Madrasta" star is making steps to better her situation.
"She's doing okay. She's coping. She's trying to work things out. Yes, she said naman in her post na dumaan siya sa state of depression and state of loneliness," Santos said.
'We're here for her'
In her letter, Cuneta admitted she had become complacent and "let herself become fat," which she said negatively affected her career and her behavior towards her peers.
"I was going through a mid-life crisis, the effects of which I could never have foreseen. My reaction to it was awful; I became rebellious because I hated myself for the way I looked and the time I continued to waste by not focusing and working on bettering my own person.
"And each time I rebelled, often offending other people by being inconsiderate of their time and all else that I used to respect in and about them, I just felt worse and worse about myself. I was not 'me.' I hit mid-life and didn't know how to deal with it. I was lost. And then when I got used to it, I saw what had changed around me," Cuneta said.
Santos said Cuneta acknowledged the mistakes she had made, and will need the support of her friends and family to help her get through this rough patch.
"All I can say now is ang daming acceptance and realization ni Ate, so she's doing good, she's doing well," Santos said. "Ang hinihingi niya lang siguro ngayon sa mga tao is understanding and prayers na ma-overcome niya kung anuman 'yung struggles na puinagdadaanan niya."
"And that's why we're here for her, mga kaibigan niya," she said.