AceShowbiz - Antonio Banderas' girlfriend has recognized his speedy recovery from COVID-19 as the "greatest gift" he could have received for his 60th birthday.
The "Pain and Glory" actor revealed he had contracted the respiratory disease as he hit the age milestone in early August (20), and although his partner Nicole Kimpel made sure they marked the special day, she confesses it didn't feel right to do anything lavish.
She said, "We celebrated because every year of life is something to celebrate. But this wasn't really the year for parties. The greatest gift was his quick recovery."
The star's ability to overcome the potentially-fatal virus came as a big relief for Nicole, but she is still perplexed as to how she managed to avoid infection.
"We suffered the same doubts (about recovery) as everybody who caught the virus," she told Hello! magazine. "At the start, you're frightened because you don't know how badly you'll be affected."
"In Antonio's case, his main symptoms were severe muscle aches and fatigue, and he bore up well. He's a very strong man and he's in great physical shape."
"It's a difficult virus to decipher - you don't know why some people get it and not others. We were in close contact because I was caring for him, but I didn't catch it."
Antonio announced he beat the virus in a tweet posted on August 25. "After 21 days of disciplinary confinement I can say now that today I overcame the Covid 19 infection," he posted at the time. "I am cured. My thoughts go to those who weren't as fortunate as me, and to those who suffered more than I did. I also wish strength to the ones who are in the middle of the fight."