Holby City's Laila Rouass details extent of horrific racist abuse

Joe Anderton
·2-min read
Photo credit: Ferdaus Shamim - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ferdaus Shamim - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

This article contains details of racism that some readers may find distressing.

Holby City star Laila Rouass recently returned to the medical drama as Sahira Shah, and while promoting her comeback, she opened up about the horrific racism she has experienced in her life.

The actress, who is of Moroccan and Indian descent, told The Mirror that not only was she bullied for her ethnicity growing up, but she still faces racist comments to this day.

"I got piss thrown at me every single day," she said. "Just a couple of months ago some guy cut me up in his car and shouted: 'F*** off, you f*****g P***.'

"It’s terrible. If you tell people they don’t believe it happens so often."

Photo credit:  Mike Marsland/Wire Image for The National Lottery Awards 2011 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland/Wire Image for The National Lottery Awards 2011 - Getty Images

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Rouass added that she likes how her ethnicity is not addressed in her Holby role.

"One thing I love is that Sahira's ethnicity is never mentioned, even I’m not sure what it is," she said.

Laila previously played Sahira in Holby City from 2011 to 2012, with her character being a rival to Jac Naylor.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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Rouass also famously played Amber Gates in Footballers' Wives between 2004 and 2006, and starred in Primeval and Spooks.

In the realm of reality TV, she finished in fourth place on Strictly Come Dancing series 7 and also appeared on series 7 of Celebrity MasterChef.

Holby City airs on Tuesday nights on BBC One.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign.

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