Katie Jarvis blasted by victim

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Katie Jarvis pleaded guilty last month credit:Bang Showbiz
Katie Jarvis pleaded guilty last month credit:Bang Showbiz

A woman suffered panic attacks and had to leave her job after being racially abused by Katie Jarvis.

The former 'EastEnders' actress - who portrayed Hayley Slater - admitted racially aggravated harassment and common assault and was sentenced to a two-year community order last month following the incident in Southend in July 2020, but Michelle Antonio insisted the punishment was too lenient.

She told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “How can racism like this still be going on in the 2020s? You think things have changed, but nothing has.

"I’ve been sitting here stressing myself out for two years, I feel like I’ve been wasting my time...

“As the court case came up, I was getting panic attacks, feeling stressed, thinking ‘oh my God, I wish that we didn’t have to go through this’.

“I had to leave my work as a college student engagement officer, which I loved.

“Her sentence is a slap on the wrist. I thought she’d get something more than that.”

Katie initially pleaded not guilty when she first appeared in court in May 2021, and waiting for the trial left Michelle feeling "more isolated and withdrawn" before she eventually gave up her job in November after being hit by panic attacks.

She said: “I felt mentally unstable in regards to what was going on. My head was just all over the place.”

And on the day the actress was due to stand trial, she changed her plea to guilty.

Michelle added: I think it was a liberty, she could have just admitted it from the start.”

Michelle and her children were eating in a diner when she clashed with the 30-year-old actress and her friends after they tried to take a chair from her table.

She recalled: “Katie shouted 'Back lives don’t matter, I’m a celebrity' – on and on and on. She called me and my daughters black c***s.

“I was so shaken up and angry, frustrated, upset, embarrassed."

After the case was over, the 'Fish Tank' actress insisted she wasn't racist and issued a statement apologising to those who were "rightly offended" by her behaviour on the day in question.

However, Michelle insisted she had never received a personal apology.

She said: “Katie Jarvis claims she isn’t racist but when people are drunk, the truth comes out – and those words came out of her mouth. She made a public apology but not a personal one to me and I was the one that was being abused.

“She should never work again. If she’s lost money, that’s because of her behaviour. If I’d done that I wouldn’t be able to work with young people again, so it should be one rule for all.”

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