Rita Simons: It ate me up keeping marriage breakdown quiet

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Rita Simons says it 'ate her up' keeping her marriage breakdown quiet credit:Bang Showbiz
Rita Simons says it 'ate her up' keeping her marriage breakdown quiet credit:Bang Showbiz

Former 'EastEnders' star Rita Simons says it "ate her up" keeping her marriage breakdown quiet, and she once considered throwing herself down the stairs.

The 44-year-old actress - who played Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap from 2007 to 2017 – married hairdresser Theo Silverston in 2004, but they split 2018, and she has told how their divorce - which was made official in 2020 - sent her into a "depression".

She said: “It was a deep sadness, I would say a depression. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

“I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to be ‘out there’. But I had to be and so, because I’m a grafter, I did that thing when you throw yourself into work.

“It was all kind of lumped into one big mess and I was very ill a lot of the time. I lost a lot of weight. And I wasn’t telling people about the marriage because although my kids knew, I didn’t want them reading about it. That just ate me up, not being able to tell people what was really going on.”

Rita - who is the niece of business mogul Lord Sugar - threw herself into stage work to avoid the pain, despite suffering from anxiety and OCD.

She added: “I was bouncing around from job to job. I pretty much worked 13 years without a break.”

It wasn’t until she joined 2019’s ‘The House On Cold Hill’ that she hit rock bottom.

The theatre star - who is now dating her 'Legally Blonde: The Musical' co-star Ben Harlow - added to The Sun newspaper: “There were some stairs on the set that I came on stage on, quite high at the top.

“And I thought I could just chuck myself down. I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to hurt myself enough to go to hospital and have someone look after me. That was scary.

“There was my anxiety, depression and OCD, but in the centre of all of that there was a really sad divorce happening.”

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