EastEnders’ Rita Simons ‘wanted to hurt herself’ over depression amid divorce

Former EastEnders star Rita Simons has detailed falling into a "deep depression" following the breakdown of her 14 year marriage.

The 44 year old had been separated from her hairdresser Theo Silveston for two years before the pair, who share twin daughters Jaimee and Maiya, 15, officially divorced in 2020.

And the soap star has explained that her mental health took a turn following the split, and she had to force herself to "get out there" to work because she's a "grafter".

However, despite her efforts to stay focused on her career, the actress admitted that she reached a "crisis point" while touring with the play The Cold House on Cold Hill in 2019.


"There were some stairs on the set that I came on stage on, quite high at the top," she told The Sun.

"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."

Rita, who played Roxy Mitchell on the BBC soap, added to the publication that despite the "cold and clinical" divorce, she now remains good friends with her ex-husband Theo.

At the time of their split, Rita's agent told The Daily Star: "Rita and Theo have been separated for almost two years, and Theo moved out of the family home some time ago.

"They are currently finalising their divorce and amicably co-parenting their two daughters."

"The split has been a big change for Rita, but she knows it's the right decision," said the insider.

Last year, Rita opened up on being in a "dark place" and feeling "properly broken" amid her divorce from Theo.

She described the split to OK! as "one of the worst times" of her life.

Rita has now moved on and has found love with her Legally Blonde co-star Ben Harlow. They met in 2017 and began dating in 2020.

Rita joined EastEnders in 2007 and starred alongside Samantha Womack's character Ronnie for ten years.

Bosses decided to kill off the characters in 2017 and Rita has since gone on to star in a series of stage roles, including playing Caro Harcourt in The House on Cold Hill and Miss Hedge in Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

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