EastEnders' Rita Simons says close friendship with co-star helped her through divorce

Dan Seddon
·2-min read
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

EastEnders star Rita Simons has said that close friend Samantha Womack was her "rock" throughout her divorce from Theo Silveston.

The pair memorably played Walford sisters Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell for a whole decade between 2007 and 2017, and their bond wasn't just limited to on-screen.

In conversation with OK! magazine, Simons spoke candidly about her separation from Silveston after 14 years of marriage, while tipping her hat to Womack's support.

"Sam and I go through everything at the same time," she said, referring to her former co-star's split from husband Mark.

"If it wasn't for Sam and a handful of close friends, I'd have gone mad. Sam has been my rock and I think she'd tell you I've been hers."

Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images

Discussing her "desperately unhappy" situation a couple of years ago, Simons went on to recall: "I had so much going on at home I was driving myself mad working to try to forget about everything else. I was physically ill every other week and I lost loads of weight.

"I lost a stone in the [I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!] jungle and then another three-and-a-half pounds. I didn't have a life."

The 43-year-old continued: "Every night I would go on stage in the West End in Everybody's Talking About Jamie having just had some fraught conversation with Theo, and later on having just received legal letters.

"And I would just cry, go on stage, come off, cry and respond."

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