Rita Simons, best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, says she felt so ‘deeply sad’ after splitting from her husband of 14 years Theo Silveston that she reached ‘crisis point’
EastEnders star Rita Simons has opened up about falling into a deep depression following the demise of her 14 year marriage.
The actress, 44, shot to fame playing Roxy Mitchell on the BBC soap and was an instant hit with her on-screen sister Ronnie.
However, things began to spiral for the mum-of-two when she split from her husband Theo Silveston in 2018.
The pair, who share twin daughters Jaimee and Maiya, 15, divorced in 2020 and Rita admits she fell into a “depression” and “deep sadness” during the separation.
Admitting that she felt like she wasn’t able to work, the actress said she had to force herself to ‘get out there’ because she’s a “grafter”.
Despite Rita’s determination, while touring with the play The Cold House on Cold Hill in 2019, the star admits she reached ‘crisis point’.
Speaking to The Sun she said: ” “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.”
Despite the “cold, clinical” divorce, Rita says the couple are still friends and have an amicable relationship.
Happily, the actress has now found love again with actor Ben Harlow – her Legally Blonde co-star.
The couple met in 2017 and began dating in 2020.
Of her romance Rita says Ben is “the loveliest man on the planet” and that it’s only because she’s “so happy” now she can see what a “mess” she was.
Rita’s character Roxy was killed off in EastEnders after she and Ronnie, played by Samantha Womack drowned in a swimming pool.
Fans were heartbroken when the blonde bombshells left the show with many calling for the pair’s return.
Rita revealed that “not a day goes by’ when someone doesn’t stop her in the street and ask her why her character was killed off.
She previously told the Daily Star Sunday : “I wish they hadn’t killed us off. I haven’t quite made peace with the fact we are dead.
“Both Sam and I were gutted. That decision was made by one person and we had no choice in the matter.”
However Rita now says she “eternally grateful” for the opportunities the soap provided her.