Emmerdale actress Gemma Oaten reveals she was forced onto benefits for a year when work dried up

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GEMMA Oaten has revealed she was forced onto benefits for a year after worked dried up.

The former Emmerdale star, 38, said the experience was a “devastating low” for her and thanked her parents for their support.

Gemma as Emmerdale’s Rachel, with Sam Dingle actor James Hooton

In a new interview Gemma was asked if she’d ever struggled with money.

She replied: “The worse time was at the start of lockdown in 2020.

“I was on tour, doing a play called Ten Times Table by Alan Ayekbourn. It was cancelled and, like many people in the industry, I got no compensation.”

Gemma continued to the Daily Mail: “All the theatres were closed, the TV studios stopped producing and I had no money coming in.

“People think if you’ve been on television you must have money. But I was renting and I started having sleepless nights about my bills.

“So I took a deep breath and did what a lot of people did. I went on Universal Credit and I was on it for about a year, and I also got the self-employment grant from the government.”

Sharing a shot of the interview on Instagram, Gemma added: “I am so grateful to my amazing parents for teaching me the value of life over money, and for always keeping me grounded.

“And also for supporting me during my wonderful highs and my devastating lows. A few of both scenarios I touch on in this article.”

Gemma starred as Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale from 2011 until 2015.

She also appeared in the now-axed BBC One drama Holby City, playing Sydney Somers.

The actress called being forced onto benefits a “devastating low”

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