Ex EastEnders star Rita Simons reveals she ‘lost a stone as she battled depression’ amid secret split from husband


EX EastEnders star Rita Simons has revealed she lost a stone in weight and battled depression amid her secret split from husband Theo Silverston.

The 43-year-old actress, who played Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap, believed she was having a nervous breakdown when the couple headed for divorce in 2019 after 14 years of marriage.

Rita Simons and husband Theo Silverston split in 2019

The I’m A Celebrity star recalled constantly crying as their marriage crumbled and she was slammed with work, as she bravely opened up about her health battle in an interview with OK! Magazine.

Rita shared: “I was working non-stop and doing well but I was desperately unhappy – not that anyone would have known.

“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.

The star in London returning from the I’m A Celebrity jungle in 2018

Rita with actor Ben Harlow, who she is now dating, in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

“I lost a stone in the jungle and then another three-and-a-half pounds. I didn’t have a life.

She went on: “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.

“I also had terrible insomnia for about a year. When I’m unhappy, my sleep is the first thing to go and then the knock-on is the depression and anxiety.

“I’d go as far as to say I had a nervous breakdown while working because I was so physically and emotionally finished, but I had to keep going.”

Rita has settled in a four bedroom house in Hertfordshire with their twin daughters Jaimee and Maiya and new puppy, Harry the Cocker Spaniel.

Rita and her daughter pictured in 2019

Rita with EastEnders co-star Sam Womack at an event in 2019

Ronnie and Roxy were firm favourites in EastEnders for years

She’s now dating actor Ben Harlow, 45, and says she’s the happiest she’s ever been partly thanks to his unwavering support.

She aded: “He is the sweetest, kindest man I’ve ever met. Anything I might get upset about, he manages to calm me down.

“He was one of the friends that, had it not been for him during all of my insanity, I wouldn’t have made it through.”

Rita became a star after joining EastEnders as Roxy in 2007, going on to play the feisty Mitchell sister alongside Samantha Womack’s Ronnie for ten years.

Rita on the red carpet at 2019’s Pride of Britain Awards in London

She was on the Square for a decade before leaving in 2017

Rita, who is the niece of billionaire businessman Lord Sugar, took up a place in the I’m A Celebrity jungle in 2018.

She was the fourth star to be eliminated, with football manager Harry Redknapp taking the crown.

As well as EastEnders, Rita has appeared in Sky dramas Dream Team and Mile High, plus ITV’s iconic fire service drama London’s Burning.