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Rita Simons has candidly opened up on being in a “dark place” and feeling “properly broken” amid her divorce from Theo Silverston.

Ex-EastEnders star Rita, 43, candidly opened up to OK! magazine about secretly splitting from her husband Theo after 14 years of marriage.

And she has described the split as “one of the worst times” of her life.

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Speaking to OK! magazine, during which she revealed she lost more than a stone during the split, the actress admitted the pandemic and lockdown has helped her heal.

Rita revealed: “If anyone needed a mental and physical break, it was me. Just before [the first] lockdown, I was properly broken. I was three days into rehearsals for Hairspray and it was my sixth job on the trot with no break. Doing all that while trying to process a divorce is just crazy.

“The pandemic is awful and I’m nervous to say this, but in a way I was selfishly pleased. I’ve been able to be at home with my kids, who I haven’t spent any proper time with for three years.”


Rita added that the lockdowns have helped her “come out the other side”.

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” she said. “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.”

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Rita, who is now dating her theatre co-star Ben Harlow, revealed she had sought help from a psychologist who has supported her since a teen.

She said: “I’ve had therapy for my OCD since I was 14 and the same psychologist has helped me. I’ve also seen a therapist. The jungle [producers] were amazing and I also saw their psychologist. I knew in the jungle that I was getting divorced and no one else did. I had cameras on me all day – that did my head in. You don’t know what’s going on in the outside world.

“I don’t think I’d have survived without help. There were days where, I wouldn’t say I was suicidal, because I’ve never got to that point and I would never do it, but I was aware life would be better dead than alive, because I couldn’t see my kids and I was so far from home.

“My mind went to some major dark places. When I was on tour with a Peter James play I’d enter stage from a tall flight of stairs and I’d think, ‘If I just accidentally fall I could go to hospital and someone can look after me’. Then I’d snap out of it and think, ‘You’re an idiot.’

“It was scary to even have those thoughts. I can say it was one of the worst times of my life.”

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