Samantha Womack verbally attacked over cot death storyline

Samantha Womack was verbally attacked in the street this week as more than 6,000 complaints are recorded in response to the controversial Eastenders baby swap storyline

Samantha Womack, who plays Ronnie Branning in the popular TV soap, was feeling the strain of EastEnders’ controversial cot death storyline as she returned to her North London home last night.

The actress has been at the centre of a backlash against the storyline, which saw her character, Ronnie Branning,exchange her dead baby with the healthy baby boy of Kat Moon, who had also just given birth.

It is reported that a member of the public verbally attacked the actress in the street, calling her ‘a murdering ****’ while she was with her children Benjamin and Lily-Rose.

A source told The Sun: ‘Samantha has received such vile abuse this week. Having to act that storyline was bad enough, having it filter into her home life is even more awful.’

Viewing figures showed EastEnders at the top of the popularity chart, with an average of 11.4 million tuning in on Christmas Day, but thousands of loyal fans were revolted at the cot death storyline claiming the BBC had missed an opportunity to educate a whole new generation of mothers.

‘The current storyline allows for an exit for Ronnie Branning,’ said an EastEnders spokesperson. ‘Samantha Womack has been a major part of the show’s success in recent years and she will continue to work with us until her departure later this year.’

Samantha Womack has resigned from the show and will reportedly leave in May. Her agent Michael Wiggs insisted: ‘There’s no truth whatsoever in any suggestion that Sam is quitting Eastenders over the current storyline.’

Do viewers get too involved in the fiction of TV soaps? Do you think the soap successfully highlighted the important issue of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Or is the storyline a step too far?

Whatever your thoughts, however extreme, Marie Claire wants to hear from you by posting a comment below.

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