Rosie Marcel, one of Holby City's best-loved character, has spoken for the first time about how the love of her boyfriend, gym owner Ben Stacey, helped her survive a campaign of terror by a fan turned stalker who threatened to kill her.
The 35-year-old actress, who plays ice-queen surgeon Jac Naylor, tells HELLO!: "He is responsible for putting happiness back in my life when I was going through a terrible, terrible time. Ben also helped me feel better about myself when I had lost all my self-confidence."
It is with his support that she talks for the first time about the seemingly harmless fan - who received a two and a half year sentence - whose actions contributed to the end of her marriage and took a toll on her health.
"I was in fear of my life. I felt lost, like I didn't know who I was. I didn't recognise myself. I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. It got to a point where one day I thought, 'I'll just walk out into the road,'" says Rosie, who believes that stalking should be taken more seriously in this country.
She was subjected to a terrifying ordeal which she describes in HELLO!, in which she received threatening emails, and fake accounts were set up in her name on social media sites. She says she is angry that she was unable to get a single one shut down.
"We should also take trolling seriously. Such bullying is destroying people's lives," says Rosie who was accused of having affairs and that she had aborted her husband's baby, as well as receiving chilling messages saying it would take dental records to identify her.
"The vile, disgusting messages from the stalker played havoc with our lives. I was guilt ridden. I felt like I was putting everyone in my family under stress. It got so bad I blamed myself for it."
Last month, the woman in question was given a two-and-a-half year prison sentence after pleading guilty to putting a person in fear of violence by harassment. Police found walls plastered with newspaper cuttings and photographs of Rosie at the woman's home.
Now, at last, moving on from her ordeal with the man she reveals she hopes to marry. "I don't need a proposal to know I want to marry Ben," she says. 30-year-old Ben found it heartbreaking to watch her go through such an ordeal, "But I guess it made us close very quickly. We were experiencing emotions that we wouldn't normally experience for months or years down the line."
To read more of the interview with Rosie, pick up the latest issue of HELLO!
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