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'EastEnders' Rita Simons shocked by daughter 'abuser' accusation

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EastEnders actress Rita Simons has spoken about the opposition to her choice to allow an operation to help her deaf daughter Maiya hear again.

She and her husband Theo Silveston decided that the 6-year-old should have a cochlear implant to give her hearing in both ears.

British Soap Awards 2012: Rita Simons

© Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders

© BBC



The 35-year-old actress, who plays Walford's Roxy Mitchell, claimed that she was branded an "abuser" by one member of the public.

Reflecting on the "extraordinary" hostility towards the decision, Simons told Hello magazine: "It comes mainly from people who firmly believe deafness should be embraced rather than treated as a physical deficiency that should be corrected.

"I totally respect their point of view. But when a 19-year-old girl told me I was an 'abuser' to let my child have a cochlear implant, I was horrified and deeply hurt.

"I would throw myself in front of a bus for my girls - and yet I was being judged by someone who didn't know me or understand my emotional stance at all."

Simons further explained: "We know it's not a miracle cure and her hearing won't be perfect.

"But, in time, her brain will process what it is hearing and compensate, making sounds more familiar to her."

> EastEnders Rita Simons reveals pain over daughter's deafness
> Rita Simons: 'My daughter is deaf'

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