Emmerdale’s Roxy Shahidi opens up about trauma from daughter’s premature birth

Roxy Shahidi has opened up about the lasting impact of her daughter’s premature birth.

Roxy, who is best known for her role as Leyla Harding on ITV soap Emmerdale, is currently a mum to a six-year-old girl, who she shares with her husband Arsher Ali.

Amid ITV’s ongoing new reality show, Drama Queens, Roxy has now detailed her fierce protection of her daughter.


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In an interview with OK!, the mum-of-one - who has never publicly revealed her little girl’s name - detailed why she refrained from featuring her in Drama Queens.

“With my daughter, we didn’t feel quite ready to put her on screen,” the 41-year-old admitted. 

“Arsher and I have never shared her before on social media or anything like that, and we made the decision not to do that with this as well. My husband doesn’t appear either, but that’s just because he was away working at the time,” she explained.


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Roxy, who made her first appearance on Emmerdale in 2008, went on to express her ongoing struggles with ‘mum guilt’.

“I think every mother has mum guilt, and for me, I feel the most guilty when I’ve actually had a really nice weekend away without my husband or daughter,” she joked.

“But it’s so important to work through that guilt, because if you don’t, you never do anything that’s just for you, whether that’s work or socialising. Those things allow you to be a better parent,” she continued.


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In one episode of Drama Queens, Roxy chose to open up about the traumatic experience of her daughter’s premature birth.

“For a long time, I held on to trauma from that. At the time, I didn’t have counselling, but now I’m seeing an amazing therapist and having EMDR [Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing], which helps you process trauma,” Roxy reflected. 

“I’m not an absolute wreck about it, but I also think it’s very healthy to talk about the fact that you’re seeing a therapist, because it’s still something shrouded in shame. For me, it’s been the most healing, progressive, empowering thing,” she praised further.