Bridgerton veteran Ruby Barker, who played Marina on the hit show, claims Netflix and Shonda Rhimes‘ Shondaland production company gave her no support when she suffered a pair of psychotic breaks.
In a discussion with Oxford University’s LOAF Podcast, the English actress explained her first break occurred in 2019 after she wrapped production on the show’s first season; the second occurred in 2022.
“Not a single person from Netflix, not a single person from Shondaland … have even contacted me or even emailed me to ask me if I’m okay or if I would benefit from any sort of aftercare or support,” she expressed. “Nobody.”
Barker’s character was “alienated, very ostracized” for getting pregnant out of wedlock, which the actress claimed was “tormenting” and led to her “deteriorating.”
“When I went into hospital a week after shooting Bridgerton Season 1, it was really covered up and kept on the down-low because the show was going to be coming out,” she said.
At the time, “I was just coming out from hospital … I had all these engagements to do.” Barker explained, “My life was changing drastically overnight and yet there was still no support and there still hasn’t been any support … So I was trying really, really hard to act like it was ok and that I could work and that it wasn’t a problem.”
She added, “It’s almost like I had this metaphorical invisible gun to my head to sell this show because this show is bubbly and fun..,” noting she feared her fledgling career would end if she spoke up.
Barker’s second hospitalization was more public, as she told her Instagram followers she had been “really unwell” and “struggling since Bridgerton.”
That said, at the time, she thanked the streaming service for “saving” her when she was cast.
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