Loose Women panellist Nadia Sawalha broke down in tears while talking about the death of her first husband on the show, as she discussed her life before Loose Women.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show, all of the panellists will be revealing what they did before the show in a segment called Life Before Loose.
Nadia opened up about the death of her first husband, Justin Mildwater, in 1997 while she was starring in EastEnders, after he died by suicide.
She had married Justin in 1992, but they had split up after five years and he took his own life just months later.
The presenter and actress broke down as she spoke about Justin’s death, telling the audience: ‘I had a real tragedy while I was [on EastEnders], my first husband died and it was a truly, truly awful time for everybody.
‘I had to carry on working, I was in the middle of a very big storyline. That was really hard because when somebody dies, so many people have an idea of how you should behave and how you should be.
‘I remember just saying, “Can someone give me the book on what I’m supposed to be doing?”’
She revealed that one of the first people to reach out to her was her co-star Wendy Richard, who played Pauline Fowler on the soap, who offered her a place to stay if she needed to get away.
‘One of the first calls I got was from Wendy Richard,’ she revealed. ‘I’ll never forget it, she said “I can have a car there straight away, you can come to the flat, you can stay as long as you like”.
‘I didn’t take her up because I was really scared of her, but it was such a lovely thing to do, it really was.’
She said back in 2000 that Justin’s family haven’t spoken to her since his death, telling The Mirror: ‘My husband committed suicide after I’d left him and it’s been hard. I loved Justin very much. I just wasn’t in love with him any more.
‘My real agony is his family, who haven’t spoken to me since. They were very angry with me. It causes me terrible grief and it always will.’
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