Emmerdale actress Shila Iqbal has fired back at soap bosses for sacking her over historic offensive tweets.
Shila, who played Aiesha Richards on the ITV show and was only made a series regular at the end of March, was sacked when offensive messages she sent on social media in 2013 resurfaced.
But the actress, 24, insists she should never have been let go over the tweets, instead they should have taken into account the fact she was remorseful and given her a second chance.
“It was easy for them to let go of me and I suppose make an example of me," she told The Sun. "Going forward, the bosses could maybe think about talking to that individual properly and really understanding them and not taking immediate action.
"Maybe if I’d gone in with a different attitude and said, ‘Oh no that’s not me’ or I didn’t own up to it or I wasn’t apologetic, but from the get-go I was angry and disappointed in myself."
She added: "I was remorseful, and I think that should have been taken into account with my young age and the fact that I wasn’t a professional actor at that age."
The actress now fears the sacking could have lasting damage on the future of her career.
It was easy for them to let go of me and I suppose make an example of me.
She went on to say that she hopes people "can give me a second chance, I hope people can see that that is not the person I am".
A rep for Emmerdale has told the Mirror: "We offered Shila Iqbal support when this situation happened. We asked her if there was anyone we could contact who could come in and support her, a relative or friend. We also said she could call any of us at any time.
"She repeatedly said she was fine and didn’t want any help. We also immediately contacted her agent who offered her advice and support."
One of the tweets sent from Shila's Twitter account six years ago while she was attending college in Rochdale read: "Do not tweet me you gay."
Another said: "I know too many noisy [expletive]."
In a statement released just after her sacking, she explained: "I am terribly sorry and take full responsibility for my use of such inappropriate language.
"I have paid the price and can no longer continue the job I loved the most at Emmerdale. Although I was young when I made the tweets, it was still completely wrong of me to do so and I sincerely apologise."
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