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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

‘I’m deeply ashamed’: Miriam Margolyes admits to hitting her paralysed mother in emotional confession


Miriam Margolyes spoke about the frustrations of being a carer, which led her to strike her paralysed mother, during a dedicated episode of the BBC’s longrunning Imagine documentary series.

The 80-year-old actor told presenter Alan Yentob about her relationship with her late mother Ruth, whose health deteriorated after suffering a stroke. She died in 1974.

In her memoir released last year, Margolyes detailed her devoted relationship with her mother but admitted to Yentob that she had omitted one moment from the book.

“I didn’t mention something that I should have mentioned,” she said. “And that was that I hit my mother when she was paralysed.

“Anyone who’s been a carer will know how frustrating and difficult it is and I let that happen, I’m deeply ashamed of it.”

Margolyes visibly teared up while continuing: “The thing that really gets to me is that my mother forgave me. I hit her when she was paralysed and she forgave me.”

Mariam Margolyes and her mother in a photo provided to the BBC. (BBC)

In her autobiography, My Thoughts Exactly, Margolyes called her mother “the rock in my life”, according to HuffPost.

“Without a doubt, the most important person in my life was my mother. Perhaps she still is,” Margolyes wrote. “She bound me to her, quite deliberately, with emotional hoops of steel.”

The Professor Sprout actor recently spoke out in defence of JK Rowling, saying that anger at the author’s views on trans people has been “misplaced”.

Margolyes added that she’d be happy to mediate between Rowling and Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who has vehemently supported trans rights and appeared to make a subtle dig at the author’s views at the 2022 BAFTAs.

Imagine… Miriam Margolyes: Up for Grabs is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.

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