Ex-EastEnders star Rita Simons finds love with co-star weeks after revealing marriage split

EX-EASTENDERS star Rita Simons has found love with a former theatre colleague just weeks after she revealed she had split from her husband of 14 years.

Rita, 43 — who played Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap — is dating her Legally Blonde The Musical co-star Ben Harlow.

The pair toured the UK as part of the production from September 2017 until June 2018.

Rita played salon owner Paulette Bonafonte. Ben played her love interest, UPS delivery driver Kyle.

In the musical, beautician Paulette is taught how to perform the “Bend and Snap” movement made famous by Jennifer Coolidge, who played the character in the 2001 movie on which the show was based.

This week Rita was seen heading away for a trip with Ben and her dog Harry, with a boot full of bags for an overnight stay.

They stopped at a service station in Birmingham to grab supplies before heading off again.

Rita is in the final stages of divorcing hairdresser Theo Silveston, who she has two daughters with.

When they revealed they had split last month, Rita’s spokeswoman said they had actually been separated since 2018.

She added: “Rita and Theo have been separated for almost two years and Theo moved out of the family home some time ago.

“They are currently finalising their divorce, and amicably co-parenting their two daughters.”

Rita, the niece of billionaire businessman Lord Sugar, became a household name in 2007 when she joined EastEnders with Samantha Womack, who played her sister Ronnie.

The on-screen sisters — cousins of hardman brothers Grant and Phil Mitchell — were involved in a ­number of high-profile storylines, but both quit in 2016.

Their time on the soap came to an end when bosses decided to kill off the characters for good in 2017.

They both drowned on Ronnie’s wedding day after falling into a swimming pool.

Rita then took part in the 2018 series of I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! where she was the fourth person to be voted out.

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