Gemma Outen wanted to take her own life while battling anorexia like her late friend Nikki Grahame

Emmerdale star Gemma Outen says she wishes she could have helped friend Nikki Grahame overcome her anorexia and is calling on others to seek help

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Gemma Oaten opens up about her struggles with anorexia

Actress Gemma Outen said she considered suicide while battling anorexia like her late friend Nikki Grahame.

The former Emmerdale star met Nikki 10 years ago at a showbiz party in London and the two became friends.

She was devastated to hear the news that Nikki had passed away in April last year aged 38 as her illness took hold of her in lockdown.

A year after Nikki’s tragic death from the disease, Gemma has spoken out and said it could have been so easily for her.

And she called anyone struggling to seek help so Nikki’s death wouldn’t be in vain.

Gemma says she can never go back to the ‘hell’ she experienced


(Getty Images)

Her friend Nikki Grahame was painfully thin when she died


(Getty Images)

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Talk to the sun on Sunday Fabulous Gemma revealed her battle with anorexia began when she was 10, which led to bulimia in her teens.

The 37-year-old shared: “It could have been me too… an eating disorder doesn’t care what’s right or wrong. If it gets a person, it will do whatever it takes to destroy them.”

She explained that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness.

Referring to her own experience of anorexia, Gemma continued: “People take life to the extreme because it’s easier not to be here than to be here.

“I know that because I’ve had that in my own life. At one point I was planning to kill myself, but my father called my name just as I was about to do it and pulled me back from the threshold.”

Gemma Gast starred in rival ITV soap Coronation Street last year



That wasn’t the only time Gemma had thoughts of suicide as she battled her eating disorder.

Another time, she said she planned to do it after she was admitted to an eating disorder hospital ward, but didn’t go through with it when her parents finally took her home.

“If they had gone I probably wouldn’t be here now,” Gemma admitted.

Although she is now recovering, the effects of anorexia on Gemma’s body have taken their toll.

She revealed she needed major dental work after anorexia combined with binge eating and vomiting damaged the enamel on her teeth.

It will take a full day of surgery to fix it and Gemma will have to borrow money to pay for the treatment.

Nikki rose to fame on Big Brother in 2006


(Getty Images)

Earlier this week – as a new documentary about Nikki aired on Channel 4 – her mum Susan revealed her daughter had a BMI of just 10 when she died.

Gemma said it was “nonsensical” that people with eating disorders would have to hit a certain BMI threshold in 2022 and almost die before qualifying for treatment.

She blasted the system, saying early intervention is critical to the survival of those suffering from anorexia.

She recalls the last time she saw Nikki at a friend’s book launch, and she recalls that she “looked so lost.”

“I held her tiny form and asked her to get in touch SEEDS [a support service launched by Gemma’s parents to help families dealing with eating disorders].

“I wish I had insisted, but there was nothing her friends or family could have done.”

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