Bridgerton star Ruby Barker has been hospitalized after struggling with mental health issues, according to a video she posted to Instagram on Thursday.
Barker, who plays Lady Maria Crane (née Thompson) on the steamy Netflix hit, told her followers that she was being discharged from the hospital after being “really unwell for a really long time” and urged viewers to be gentle with themselves if they’re also struggling.
“Stop being so hard on yourself,” the 25-year-old actress said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to take a break and you’ve got to say, ‘I just can’t do this right now. I need support.’”
Tristan Fewings/Getty ‘Bridgerton’ star Ruby Barker
Barker said that she doesn’t want her diagnosis to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“I want to survive, and I will survive,” she said. “I’m going to. And so are you.”
Although she declined to name her specific diagnosis in the video, she promised to engage in a longer conversation about her mental health in the future.
She also thanked her friends and mentors, along with Netflix and Bridgerton executive producer Shonda Rhimes.
“You are all holding me up and holding me together,” she said. In particular, she thanked Rhimes for “saving” her through the role of Marina, an unwed pregnant woman determined to secure a future for herself and her children.
In To Sir Phillip With Love, the Julia Quinn book upon which Barker’s character is based, Marina Crane is said to have struggled with severe depression, although the Netflix show has not yet reached that portion of the story and could go in a different direction like it has with several other book-based storylines.
Barker concluded the video with advice for her fans. “Be kind to yourself. Be gentle,” she said. “But also learn and understand what that truly means.”
She then signed off by singing part of “Waiting on a Better Day” by Sexton, her favorite musician.
Bridgerton season 2 is streaming now on Netflix, and showrunners recently announced that Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington will be the focus of season 3, which is expected to begin filming sometime this summer.
EW has reached out to Barker’s representatives for comment.
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