Emmerdale's Michelle Hardwick receives death threats 'because I'm a gay woman'
Watch: Michelle Hardwick called the police after receiving death threats on social media
Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick has said she receives death threats from trolls because, "I'm a gay woman".
The 46-year-old soap star — who has played Vanessa Woodfield in the ITV soap since 2012 — is married to Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks and the pair share a 19-month-old son Teddy.
Hardwick told OK! magazine: "We’ve had a bit of trolling over the last few years. And there have been certain times when police have had to be called because there have been death threats.
Read more: 'Emmerdale' star Michelle Hardwick went to police over online abuse
"When they’re mentioning your son’s name and you’re just going ‘Really? I’m just in a soap you know – we’re not doing any harm to anybody'.
“The root of it all is always because I’m gay, I’m a gay woman. And it’s like, ‘Lesbians shouldn’t be on this Earth, just burn in hell and die’.”
The couple tied the knot at Graceland in Memphis in 2019 after around a year of dating.
They welcomed their first child together – a son named Teddy – in October 2020.
Teddy was conceived by IVF and Hardwick carried their son, while Brooks, 39, donated the egg.
Hardwick said: "We’d definitely love Teddy to have a brother or sister. And if we’re lucky enough, fantastic – for him as well, not just for us.”
The actor joined the Dales as vet Vanessa in 2012. Her major storylines include being suspended from practising after teenagers stole ketamine from her vet's bag, battling bowel cancer and getting jilted by Charity Dingle.
Hardwick has previously spoken about receiving abuse on social media from anonymous trolls.
Read more: Emmerdale star 'lives with fear' she will be victim of homophobic attack
She said: "I always think to myself, it could be your bank manager, it could be the person who works at your local florist. It's probably not, but it could be. That is the thing, nobody knows."