Updated: EastEnders' Linda Henry cleared of racially aggravated harassment

Published Wednesday, Feb 11 2015, 19:18 GMT  |  By
EastEnders actress Linda Henry has been cleared of racial abuse.

Linda, who plays Shirley Carter in the BBC One soap, had vehemently denied a charge of racially aggravated harassment following an incident outside a Jamie Oliver restaurant in London last September.

Linda Henry charged with racially-aggravated harassment, Bexley Magistrates court, London, Britain - 11 Feb 2015

© Rex Features

The 55-year-old actress was accused of making a racist remark during a row with two street wardens while smoking a cigarette outside the eatery in Greenwich.

Prosecutor Thea Viney had told the court Linda was approached after putting her cigarette out on the pavement. She alleged Linda called one of the wardens the N word after being told she had caused a littering offence.

Linda denied the charge and her lawyer described the allegation as "ludicrous".

Speaking in court today, Linda said of the claim: "Absolutely not. I would swear on my children's life, deathbed even. (I am) absolutely shocked that somebody could make up such an awful thing. I did not racially abuse that woman - it is not in my psyche."

Soap star Linda, who has appeared in EastEnders since 2006, was pictured arriving at Bexley Magistrates Court this afternoon dressed in a trouser suit, white shirt and glasses.

Her former co-star Cheryl Fergison, who played Shirley's best friend Heather Trott, was sat in the public gallery to support her friend. Linda was charged under her married name, Linda Varilis.

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