Sobbing EastEnders star Katie Jarvis says regrets 'sickening' attack – but denies being racist DESPITE conviction

EASTENDERS star Katie Jarvis was spared jail after screaming "black lives don't matter" in a vile race rant.

The star, 30, has said she is "sickened" by her own actions after she admitted verbally abusing a group of women in Southend, Essex, last year.

Jarvis, who played Hayley Slater in the soap, screamed “black c***s, I am a celebrity. My life matters” outside of a bar in July 2020. 

Basildon Crown Court heard how the mum-of-two rowed Michelle Antonio, who had told her a chair outside a fish and chip was being used. 

A fight broke out between Jarvis and four other women, with the court hearing that Jarvis had undertaken a “sustained attack”.

A string of witnesses reported Jarvis walking along the seafront, shouting more racist abuse after her initial outburst.  


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Judge Samantha Leigh, sentenced Jarvis to a two-year community order, 200 hours of unpaid work and a 60-hour rehabilitation requirement.

Cyrus Shroff, prosecuting, told the court: “Miss Antonio said she could not believe in 2020 these things were being said. 

“It reminded her of the 80s when she was targeted for being black when she lived in an estate in London.

“She shouted ‘I was on Eastenders. I am a celebrity and my life matters.” 

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Jarvis told police she had been drunk and admitted using the shocking language when she was interviewed. 

Yesterday she pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and one count of using racially aggravated language, with two other counts being ordered to lie on file. 

Wearing silver hoop earrings, black jeans and and a light blue jacket, she cried and wiped her eyes during the hour-long sentencing. 

Jarvis had been in London before the incident and had been celebrating the good news of a successful audition. 

Patrick Harte, mitigating, Jarvis was “horrified” by her actions on the day and despite the language used, claimed his client was not racist. 

He criticised Essex Police after one of the investigating officers called her by her character name, adding: “This has caused Miss Jarvis enormous hardship. 

"She has not worked since the end of 2020 and took a job at The Range but she was given the sack. 

“This has been devastating for Katie Jarvis. But she is not playing victim. It was an episode of her behaviour. She is not someone who has been in trouble with the place.

“It’s been tough for her but it does not mean she should not be punished and she knows that.”

Jarvis, who played Eastenders’ Hayley Slater, previously denied that charges before pleading guilty.

Speaking after the hearing the actress said he was appalled by her own “shameful” actions. 

She said: “When I was in the interview with the police the day after this incident occurred, I immediately accepted using the disgusting language alleged. 

“I was and remain horrified by it. I struggle to watch the video footage, to this day.


"I honestly don’t recognise myself in that video and I struggle to remember all  the details as my emotions took over. 

“But I do take full responsibility for the sickening way that I behaved. I reacted shamefully and in the heat of the moment I said things that I will regret for the rest of my life.

“I did not physically hit anyone at any point of that day. For those who know me best know that I am not a racist and I do not hold racist views. 

“As a proud Londoner I have friends and family that share a wide variety of backgrounds and over the course of my career I have been lucky enough to work with people from all walks of life. 

“To all the people that were present in Southend that day, who were rightly offended by my behaviour, I offer you a full, sincere apology. 

“To anyone who has seen the footage online, I am truly sorry and feel nothing but shame and regret for the language that I used.”

She went on to thank friends, family and her legal team and declined to answer any questions afterwards. 

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Jarvis had no acting experience when she made her on-screen debut in 2009.

Her character was most known for a fling with Kat Slater’s husband Alfie Moon, which left her pregnant with daughter Cherry.

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