EastEnders actress defends former co-star

Charlie Brooks has offered support to Natalie Cassidy following her recent weight gain.

The former EastEnders actress dropped from a size 14 to a size 8 for her fitness DVD Then And Now in 2007.

But the pressure to stay thin led Natalie, 26, to start taking laxatives – eventually she ditched her healthy eating regime to stop things from going out of control.

‘It’s a shame what happened to Natalie Cassidy,’ Charlie, 27, tells Celebs On Sunday. ‘I can understand how people become obsessed.

‘She’s been given a lot of grief and I feel sorry she fell into an eating disorder from the pressure she probably put on herself.’

Charlie released her own Before And After Workout DVD in 2005.

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Fraser Wilson