Sarah Jayne Dunn has reflected on her exit from Hollyoaks after her contract was terminated due to the mum-of-one launching an OnlyFans page.
Sarah was on the show for over two decades, buther time on Hollyoaks came to an abrupt endlast year in the wake of her decision to keep her account, despite her having "approval" from Channel 4.
Two months on from the ordeal, Sarah, 40, has chatted with OK! and explained how shocked she was at how the soap handled the situation.
She explained: “It’s not something I did on a whim. It’s something that I’d been planning for months and I’d had discussions, and zoom calls, and emails, and I essentially had approval, so for them to then turn around and call me in for a meeting on the Friday, and then terminate my contract on the Wednesday with immediate effect was a huge shock.”
“After 25 years on and off working there and giving my life and my all – I loved it there over the years, so it was upsetting,” Sarah added. “It was a shock that that was how they decided to handle it.”
The mum-of-one went on to say that she would have stayed on the programme "forever" if her contract hadn't been terminated, but feels like in the wake of her exit that "things have gone in (her) favour".
Sarah said: “It was never my intention to leave the show, it wasn’t my choice to leave the show, and it wasn’t my choice to tell everybody that I’d left. It was all things that [Hollyoaks] took into their own hands.
“It was out of my control, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and, actually, it’s really all gone in my favour which is amazing.”
“The response has been incredible. What it’s done is allow me to be Sarah, and for people to see me for me, as opposed to a character. I’ve played characters for most of my life, and it’s allowed me to explore who I am.”
Sarah continued: “I would have stayed at the show forever; this is something that I’ve always sort of said. I was… I’d say happy there, but I wasn’t really happy there. It was convenient, I knew it really well, and it offered me some sort of stability. It was comfortable, and I think a lot of people are like that in jobs aren’t they?
“People see it as TV and that it’s glamorous, and I’ve always been a million times grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had and I know that people would kill to be in that position. I don’t mean to ever sound ungrateful, but I think people presume that because you’re on telly you must be happy, you must be loving it. People never know the full story.”
Since leaving Hollyoaks, Sarah's OnlyFans has taken off and her profile is "in the top 0.5% of all creators worldwide".
With this in mind, the 40 year old said she has "no regrets".
She told us: "I don't have any regrets with how things ended with the show. I believe everything happens for a reason."
"[Starting my OnlyFans] was one of the best things I ever did," Sarah continued.
At the time of Sarah’s axe, Hollyoaks said in a statement: "Hollyoaks is a youth-facing drama with many young viewers, who follow our cast very closely, both in the soap and outside of it.
"We take our responsibility to our young audience very seriously and therefore the show does not allow any Hollyoaks cast members to be active on certain 18+ websites.
"We had hoped we could reach a resolution with Sarah that would allow her to remain in her role as Mandy, but we respect her choice to continue to produce content on OnlyFans.
"In the past four years since her return to the show, her legacy character has been an integral part of some our most important storylines and we will be very sad to see her go."
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