Downton Abbey actress Amy Nuttall was said to be heartbroken today after her husband Andrew Buchan ‘walked out’ on her and moved in with Leila Farzad, his co-star on BBC drama Better.
The news may cast minds back to an earlier incident in 2005, which saw Amy infamously cheated on by her Emmerdale castmate Ben Freeman in 2005.
In another example of fiction blending with reality, the pair had been on-off lovers in the ITV soap before they struck up an off-screen romance which lasted for four years.
Amy, now 40, described him as the ‘first real love of my life’, but much like the tumultuous storylines they played out on screen their romance ended in tragedy when Ben was rumoured to have cheated on her.
This was just the start of a dramatic time for Ben, who went on to be accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in Barbados before being acquitted. Then, in 2013 he was accused of infidelity again after he was pictured openly kissing and hugging his West End co-star Gina Beck.
Amy Nuttall was infamously cheated on by her Emmerdale co-star Ben Freeman in 2005 (pictured in 2004)
This was just the start of a dramatic time for Ben (pictured with Amy). He went on to be accused if raping a 16-year-old girl in Barbados before being acquitted
Ben started his acting career with the role of Chris Longworth in children’s TV show Grange Hill, but he was best known as Emmerdale bad boy Scott Windsor.
He played the role from 1998 to 2007, when his career was derailed by claims he had raped a 16-year-old girl.
The fallout would see the actor left in financial ruin and forced to mortgage his house in Leeds ‘to the hilt’ to pay for his £200,000 defence costs after losing his £100-a-year Emmerdale salary.
Ben had admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old British girl on a deckchair during a holiday with his two younger sisters and stepfather in November 2006, but he always strenuously denied raping her.
He told of his ‘relief’ after being finally cleared of all charges by a jury, but also his ‘anger’ at enduring two years of hell.
‘My feelings are a mixture of anger, joy and relief. I’m not really feeling happiness. I’m angry because I was accused of rape in the first place and I never did it,’ he told the Sunday Mirror.
‘Rape is the most horrendous thing to be accused of. It is one of the most heinous crimes and when you are accused of it as a well-known figure it is magnified a hundred times. It is true to say I’ve lost two years of my life.’
He admitted, though, that he is not entirely without blame.
‘I don’t absolve myself from all guilt. I didn’t do anything illegal – but it was very stupid. Having sex with a girl aged 16 in an open place was naive and immature,’ he said.
Ben was able to get his life and career back on track, and two years after the trial got engaged to Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Biddall and had a son with her.
Yet in 2013 he was attracting negative headlines once again after being pictured openly kissing and hugging his West End co-star Gina Beck.
Amy Nuttall had previously commented on the female attention Ben attracted on a night out but convinced herself he wouldn’t stray.
Amy attends the press night for ‘Death Drop: Back In The Habit’ at the Garrick Theatre in London in November 2022
Amy and Ben had a four-year romance after meeting on the set of Emmerdale
Ben with his wife Jennifer Biddall during a party at Kensington Roof Gardens in 2011
In an ill-fated interview, she told The Mirror in 2003: ‘Girls seem to have no inhibitions at all, especially after a few drinks. It’s obvious that we are out as a couple, but it doesn’t stop them trying to clamber all over him.
‘Ben’s brilliant. He’s very polite, but he always puts his arm around me to make it clear that he is there with me.’
Making her stance on infidelity very clear, she continued: ‘The girls don’t make me jealous because I’m very secure in my relationship with Ben, but I do think it’s rude.
‘I would never dream of going up to someone else’s boyfriend and trying it on.’
Despite being a lads’ mag favourite in the Noughties, Amy insisted that she had no male attention in real life, stating: ‘I’ve never been chatted up since arriving on Emmerdale.
‘Even when I’m not with Ben, I get the odd look of recognition but no one comes up to talk to me. Maybe they know I’m spoken for, or they feel intimidated because I’m on TV. Men like to play it cool and I suppose they don’t want a knock-back.’
Yet by her own admission she wasn’t good at picking up signs from men, confessing that she had no idea that Ben was into her and that he did ‘all the chasing.’
Ben’s recent roles include playing Caleb Malone on EastEnders, and starring in several musicals including the Rocky Horror Show
Amy has been reportedly left heartbroken after husband Andrew Buchan ‘walked out’ on her and moved in with his new co-star (pictured in 2014)
Andrew is understood to have left the family home and moved in with Leila Farzad after meeting the glamorous actress while working on BBC series Better (pictured on show)
Despite her one rule being ‘not to mix work with pleasure’, she found herself falling head over heels for Ben and the couple ended up moving in together.
Even after they split and a woman came forward with a kiss and tell story about Ben, Amy insisted that she still had a lot of love for her partner.
Speaking shortly after their split in 2005, she said: ‘Ben and I are still good mates and we’ll always remain close.
‘He was the first real love of my life, and we’re still very good friends with each other’s families, so there’s no bad feeling there at all.’
Fortunately Ben has steered clear of controversy in recent years and has enjoyed success in his career.
His recent roles include playing Caleb Malone on EastEnders, and starring in several musicals including the Rocky Horror Show.