Josephine Gillan, a British actress who played Marei, a prostitute, on Game of Thrones, says she is 'devastated' after her eight-month-old daughter was taken away by social workers, who were acting on a court order, in Israel.
Gillan, 31, shared a disturbing video online of her daughter Gloria being removed from a friend's care by a woman while two men in uniform looked on. The person filming the scene can be heard arguing with the social workers as they attempt to leave with the baby.
"The disturbing moment that the #Israeli #socialservices kidnapped my baby! At 12:30 pm at night on Sunday!” Gillan tweeted. "My friend pleaded! But was threatened to jail if she did not hand over my baby! me & loving friend and her family! We are all heartbroken! #IsraeliCrimes #unjust."
The disturbing moment that the #Israeli #socialservices kidnapped my baby!😢 At 12:30pm at night on Sunday! My friend pleaded!🙏 But was threatened to jail if she did not hand over my baby! me & loving friend and her family! We are all heartbroken! 😩💔 #IsraeliCrimes #unjust 😫 pic.twitter.com/azr2GHSede— josephine gillan (@Officialmarei) August 7, 2019
Afterwards, the actress started a GoFundMe page to raise money for legal assistance to challenge the decision. On the page, she wrote that Gloria had been in the care of her friend for the past three months while she received treatment for postpartum depression. After she concluded her therapy, which was ordered by social services, she regained custody of her daughter. So far, Gillan has raised only £190 although her target is £5,000.
According to the actress, she is not allowed to see or have contact with her child and has no idea where she is located. She says she was not in the home when the child was taken. She insists that neither she nor her friend had done anything wrong.
Adding, "They threatened to take my friend to jail if she doesn't give our Gloria! They marched her out with police either side of her and took her away into the night! No child should be without their parent! Especially if they are good and care for the child devotedly!”
https://t.co/uqXyRfjxYM hi if you could please take a moment out of your time to read the tragedy I'm going through and please look into your heart 💓 my baby girl needs help! Urgently! 💔😢✡️ God bless everyone— josephine gillan (@Officialmarei) August 7, 2019
Officials have stated that the baby was placed into foster care for safety reasons, though they haven’t clarified what their motivation was. Israel’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services told The Times of Israel that the case was being handled by several departments including the ministry’s international department which is working with British welfare authorities. Though Gillan is British, she moved to Israel shortly before her child was born last year.
Gillan, who says she’s not working at the moment, hopes to raise enough money for a competent legal team that can help her get her child back. The actress, who played Marei, a prostitute in Lord Petyr Baelish's brothel for eight episodes, was employed as a sex worker when she saw an advertisement for a GoT audition. She says the chance to play the role rescued her from a life of prostitution and drug abuse.
"They were looking for young women with natural breasts and no tattoos, who didn’t mind being filmed naked. So, I immediately sent in a picture. They wrote back that they wanted me, and I was thrilled because it was an amazing opportunity to do some proper acting. But I had no idea how much it would change my life," she said.