Simone Ashley Defends Nicola Coughlan Against Body Shamers

Simone Ashley has spoken out against the body-shaming comments directed at her “Bridgerton” co-star Nicola Coughlan.

During a recent press conference at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, Ashley defended Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, against the online criticism she has received over her appearance in the third season of “Bridgerton.”

“Yeah, the haters are going to hate, and I think we can all relate to that, but I really don’t think that she’s allowing that to bother her,” Ashley, who portrays Kate Bridgerton in the hit Netflix series, said of Coughlan (via People). “She has a strong and fruitful career and entire life ahead of her. And I really believe in her, as the world does as well.”

Ashley continued to praise Coughlan, saying that the “Bridgerton” and “Derry Girls” actor is “absolutely flying.”

“She is a gorgeous, strong, confident, intelligent woman, seeing her do this press tour and spread so much joy and inspiration to everyone — especially women — all over the world,” Ashley said.

“And I’m inspired by her as well,” she added. “She’s also a really kind human being, and I think that’s such a universal language that people can relate to.”

Earlier this month, Coughlan shut down body-shaming claims that Netflix had photoshopped her waist to appear skinnier in “Bridgerton.”

“If you wear corsetry for long enough, your body really molds to it,” Coughlan told People in response to the claims. “Sometimes they come in a fitting for a fashion designer and they put a corset on me and I’m like, ‘Oh, you can go tight,’ and they go, ‘What do you mean?’ I’m like, ‘My body now will go whew.’”

In a profile published by Stylist, Coughlan revealed that she asked to be “very naked on camera” for one scene.

“It just felt like the biggest ‘fuck you’ to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering,” she explained. “I felt beautiful in the moment, and I thought: ‘When I’m 80, I want to look back on this and remember how fucking hot I looked!’”

All episodes of “Bridgerton” Season 3 are now available on Netflix.

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