Ex-Coronation Street star hits back after leaking explicit photos online


A former Coronation Street actress is hitting back after explicit images of her were posted online.

In 2018, Melissa Johns’ iCloud was hacked. As a young disabled woman with a history of body dysmorphia, Melissa had to accept her body becoming a public good.

The former ITV star was born without her right forearm and hand and now, four years later, she’s making her story her own with a solo show to hit back at ‘body shaming’ and ‘slut shaming’ at the within society. Her show, Snatched, explores the taboo of sex and disability while advocating female sexuality.

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Melissa, who campaigns for better representation of disability in the arts, first approached Salford’s Lowry Theater with the idea in 2019. Due to Covid, the show, which features a soundtrack of Melissa’s life with ’90s and ’90s bangers, including Cher’s Believe, were delayed twice.

“For me, the worst part was being seen with no clothes on and that’s exactly what happened,” she told Us. “But if it happens to someone else, I want them to feel angry because it happened, but I don’t want them to be ashamed of their body. The last thing I want, it is that he is ashamed.”

She said of her experience: “I had two choices. It was either hide and pretend it didn’t happen or it was a catalyst to talk about bitch shaming and shaming. bodily.”

The MEN reports that during appointments, she would excuse herself to go to the bathroom but would slip into the kitchen to ask staff to cut her food. “It got exhausting. I was choreographing dates,” she said. “I was hiding so much.”

Melissa, 31, says her view of her body only changed in her late twenties after watching video footage of herself as a child captured by her grandfather. She had the distinct realization that she deserved to be treated better by herself.

In 2017, Melissa played Kate Connor’s ex-girlfriend Imogen Pascoe in Coronation Street and Hannah Taylor in the BBC Life drama and was among the famous faces competing in Celebrity MasterChef last year. She also plays Miss Scott in ITV’s Granchester and made her West End debut earlier this year in Henry V at Donmar Warehouse, alongside Game of Thrones idol Kit Harrington.

The BBC Radio 4 drama In My Own Skin was written by Melissa and Coronation Street writer Debbie Oates based on Melissa’s experience of having her phone hacked. “There are things we can’t change and sometimes the only freedom we have is how we react to them,” she said.

Melissa says her view of her body didn’t change until she was in her late twenties (Image: Melissa Johns/Instagram)

“I was thinking ‘the world is going to see you naked.’ I thought I was going to lose my job I forced myself to read the things written about me and felt I had to have the final say here I will always be angry that my privacy was not respected , but I no longer have the feeling of shame.”

Melissa, who founded pioneering Triple C drama project – The Creative Confidence Collective – with Corrie star Cherylee Houston, who plays Izzy Armstrong on the ITV soap opera, shared an inspirational message after her private photos with her ex- partner.

She hit back on social media, saying, “It will take more than a few leaked photos to stop me from fighting for equality and the mainstream representation of women of all different shapes and sizes.” And sharing a carefree image of herself leaping through the air on a beach while giving a peace sign, she said: “If anything good came of it, it was to show that women with all body types and sizes send photos, have a sex life, engage in intimate exchanges just like everyone else.

Four months after the hacking incident, Melissa posed for an empowering photoshoot to challenge perceptions of disability and show that people with disabilities are beautiful and sexy and should be used in fashion campaigns. She partnered for the shoot with Models of Diversity, the campaign for more diversity in modeling.

Speaking of her pride in the photoshoot, she said, “I’m not a sexual fetish. I am not a checkbox to prove equal opportunity. I’m not even here just to show a performance.

“I am a person who has a different body shape than the ‘norm’ and I have the right to be raw, sexy, intimate and real. And above all, I have the right to see myself that way.

“These images make me feel good. They allow me to feel empowered by my own body.

Snatched, along with Arts Council England and The Lowry, come to Salford on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14 before heading to London’s Soho Theatre. And his UK tour arrives at the Bolton Octagon on Saturday June 18. The Lowry commissioned and supported Snatched from the first idea and throughout lockdown as part of its ‘Developed With’ artist development program. To book tickets, visit thelowry.com and octagonbolton.co.uk.


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