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Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley Defends Nicola Coughlan After Recent Body Comment: ‘Haters Are Going To Hate’

GettyImages-2157644728 Simone Ashley
Simone Ashley Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Simone Ashley has defended her Bridgerton costar, Nicola Coughlan, after the actress recently shut down a comment about her body.

During a press conference at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in Monaco on Saturday, June 15, Ashley, 29, discussed Coughlan, 37, who was told at a fan event in Dublin, Ireland, on June 6 that she was “very brave” for portraying Penelope Featherington’s sex scenes.

“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 said in response to the comment, as reported by Deadline. “She [Nicole] has a strong and fruitful career and entire life ahead of her. And I really believe in her, as the world does as well.”

Coughlan, whose character is romantically involved with Luke Newton’s Colin Bridgerton in the Netflix series, had offered a cheeky response to the person who spoke out during the fan screening.

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“You know, it is hard, ’cause I think women with my body type — women with perfect breasts — we do not get to see ourselves onscreen enough,” she said at Dublin’s Light House Cinema. “I am a very proud member of the perfect breasts community, and I hope you enjoy seeing them.”

Ashley furthered Coughlan’s sentiment at the recent press conference, and offered further praise.

“I think Nicola is just absolutely flying,” Ashley said. “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.”

GettyImages-2157357591 Nicola Coughlan
Nicola Coughlan (c)Karwai Tang 2024

Ashley continued: “She’s also a really kind human being, and I think that’s such a universal language that people can relate to.”

Ashley, who portrays Kate Sharma in the hit period series, has never been afraid of speaking out on what she believes in.

In November, 2022, the actress opened up about her appreciation for her dark skin and curly hair during a cover story for Vogue UK. The story detailed Ashley’s pride in her culture and background.

GettyImages-1397472176 Bridgerton event
(L-R) Yvette Nicole Brown, Nicola Coughlan and Simone Ashley Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

“I’m sure it was restrictive,” Ashley, who was born to Indian Tamil parents, said of her brown complexion. “Things have taken me longer than other young actors who maybe don’t have the same restrictions. But I never surrendered to it. I remember being a kid and people saying certain things that make you really aware of the color of your skin.”

She continued: “I remember seeing those Fair & Lovely [lightening] creams — they smelt so good, like baby powder, but I didn’t understand what they were. Now I’m like, ‘Wow. That’s messed up.’ But I adore the color of my skin. I always have.”

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Coughlan, meanwhile, is flying high, recently unveiled as the face and body of Skims, Kim Kardashian’s underwear line.

“I’m so honored to be in Skims’ latest campaign!” Coughlan said in an official launch statement on Monday, June 17. “I’ve been a fan of Skims since the beginning. It’s been my on set lounging outfit since day one. I love that it’s a brand that makes everyone look and feel amazing. The Soft Lounge styles are incredibly flattering, comfortable, and so soft, and so beautiful. Whether I’m wearing them at home or on set I always feel incredible in Skims.”

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