Josephine Gillan, a British-Israeli actress best known for her role as the prostitute Marei in “Game of Thrones,” has appealed to the public for help after Israeli child welfare authorities took away her eight-month old daughter.
Acting on a court order, officials accompanied by police, took the baby last week from a family that had been looking after the child for Gillan and they have temporarily placed her in foster care, saying that the move was in the best interest of the baby.
In an appeal on Twitter, Gillan said that she had left the child in the care of a good friend while she received treatment for postpartum depression.
“Three nights ago the social services came in the night at 12:30am! With the police and kidnapped my daughter and took her to another family! I’m not allowed to see her or have contact! I have no idea where she is,” wrote Gillan on a GoFundMe appeal for help with legal costs.
“I was not there at the time and was not aware of what they had done! It’s absolutely outrageous,” she wrote. “I have not done anything wrong and neither has my friend who was caring from her.”
Gillan posted a video showing authorities taking away the baby at night while neighbors yelled at them and a woman sobbed.
Gillan achieved fame playing the red-haired prostitute Marei in several seasons of the HBO blockbuster “Game of Thrones.” In her post she said she had been out of work since the series ended.
When she first got the part she described in an interview with the Daily Mail how the role had saved her from a past of childhood sexual abuse, working in pornography, drugs and prostitution.
Gillan, who is Jewish, immigrated to Israel last year just before her child was born.
Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that one of the reasons she moved to Israel was that she feared British welfare authorities would take away her child.
“Eight months ago she gave birth in Israel and began to raise her child under close supervision from the social services in her community and with the help of a friend,” the report quoted person close to the situation as saying. “At a certain stage she left the baby with a friend and flew to the UK for an extended period, which caused the intervention of the welfare authorities and the courts.”
The child was taken last week after a court order was issued and another hearing is scheduled for next week, Channel 12 said., adding that Gillan returned to Israel to fight the order.
Israel’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services declined to comment of the specifics of the situation, citing the privacy of the child and the necessary secrecy of such cases.
However, it noted that the case was being dealt with by various departments including the ministry’s international department which was in contact with British welfare authorities.
“Our only priority is the welfare of the baby and we are trying to find the best solution,” the statement said.