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Simone Ashley Defends Nicola Coughlan Over Body-Shaming Comments

We love Bridgerton women supporting Bridgerton women.

Bridgerton castmates Simone Ashley and Nicola Coughlan.
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Actor Simone Ashley recently spoke out in support of her Bridgerton co-star Nicola Coughlan amid recent speculation that her waist was Photoshopped in Season 3.

“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,” said Ashley, who led Season 2 of the Netflix series, at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. “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.”

Actors Nicola Coughlan, Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran.Variety/Penske Media/Getty Images

Coughlan stars as Penelope Featherington in the latest Bridgerton season. Some fans accused Netflix of retouching the star’s waist to appear skinnier, and the accusations only continued when SKIMS released a photo campaign starring Coughlan earlier this week, where the actress was photographed in the brand’s shapewear.

“I saw some trolls,” Coughlan told People earlier this month. “They were like, ‘They Photoshopped your waist,’ and I was like, ‘No, they did not.’”

She explained that her body has gotten used to wearing the tight Regency-era costumes, which were designed to whittle the waist down. “If you wear corsetry for long enough, your body really molds to it,” Coughlan said. “Sometimes they come in for 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.’”

Ashley’s praise about her co-star didn’t stop there.

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

The two Bridgerton castmates have had a long friendship, and have repeatedly supported each other in public. “Every time I’ve traveled with the show, in New York especially, I hang out with Nicola,” Ashley told Travel + Leisure at the Monaco festival. “Anytime we can work it in to just get a quick drink, it means a lot to me.”

Women who support women are truly diamonds of the first water.