She’s known to millions of Australians as the ever-smiling and bubbly Sally Fletcher from Home And Away. But last week, onlookers saw a different side of TV and radio star Kate Ritchie when she appeared to break down during a shopping trip with a friend.
The mum-of-one appeared to be visibly overwhelmed, covering her face and appearing teary as she struggled with emotion.
Kate, who wed former rugby league star Stuart Webb in 2010, was also spotted without her wedding ring, which will no doubt lead to renewed speculation of troubles in her marriage.
The couple were the subject of persistent rumours in 2016 and 2017 that they were living separately – with Kate attending several events without Stuart.
However, rumours dried up towards the end of 2017 with the pair making several loved-up appearances together, leading many to believe the couple were happier than ever – until now.
‘It certainly looks like Kate’s 2018 is off to a rocky start,’ says an insider. ‘Which is a shame, because 2017 ended so amazingly for her. Things seemed to be back on track with Stuart, she won her third ACRA radio award in a row and she spent the whole Christmas break in mummy mode with Mae. She’s always happiest when Mae is by her side.’
Adds an onlooker during Kate’s shopping centre meltdown: ‘Kate seemed really upset. She was covering her face and seemed really teary, it was so shocking to see her so unhappy. She looked like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders.’
Stuart has been notably absent from Kate’s Instagram page. One fan even commented: ‘Never see the husband in any pix.’
But one person 39-year-old Kate has made a note of sharing on social media is three-year-old daughter Mae. While the actress has made a point of always shielding the toddler’s face from photographs, in November she announced a big change.
‘I don’t often share this most precious being, but sometimes I am tired of protecting her and want to rejoice in her. She is full of wonder in so many ways and she also helps me to simply be me,’ Kate wrote.
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