In a tearful interview, the former Shameless actress says cocaine was planted on her
  • 14:44, 7 JAN 2018
  • UPDATED15:01, 7 JAN 2018
  • Tina Malone has claimed cocaine found on her during a pantomime performance in Cumbria was planted.
    The former Shameless actress was arrested at a theatre in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and cautioned after police received a report of a female being in possession of a Class A drug.
    Tina, 54, has told the Sunday Mirror that she was set up and agreed to the caution because she wanted to get back to her four-year-old daughter Flame, who had been in the audience.
    She said: “My husband Paul took her to the hotel to wait for me. To be honest, I’d have admitted to being Jack the Ripper right there and then to get back to her.”
    The Mimi Maguire actress, who was seized as she left the theatre following her wicked fairy ­godmother role in Sleeping Beauty, claims the drug was planted in a purse Flame had bought for her and was shocked when police found “less than a line” of cocaine wrapped in paper.

    Tana Malone talks exclusively to Grace MacAskill after her drugs arrest 

    Tina, who played Mo McGee in Brookside, says she vomited when a police officer said she had found drugs.
    “She took something out of the purse, a little piece of paper,” she said.
    “She opened it and said ‘there’s drugs here’ and I projectile vomited all over the floor. I was hysterical. I knew it wasn’t mine.”

    A tearful Tina claims she was set up 

    The star, who lost more than 12 stone and shrank to a size six following a gastric band op, has also blasted claims from theatre insiders that she behaved like a diva and refused to stay in the cast apartments for the production. She has also denied swearing at children appearing in the panto.
    Tina sobbed: “I don’t care what people say about me.
    “Call me a gobby Scouse dog, but don’t say I would be horrible to kids. I’d never take drugs anywhere near a child. I would never tell a child to f*** off.”

    Tina Malone

    Tina Malone 

    Ex alcoholic Tina, who has previously spoken out about drug-taking in her autobiography, added: “If I’d have done this, I’d hold up my hand and admit it. But I didn’t. I was set up.
    “I’ve always been honest about my ­addictions. I wrote I had college days ­smoking pot, I’d done ecstasy, I messed about with cocaine, but that my drug of choice would always have been alcohol.”
    Tina, who was not paid for the interview and asked for a donation to be made to the James Bulger Memorial Trust, has since cancelled Hollywood meetings about a film venture amid fears she will not be allowed into America.

    Tina Malone as Mimi Maguire in Shameless
    Tina Malone as Mimi Maguire in Shameless

    Panto producer Joe Purdy, has backed Tina’s claim, saying: “I honestly think she was set up. I never saw her at any point taking drugs. She was always professional and great with the kids.”
    And director Alan French ­added: “It’s a horrible situation for her. I ­believe she was set up. She was ­competent and talented and did her job ­professionally. It’s despicable.”