A Jewish actress who appeared in multiple seasons of Game of Thrones is pleading for help to mount a legal challenge against Israel’s social services after her eight-month old daughter was taken away last week in the middle of the night.
Josephine Gillan, who starred as Marei, a courtesan, in the global hit HBO series, described on social media how social services - accompanied by police - seized her baby in the middle of the night. She also published a video showing her eight-month-old child being taken away.
Ms Gillan, who is British-Israeli, has written that Israeli social services decided her Israel-born daughter Gloria - then five months old - could stay with a friend of hers while she had therapy for post-natal depression.
She described her friend and her family as being “amazing…loving and caring for my daughter”.
However, last week, Israeli social services, along with a police escort, came to her friend and their family at 12.30am and, in Ms Gillan’s words, “they threatened to take my friend to jail if she didn’t give up Gloria.
“They marched her out with police either side of her and took her away into the night”.
Ms Gillan is currently trying to raise money via GoFundMe to pay for the legal costs involved in trying to have her child returned to her.
“I’m not allowed to see her or have contact,” she said.
“I have no idea where she is. I was not there at the time and was not aware of what they had done.”
Speaking to the JC, she described how she had come to Israel “to have my baby.
“I did anything Israel wanted me to do, I wanted Israel to help me”, she said.
“But they decided to take my baby from my care and they didn't help me - they made things really bad for me.”
She said she was “devastated and heartbroken. Every parent deserves a chance to raise their child.”
A spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Social Services said that "cases such as this are under complete confidentiality by law, therefore it is impossible to reveal identifying details."
However, he added: "Professional personnel of the ministry of labor, social care and social services are dealing with this complicated situation and our international unit is in touch with the ministry's peers in the country of origin, with the judicial system and with all relevant factors.
"The baby's best interest is what leads any action taken by the ministry.”