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Lacey Turner has responded to backlash she received over taking a second round of maternity leave 14 months after giving birth.
The 32 year old gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Dusty, in August 2019 and recently revealed she is now expecting her second child.
EastEnders star Lacey, who portrays Stacey Fowler on the hit BBC One show, has just returned to screens as the fiery character but will, rightfully, soon be departing once again as she prepares to give birth for a second time.
The brunette beauty joined Kaye Adams, Nadia Sawalha, Jane Moore and Coleen Nolan on Friday's Loose Women and admitted she takes it as "a compliment" that people are angered she'll be disappearing once again.
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Lacey was oblivious to fact she had received complaints about taking more maternity leave until she saw a debate on the topic during a previous episode of the ITV daytime show last week.
She said: "It's funny because actually I had no idea, because actually I was watching Loose Women with my dad in the kitchen and I was like, 'Hold on a minute dad, I need to watch this' because I had no idea what was going on. So I did.
"I don't read anything about myself. I put things on Instagram every now and again and I sort of see the short bit you see underneath.
"I don't really get a chance to read all the comments and they all just are lovely, the bits underneath.
"I had no idea until watching your programme so I had a little look after I found that out. I was sort of in shock really.
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"I was surprised that people were… I was trying to figure out why people were so angry, but at the same time I took it as a compliment that maybe you miss having Stacey on the Square so much that, you know, I just take it as a compliment.
"I don't know if people thought I was being paid while I was off. You know, I'm just not quite sure what they were angry about. But people will get angry at anything these days."
Lacey announced her second pregnancy in an exclusive interview with OK! magazine alongside her husband Matt Kay last month.
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She told us: "I was over the moon. I had an inkling I was pregnant, so I took the test at home and it was positive.
"We feel so lucky to be expecting our second, as it took so long and there was so much heartache getting Dusty here."
Stay at home dad Matt added: "When Lacey told me, I was so happy. Having Dusty was the best thing that ever happened to us, so to have another baby is only going to be amazing."
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12:30pm on ITV
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