December 06,(THEWILL) – Nollywood actress, Lilian Esoro and ex-wife of record label executive, Ubi Franklin, has revealed how the breakdown of her less than two-year-old marriage plunged her into depression.
The graduate of Political Science from the University of Abuja, was a guest of Pastor Bolaji Idowu of Harvesters Church, in an Instagram live session.
During the session, she opened up on her battle with depression post-divorce and the steps she took to conquer it.
It was the first time the actress would openly discuss matters relating to her divorce in public.
According to her, depression and other mental health issues are not talked about as much as they should be in this part of the world.
“It is not something I think anyone should go through, and I was there. I’ve had my fair share; to be very honest with you, I almost threw in the towel.
“Again, we should be mindful of the people we surround ourselves with. I just wanted to be away from everybody; at that time, I’m sure many people noticed. At that point, I even stopped appearing on screen. I just lost interest in everything and everyone. I crawled into a shell that I’m wondering where it went to now,” she said.
Sharing more of her story, Lilian, who runs a beauty parlour, Lioca Spa, revealed that her battle with depression led her to birth a foundation in 2017, to help women going through the same struggles.
“In my depressed state, I thought my life was entirely over. What more could I do? My acting career, how long can it sustain me? I just have a lot of things in my head.
“As a single mum, I felt I’m not alone. I have extra baggage; how do I go about it? How do I move about it? This is something that God has bestowed on top of me. Am I ready for this? And sometimes, I found the courage. Bless her soul, and my mum also played a huge part in helping me,” she said.
The 40-year-old actress said she threw herself into work, day and night.
She said, “I took on jobs nonstop. I took on jobs back to back, and I was not relenting. I was working tirelessly like a mad person. I could count how many times I slept on my bed because it was from one set to another.
“I’m just here to encourage those who feel their life is over wherever they think they’re, even if they are single parents. Believe it or not, it’s not the end of your life. It’s something that I feel I need to tell a lot of people. Don’t stay down.”
The first step towards healing, she said, was to forgive herself.
“I’m now open to having a relationship and having an open mind because when you expect too much, they might end up failing you. So I’m going with an open heart and an open mind, new blessings, everything new and fresh.
“If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, we have many goals. I will focus my energy on more creative things rather than the hurt, pain and baggage. It’s over and done.”
Lilian and her ex-husband held an elaborate wedding in November 2015.
The couple had a lengthy divorce trial. Lillian filed for divorce in a Lagos High Court, but the judge denied it.
In 2019, Ubi filed for divorce in an Abuja court, where the judge was said to have thrown out their case.
In January 2021, the divorce was finalised, with Lilian taking custody of their son, Jayden.
Lilian’s acting career started in 2005. However, she became more notable playing Nurse Abigail in the television series, ‘Clinic Matters’.