Before Emmerdale actress Samantha Giles found love with her husband, she found herself at the centre of a love triangle with her co-star Claire King, best known for playing Kim Tate
Actress Samantha Giles has played Bernice Blackstock on Emmerdale for over 25 years and her character has been involved in many storylines centred around her failed romances. Away from the dales, Samantha has been in a relationship with her husband and production manager, Sean Pritchard, for 17 years – but her love life hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
Samantha has a long history with co-star Claire King – who is known for her role as Emmerdale’s Kim Tate – and they had a bitter feud over an alleged affair back in the early 2000s. Claire previously blamed Samantha for the breakdown of her 10-year marriage to former ITV soap actor Peter Amory, who she’s called the ‘love of her life’. Samantha has never addressed the claims.
Claire claimed that Samantha and Peter started a secret relationship while they were working together in the soap. “I had a feeling that something was going on,” she told the Mirror in 2005. “I was working in London and we were spending less and less time together. I was travelling back to Yorkshire every weekend. I remember Pete saying that I only came back to see my dogs and horses… and I thought: ‘Well, yeah, and to catch you at it!’
“But then it was Samantha’s husband who wrote me a letter and told me. That was about four years ago. I questioned Pete and he admitted it had been going on for a while. He told me it was over but then it started again. At that point I said: ‘Well, you have to go with her then, because it obviously isn’t going to stop.’ She was there when I was in Emmerdale and you can’t help those thoughts going round in your head – did he fancy her, did he… it’s all that crappy teenage stuff.
“I just felt really let down. I didn’t see it coming. Pete could be laddish and spend eight hours down the pub getting p****d with his builder mates or watching football, but he wasn’t a womaniser. I knew he wasn’t out there pulling chicks, so when it happened I thought: ‘Well, it’s serious.'” But Claire said she didn’t seek revenge when she first found out, and remained friends with Peter despite all the pain he caused her.
“When we broke up I put on a brave face, but inside I was dying,” she said. “And because I took it on the chin and didn’t rant or rave or beg, I didn’t realise how much it hurt.” She added: “We were close and we’ll always be mates.” Claire explained that she chose not to confront Samantha about the affair because she likes to think ‘what goes around comes around’.
In 2010, white witch Samantha married her husband Sean after casting a love spell. Speaking to OK! in 2020, she said: “I met him three months after the spell. It’s about things being aligned. Sometimes people say to me, ‘I put this thought out there and it didn’t work!’ But sometimes things aren’t in the right place so you have to let them go until it’s time.”
Samantha elaborated on the spell to the Mirror, claiming she uses candles and crystals to facilitate spells and writes down exactly what she wants. “I wrote down exactly what I was after. Then I met Sean and he was exactly what I had written,” she said. “It’s as if he appeared by magic! You have to be very specific about what you’re looking for, and one thing I forgot to put down was for him to be older than me. I put taller, as well as details about his personality and morality.”
She added: “Then when I met Sean and we started seeing each other, he was two-and-a-half years younger than me. I thought, ‘This feels a bit weird’, but it didn’t take me long to get over it.” Samantha got interested in Wicca, a pagan religion, after her mum taught her how to read palms as a youngster. She started creating spells for her family and friends, and sells them on her website. They include incantations for finding a new job, beating exam stress and mending a broken heart.