Suffield, who played the role of Lucy Beale from 2004 until 2010, told The Mirror how a group of girls would taunt her on her way to work everyday.
“I was relentlessly bullied by a group of girls – it was systematic, grim and really nasty,” she told the paper.
“I was spat at and got chased home. God knows what would have happened if they had caught up with me. It was so alien and strange and I tried to put on a brave face – I didn’t know how to deal with it.”
The actress believes the bullies may have targetted her after confusing her with her troubled character.
“They were like, ‘There’s Luce, let’s get her’. It was so upsetting and so frequent. I was nearly pushed on to the [train] tracks. I feared for my life. I was genuinely terrified. I tried to put on a brave face but inside I was petrified. I thought they wanted to kill me.”
Suffield revealed that she didn’t inform EastEnders bosses of the bullying incidents as they would not have been able to protect her 24/7.
“Had Melissa reported these incidents she would have had the full support of EastEnders. As she is fully aware, there are systems and procedures in place. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on the reason as to why Melissa is no longer at EastEnders.” – EastEnders spokesperson
Suffield was axed from the soap in 2010 amid reports of poor time keeping and disruptive behaviour. The role of Lucy was taken over by Hetti Bywater in 2012.