Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Dornan's step-mum: I’m proud of his success but sad his real mother didn’t live to see it

By Yvette Shapiro

The Fall star Jamie Dornan's glamorous step-mum has spoken of her pride as the Holywood-born heartthrob hits the big and small screens in three major roles.

But top gynaecologist Dr Samina Dornan, who is married to Jamie's dad, Jim, hinted at the actor's hidden heartbreak over losing his mother, Lorna, when he was just 16.

Jamie (32, below) was back on TV on Thursday night with his portrayal of serial killer Paul Spector in BBC2's The Fall. And he's winning impressive reviews for two new movies, Anthropoid and The Siege of Jadotville.

I'm very, very proud of him and also sad for him," said Samina, in an exclusive interview with the new-look Northern Woman magazine.

"It may be a strange thing to say, but I often feel how wonderful it would be if his mum was alive to see all this. You can never replace a mother, no matter how good a parent you are."

Pakistan-born Samina, who lost her own mother when she was a child, met leading obstetrician Professor Jim Dornan - widely known as "the baby doctor" - at a medical conference after his wife's death. In her interview, she talks about becoming stepmother to his three children, Jamie, Liesa and Jessica. It was Samina who encouraged a teenage Jamie to pursue a modelling career in London.

"I get on very well with the kids, as I do, incidentally, with my own stepmother, who is very gentle," she said. "She missed me when I moved to Ireland. The kids still love to come home here - that's the best evidence of a good relationship."

Samina and Jim are Jamie's biggest fans, and they're hugely proud of his movie career, which took off when he landed the role of Christian Grey in the raunchy film Fifty Shades of Grey. The sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, is due for release next February.

Meanwhile, Jamie is starring in two major historical blockbusters - Anthropoid, about the daring World War Two mission to assassinate Nazi Reinhard Heydrich in Czechoslovakia, and The Siege of Jadotville, about a company of Irish soldiers involved in a battle with rebel troops in the Congo in 1961.

"The role in Anthropoid is very much Jamie - it sums him up," said Samina. "It's very much the role he would have chosen for himself and I'd encourage everyone to go to see Jadotville. We saw it at the Galway Film Festival, and it got a standing ovation, so go see it!"

In her interview with Northern Woman, Samina also weighs into the controversial debate on abortion here. The highly respected doctor is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in specialist maternal foetal medicine at the Royal Maternity Hospital, and has a successful private practice on Belfast's Lisburn Road.

She expresses her frustration over the plight of pregnant women whose babies are diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality.

The law, currently being considered by the Court of Appeal, means that women in these tragic cases have to travel to Great Britain to undergo terminations.

"There is apparently such confusion in Northern Ireland around sexual and reproductive rights of women, to such an extent that all of our mothers are just not getting all of the care and attention for dealing with their problem pregnancies," said Samina.

In February, MLAs voted against legalising abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, and Samina added: "Let's just say that while we have some good politicians, I really feel that it would be wonderful if more young women could be involved in solving women's issues. I feel there are too many conservative, grey-haired, grey-suited men who just aren't naturally from a background where they can understand and provide women's rights. They should stand aside and stick to areas they know about."

  • You can read the full interview with Dr Samina Dornan in the October issue of Northern Woman

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