Samantha Morton ‘incredibly sorry’ as she opens up on teenage criminal record

Actress Samantha Morton said she is “incredibly sorry” as she opened up on being charged with attempted murder as a teenager.

The Oscar-nominated star, 43, endured a difficult childhood and spent much of her upbringing in care.

Morton previously revealed she was charged with attempted murder at 14 and convicted of threats to kill after picking up a knife and confronting an older girl who had been bullying her at a care home.

Recalling the incident, The Walking Dead actress said she had attended a rave and taken drugs before arriving home to find a nine-year-old boy had been “pimped”.

Samantha Morton
Samantha Morton

Suspecting another girl at the care facility was guilty, Morton, a Bafta and Golden Globe winner, said she “snapped”.

During an appearance on Desert Island Discs, she said: “I snapped and said I was going to kill her. I didn’t harm her, I didn’t touch her but I said those words. And I regret it and I am sorry and I was sorry to her.”

Morton, whose film roles include Oscar-nominated turns in Woody Allen’s 1999 comedy Sweet And Lowdown and 2003 drama In America, said she spent three days in solitary confinement in adult cells.

“I was mortified,” she said. “And I’m sorry to her. We were all abused. She was a child herself. Nobody looked after us properly. We were rioting in that home because they were locking the fridges at night.

“We were not safe.”

Morton added: “I am incredibly sorry. But it wasn’t just like self-defence. I was angry at the system.” She said she wanted to “put the record straight a little bit”.

Morton, who said she was abused during her time in care, also discussed her relationship with her parents. She described her late mother, Pam, as “kind, subservient, vulnerable, funny, beautiful,” before hitting out at how her mental health issues were treated.

“I am fuming at how society behaves around mental health issues for women,” Morton told Desert Island Discs presenter Lauren Laverne.

Her mother had a “very, very traumatic childhood,” Morton said. She also discussed her father, who is still alive, saying she has a “huge amount of love and respect” for “elements” of his parenting.

Samantha Morton
Samantha Morton

However, Morton was highly critical of his temper.

She said: “I think about the levels to which we got good hidings and it wasn’t right and it wasn’t normal and it wasn’t safe.”

Mother-of-three Morton, whose chosen discs included UB40’s Burden Of Shame, The Town I Loved So Well by Irish folk singer Luke Kelly and This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads, said her strong religious faith had helped her through tough times.

She said: “When I was little I did get very confused with my relationship with faith but I always felt loved.

“And in the same ways I look at my children and I know I love them, and it’s so enormous and it’s so overwhelming and it’s so huge, that’s the love I feel from God.

“And so when you’re small or if you’re in pain or in a very, very, tough situation, by accepting that love and allowing that love, the most amazing, transformative things can happen to you. So that’s how I think that I was able to survive, I suppose.”

Listen to Samantha Morton’s Desert Island Discs on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4 at 11am on Sunday.