Jameela Jamil: Being deaf as a child has given me empathy

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent
She also spent time in a wheelchair after breaking her back.

Jameela Jamil says being deaf as a child has given her empathy.

The Good Place star, 33, is known for her activism.

She told the podcast Films To Be Buried With: “I was disabled as a child. I was deaf until I was 12. I went to a special needs school until I was 11….

“I had seven operations throughout my childhood. I’d either be half deaf or totally deaf.

“I’d go for months and months or years with no hearing or then some hearing, and it was a very discombobulating time.”

She added: “I’m glad that it happened…. because if you lose one of your senses your other senses really do heighten… That gifted me with quite a lot of empathy.”

Jamil was hit by a car and broke her back when she was 17.

“I couldn’t walk again for over a year. I’ve experienced different types of disability, ” she says.

“I was bullied for being Pakistani at a time in England when they only really wanted our food but not our presence.

“I was also a chubby teenager, who was bullied very badly for being chubby, who then became anorexic.

“Everything I’m fighting for now… is all things I’ve lived through.”

Films To Be Buried With, With Brett Goldstein, is available now on streaming services including Acast.