Simon Freedman Mauricio Merino Jr
Simon Freedman 2008-2009
Lived: 22, 24 Ramsay Street
Parents: Matt and Cassandra Freedman
Siblings: Donna and Tegan
Whilst working in Harold's Store one day, Elle Robinson found herself rudely confronted by mouthy 14-year-old Tegan, while her older brother, Simon, kept his mouth shut, as usual slightly embarrassed by his sister's behaviour. Elle threw the siblings out of the store, only for them to arrive on her doorstep later that same day, explaining that they were the younger siblings of Elle's 18-year-old ward, Donna Freedman. With Donna was away on a school excursion, Simon and Tegan insisted that they'd told Donna they were coming and, despite Elle having no idea that they existed, they assured her that Donna had said that they could stay.
When Donna returned, she was furious to find her brother and sister in her home, while Elle also struggled to deal with having another pair of mouths to feed, and got annoyed as Tegan tried on her clothes without asking. But Donna had a change of heart when Tegan explained that their mum had a new boyfriend, and there was no lock on the bathroom door at their house. As Donna tried to reconnect with Simon and Tegan, he got frustrated with the whole situation, quietly asking Tegan why they had to be there, with Tegan mysteriously telling him that they had to go along with what their mum wanted. As Donna took her siblings to a pirate party being thrown across the street, Simon struggled to fit in and decided to leave, but when Donna's boyfriend Ringo Brown caught him going, he physically threatened him, telling him that Donna was happy to have her brother and sister around. Donna caught them fighting and was upset to realise Simon was going, but he confronted her about why their parents split up, claiming that Donna told their dad about their mum's affairs, so she could have their father to herself. Tegan, meanwhile, reminded Simon that they had to stay, so he agreed, but warned them all to stay away from him.
Meanwhile, when Ringo found out that, months earlier, Donna had stopped taking the Pill in the hope that she might fall pregnant with his baby, he was stunned and ended the relationship. Though Simon failed to see what the big deal was, claiming that Ringo was just another in a long line of boyfriends Donna had lied to, he saw how much she was hurting and tracked Ringo down at the gym. He explained that Ringo was the first guy Donna was changing for, lying less and being herself more, and Ringo went to see Donna and, after a heart to heart, they got back together. But just as the Freedman siblings seemed to be getting along, their world was turned upside-down when their mum, Cassandra, arrived as the newest tenant of 24 Ramsay Street. Though Donna was mortified, Simon and Tegan were slightly more pleased to see their mother and moved in with her. But as Simon tried to defend his mum from Donna's accusations that she only came to town to snag herself Elle's rich dad, Paul, he was forced to realise that it was true, and Tegan had been keeping her mum up-to-date on the people of Erinsborough. Though Cass' scheming meant that Donna was forced to move in with her family, Simon didn't want to see his sister so unhappy and they went to Elle, who insisted that Donna move back. In the hope of reuniting Donna and Ringo - who had split up again after he accused her of cheating on him - Simon then tracked Ringo down to the allotments where he'd been sleeping and, as he showered, he stole all of his clothes, leaving only his phone. Simon had also deleted the memory on Ringo's phone, knowing that Donna's number was the only one he knew by heart. But the plan backfired when Ringo angrily accused Donna of setting him up.
Simon's next plot had a similarly bad outcome, when, desperate to stop Paul from going on a date with his mum, Simon superglued the doors shut, cut the phone lines, and threw Paul's mobile phone battery over the back fence. Simon then ended up with a screwdriver glued to his hand and, as Paul helped him to get it off, they chatted and Simon admitted that he was going this to stop his mum being walked all over by another man, but also to protect Donna. Paul found himself respecting Simon for the reasons behind his idiotic action and told him that maybe they were quite similar. When Simon then broke the news to his mum about the prank he'd played on Paul, she was delighted, realising that he hadn't stood her up on purpose, and with renewed vigour, she organised another date, this time making sure that she was the one to do the standing up, making Paul perfectly clear on where he stood.
When Cass started encouraging Tegan to wear a shorter school uniform to attract the boys, she ended up getting bullied by Kyle Canning. Simon stood up for his little sister and a fight broke out, but Tegan still refused to tell her mum her feelings. However, later in the week, when Kyle continued to make snide remarks, Tegan stood up for herself, and Simon encouraged her to do the same with their mum in Harold's Store. Upset, Cass stormed out and, in the ensuing chaos, Simon stole an iPod from the shop counter, witnessed by Paul. When Simon later bumped into Paul in the store, he was forced to hand over the stolen iPod, explaining that he'd done it to get some attention and upset his mum, as she treated him like dirt. Paul told him that he should respect his mum more, but also reminded him that revenge is a dish best served cold.
When Cass once again started behaving appallingly, trying to frame bar manager Rebecca for serving a minor, Simon and Tegan realised that they had to get away from her suffocating influence. Simon decided that the best place they could go was to their nan's, where they'd be with family but far away from Cass, and so they packed their bags and went, ignoring their mum's pleas to stay. When Elle found them sitting at the bus stop, she took them back to say goodbye to Donna and everyone else, before driving them to their new home.
• Mauricio scored the role of Simon after auditioning through Dolly magazine's Neighbours' Next Big Stars competition
• Click here to read our interview with Mauricio
5605, 5607, 5609, 5611, 5612, 5619, 5620, 5622, 5624, 5627, 5628, 5634, 5635, 5637, 5640, 5641, 5645, 5649, 5650, 5654, 5655, 5659, 5660
Episode 5605: Simon and Tegan's Arrival
Episode 5660: Simon and Tegan's Departure
Biography by Steve