Emmerdale's Louisa Clein hits back at Maya Stepney grooming storyline backlash

13 March 2019, 10:58 | Updated: 13 March 2019, 15:48

Louisa Clein responded to the backlash on Lorraine earlier today
Louisa Clein responded to the backlash on Lorraine earlier today. Picture: ITV

Louisa, who plays Maya Stepney in Emmerdale, has hit back at criticism of her grooming storyline

Emmerdale star Louisa Clein has hit back at the public backlash to her character Maya Stepney's grooming storyline, but admitted that playing the paedophile teacher had been 'tough'.

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Her character Maya has been grooming her boyfriend David Metcalfe's son Jacob for the last few months, and appeared on today's episode of Lorrane to discuss the storyline.

Maya has been grooming Jacob for the last few months
Maya has been grooming Jacob for the last few months. Picture: ITV

She said: "There's a lot more of the story to tell but it's moving towards an end.

"We've had a real mixed reaction, we've obviously had people who are incredibly shocked, which is right.

"We don't want to tell a romantic, titillating story.

"We've had this mixture of people saying 'please make it stop now, we've had enough' but others saying 'thank you for telling this story'."

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Louisa also revealed that she had been bombarded with messages from real-life victims of abuse, saying: "I've had messages from people saying 'this has really helped me, the relationship I thought I had was wrong.

"I am getting these messages and it's amazing and it makes it worth it."

Jacob is the son of Maya's boyfriend David
Jacob is the son of Maya's boyfriend David. Picture: ITV

And opening up about her character, Louisa added: "She has this veneer of being a professional, intelligent woman, she seems to have a normal relationship with David.

"There's nothing that's screaming dirty old man.

"It has been tough for me to play, it's been a real challenge, but I'm here to get that word out there."

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