Emmerdale star Jonathan Wrather on Pierce and Rhona rape drama – “It’s a hard watch”

"It's shocking to find out how many people are in these coercive, abusive relationships that may or may not become violent"

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Emmerdale star Jonathan Wrather has admitted that rape scenes broadcast in last night’s episode made for tough viewing.

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“What we’ve seen is that people are very much on board with us raising awareness in the first instance. It’s a hard watch. It’s hard to take on. And it was kind of implied, which kind of makes it worse,” the actor told ITV’s Lorraine.

Monday’s instalment of the soap saw Pierce sexually assault new bride Rhona on their wedding day after accusing her of playing him off against her ex, Paddy.

Speaking about the research that went into the disturbing showdown, Wrather added: “You don’t want to let people down because it’s happening all too often. We worked with a number of people – Women’s Aid and various crisis groups – to make sure we got it right. Because the facts and statistics are shocking. It’s not nice at all.”  

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A clip from tonight’s episode was also shown in which Pierce could be seen shifting the blame onto Rhona, trying to manipulate the situation to make it look as though she’d been taunting him in the run-up to the attack.

On the topic of his character’s behaviour, Wrather noted: “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on social media that this is helping a number of people. People are identifying with it. And it’s shocking to find out how many people are in these coercive, abusive relationships that may or may not become violent.”

This evening’s episode of Emmerdale will see Rhona summon up the courage to go to the police in order to report the rape – but will she decide to name Pierce as the attacker?

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.

And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeSKgzfOTH4?list=PLbs-Pk9dtKb9wGFelp78FklquqUuTnzni