Juliet Quinn (Niamh Blackshaw) is already stirring up trouble in Hollyoaks. The newcomer made her on-screen debut this week as the younger sister of Romeo Quinn (Owen Warner) started at Hollyoaks High and quickly ruffled the feathers of classmates Imran Maalik (Ijaz Rana) and Brooke Hathaway (Talia Vanessa Grant).
Described as a “damaged and vulnerable young girl who lashes out at the world by bullying others,” Juliet’s tough mean girl exterior is all an act constructed to cope with her troubled upbringing by drug-addled prostitute mother, Donna-Marie Quinn (Lucy-Jo Hudson).
The actress may be familiar to Coronation Street fans as she played a brief but vital role in 2017’s controversial grooming storyline involving Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon). The vulnerable Weatherfield teenager was seduced and exploited by predator Nathan Curtis (Christopher Harper) and forced into a sick sex ring.
Blackshaw played 14-year-old Lara Cutler, Nathan’s youngest victim, who Bethany encountered early on the plot in May 2017 at one of the parties where she was unknowingly being observed by sleazy men who would eventually pay Nathan to sleep with her. Lara almost let slip Nathan’s true agenda before he separated the girls for fear of being exposed.
Once Nathan was rumbled and Bethany escaped his clutches, she tracked down Lara in July 2017 hoping to convince her to be a part of the upcoming court case against their abuser. Lara had clearly been severely affected by her ordeal and was reluctant to speak out against Nathan, and on the final day of the trial in October 2017 it was revealed she threw herself on some train tracks and killed herself.
Bethany was being held hostage by Nathan’s accomplice Mel Maguire (Sonia Ibrahim) to keep her from the courtroom but when friend and trainee police officer Craig Tinker (Colson Smith) called with news of Lara’s tragic death, it was the last straw for Mel who realised the depth of Nathan’s crimes. She freed Bethany who went to court to see Nathan and the rest of the sex ring be found guilty.
Blackshaw’s Hollyoaks character has already hit the ground running in the drama stakes, as her mum almost died of a drug overdose in her first episode, and big brother Romeo is struggling to forge a relationship with his long-lost father James Nightingale (Gregory Finnegan) and pining after Lily McQueen (Lauren McQueen) who is married to his best mate Prince McQueen (I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! contestant Malique Thompson-Dwyer).
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