Emmerdale‘s Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) is horrified to discover schoolboy Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) has confided in pal Ellis Grant (Asan N’Jie) he is involved in a romance with a mystery older woman – will her partner David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) learn the truth about the inappropriate relationship developing between his stepson and the school teacher?
Desperate to keep their scandalous kiss a secret for fear it could end her career and destroy her reputation, Maya has tried to put some distance between her and Jakey, and even tried to end things with David and leave the village, and but the lovestruck teen is falling hard for his stepdad’s girlfriend.
In the week before Christmas, David grows tired of Jacob’s constant sulking, not realising what’s behind it. Miss Stepney offers to have a quiet word and is unnerved when her pupil admits he is jealous of her and David. She then offers to David to spend more time with Jacob so he doesn’t feel left out and that she’s taking his stepdad away from him, but does she have inappropriate ulterior motives?
Giddy Jacob is thrilled at the prospect of getting closer to his crush, and confides in Ellis his romantic dilemma. While he doesn’t name Maya, he does reveal he is seeing someone older, which leads concerned Ellis to tell David what the lad said. Maya panics and later angrily confronts Jacob about shooting his mouth off, and leaves the boy heartbroken when she cruelly orders him to leave her alone and keep quiet about what’s gone on between them.
Devastated, Jacob is then driven to make a huge decision that has unsettling consequences for Maya. Will he finally tell David about their kiss, and his teacher’s threats for him to keep quiet to protect herself?
Is Maya grooming Jacob?
Emmerdale has worked with children’s charity Barnardo’s and consulted young survivors of sexual abuse for the controversial storyline which has sparked speculation Maya is grooming Jacob and will exploit the vulnerable teen. The soap’s producer Laura Shaw said: “It was important for us to tell this storyline authentically, so we approached Barnardo’s for advice on scripts and character behaviour. Our researchers, story team and cast met with Barnardo’s experts and young men who have been supported by the charity.
“We met some incredible individuals and were moved by their courage and willingness to help us tell this story sensitively. Hopefully, it will make young people and their parents more aware of these issues and their impact.”
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