Will rapist Laurie go to prison in Hollyoaks? “Sinead is not out of the dark yet,” warns Stephanie Davis

The actress discusses the fallout to exposing Laurie's abuse

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There are dramatic scenes ahead in Hollyoaks as Sinead Shelby (Stephanie Davis) is raped for a second time by abusive husband Laurie (Kyle Pryor) and finally opens up about the mental and physical ordeal she has been subjected to within her marriage.

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In E4’s episode airing on Monday 20th May, Sinead endures another sexual assault after a furious row with her other half and opens up to parents Diane Hutchinson and Tony Hutchinson who are left reeling.

The next episode – airing on E4 on Tuesday 21st – focuses entirely on Sinead’s admission as she files a police report, while Laurie becomes desperate to turn it around on his wife and insists she’s lying to get attention. Will Laurie talk himself out of a prison sentence?

RadioTimes.com hears from Davis, who has been shortlisted as Best Actress in this year’s British Soap Awards for her heart wrenching performance, about the hard-hitting week ahead.

What are the events leading up to Laurie raping Sinead again?
Sinead agreed to take Laurie back after the last time as long as he went to anger management sessions, but she finds out he lied and never set up any meetings. She is furious and waits for him to get home as she’s about to lose it. Once he’s home they go to the bedroom and he starts acting quite strange. He turns the music up really loud, and Sinead is alarmed…

How has Laurie been manipulating Sinead?
Laurie repeatedly told Sinead she’d be nothing without him, and that he saved her and that he’s a better person than she is. Eventually, Sinead started doubting herself. She thinks it’s love but it’s not, it’s control. She tried to justify it and make excuses for the behaviour.

After the first attack he told her they’re married so it can’t be rape. He’s a master manipulator. She forgave him after the first time. Deep down she had a gut instinct it was wrong, but tried to ignore it because she felt she was nothing without him.

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What effect does Laurie’s manipulation have on Sinead?
It’s a process in this type of relationship. It doesn’t always go to these extremes, because someone can’t keep control of you like that. They chip away at your confidence by telling you that you’re not good enough. They isolate you and make you dependant on them, you can’t live without that person and even feel like you’re lucky to be with them.

How did you approach filming this week’s dramatic scenes with the attack and the confession?
The director George C Siougas was fantastic because he gave me the freedom to do it how I wanted to. I’m hoping when people watch the scenes it won’t feel like a drama, but like they’re watching real life.

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How do Diane and Tony react when Sinead tells them what’s happened?
It’s a big shock because Laurie didn’t just manipulate Sinead, he manipulated everyone around him. As Sinead comes out with it, they’re just shocked and in disbelief. Diane and Tony can see what state Sinead is in and of course they’re going to believe her.

Did Sinead believe Sienna’s sexual harassment claims against Laurie?
I think she was trying to ignore the truth. It’s a big realisation for both Sinead and Sienna to realise what was happening to them because it wasn’t a stranger slapping Sienna on the backside or attacking Sinead down a dark alley – it was someone they know and, in Sinead’s case, someone she loves. It’s hard for Sinead to accept she’s in an abusive relationship.

What goes through Sinead’s mind when she tells the police?
Tony and Diane take her to the police station. She’s still in a state of shock and just blabbing, trying to process it herself. Tony and Diane give her reassurance and that extra boost.

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Is Sinead free from Laurie now?
At the time she comes clean he still has a lot of strength and power, whereas she feels weak. Sinead’s tired and exhausted and he’s so powerful with his manipulative ways. She is not out of the dark yet.

How does it feel to be shortlisted for Best Actress at this year’s British Soap Awards?
I can’t believe it. Our producer Bryan Kirkwood called me, I was on set – I went in the toilet and screamed the place down! I was made up. It took a few days for it to sink in. I wanted to come back to prove myself.

Who was the first person you told?
Owen (Warner, who plays Romeo Quinn and is dating Davis in real life). I waited for him to finish his scene and pretended I didn’t get shortlisted, and he looked like he was going to cry for me – he was so gutted so I quickly told him I was joking. He picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and ran around the green room!

You can vote here for the British Soap Awards 2019 until Friday 24th May.

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