Emmerdale reveals the fate of Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) on Thursday 20th June when the manipulative teacher is told the verdict that will determine her future – will she go to prison for her abuse of vulnerable schoolboy Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant)?
“I still don’t think Maya accepts what she’s done is wrong, therefore I don’t believe she regrets it,” says Clein, speaking as her character faces the consequences of the inappropriate affair she had with her pupil following months of systematic grooming while he was under the age of consent.
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“She probably still has feelings for Jacob and as she heads towards the court appearance she’s in damage control mode. Things have gone beyond any rational sense and now it’s about survival and what will happen to her after the situation is resolved – one way or another.”
Jacob is still under her sinister spell and refuses to see what she did to him as abuse, still convinced they belong together. In the run-up to discovering the toxic teacher’s punishment for sending inappropriate text messages to a minor, he comes to her rescue when Miss Stepney is attacked by a group of schoolgirls, chasing them off and sharing an intimate moment in her car.
The lad continues to shut out dad David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden), blaming him for calling the cops on Maya and ruining their ‘future’, with David himself feeling responsible for letting Maya into their home (she was his fiancée).
Does Maya think she’ll escape being locked up?
Once court is in session, everyone waits nervously to hear the verdict – does Clein feel it will go in Maya’s favour?
“She can’t comprehend the possibility of jail, as she doesn’t think she’s in the wrong. I suppose she considers a rap on the knuckles, a non-custodial or suspended sentence after which she could move away and try to rebuild her life on her own somewhere else.”
Maya’s grooming of Jacob may have started off as divisive in terms of the public’s reaction, but as time has gone on it has captured their attention like no other storyline this year. The judge’s verdict is sure to get them talking.
“Viewers want to see justice and need to see there is the correct retribution for Maya. Everyone is excited and interested in how it’s going to finish, or at least how this part of the story will end.
“At the start viewers wanted the storyline to be over quickly and thought it was revolting,” acknowledges the actress. “Now they have invested in it and it’s being talked about everywhere. Emmerdale were brave to tackle the story and I’m so proud to be a part of it. We have achieved exactly what we’ve set out to do.”
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