This article includes a discussion of sexual abuse that some readers may find distressing.


When Yolande Trueman returned to EastEnders last summer, fans rejoiced.

Yolande was promptly happily reunited with Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker), and she soon settled back into Walford, reminding us just how much we had missed her warmth and wisdom.

Sadly, next week, Yolande faces a harrowing time that will change her life forever. Despite recently challenging Pastor Gideon Clayton (Howard Saddler) over his inappropriate behaviour, Yolande is to be sexually assaulted by him as she prepares for a fundraiser they are both working on.

The scenes will air during an hour-long edition of the BBC soap, and the episodes also coincide with Patrick's return after some time away, as he and Yolande row over the pastor before events take an even darker turn.

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In a new interview shared with Radio Times and other press, star Wynter explains what caused the bust-up between the Truemans, and how Yolande feels around Pastor Clayton in the lead-up to the attack.

She also discusses the importance of portraying sexual abuse, hoping that Yolande's story will raise awareness about abusers who are in positions of power.

Yolande and Pastor Clayton stand opposite each other in the community centre in EastEnders
Yolande is left broken by the attack from Pastor Clayton. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

You can read the full chat with Wynter below ahead of her alter ego's devastating new storyline, which is detailed in our latest EastEnders round-up.

Yolande called Pastor Clayton out for his inappropriate behaviour a couple of weeks ago. Does she believe that the incident is behind them?

"She does think that they've resolved their issues, but there is still a little reserve on Yolande's part. She trusts Pastor Clayton because he's a man of the cloth. Sometimes, people don't see the red flags when they are dealing with people in positions of power. So, not only does Yolande think she's dealt with this issue, but she also believes in the greater good in Pastor Clayton."

Pastor Clayton tried to make Yolande feel foolish and ashamed for her reaction. Did that change her opinion of what happened?

"Yolande now thinks she overreacted because Pastor Clayton made her feel like that, but her instinct was right. In the scene where they had a reconciliatory conversation, he tried to pull her in for a hug, but Yolande offered him her hand instead. That suggests that she was making sure that this misunderstanding could never happen again. Yolande has been very careful since then."

Yolande and Patrick embrace in EastEnders
Yolande and Patrick hit the rocks. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Patrick arrives home this week, but he and Yolande soon fall out. What happens?

"The conflict between Yolande and Patrick is all because she's busy, busy, busy with the fundraiser, and he's not understanding that. Patrick has come home and naturally he wants Yolande all to himself. But he wants too much time, and more than she can give him. Yolande promises Patrick that she'll be all his after this fundraiser work is done."

What does the fundraiser mean to Yolande?

"It's a big day for her, and a very proud one because she's worked on this project for so long. She's been going around speaking to businesses and getting them to donate all sorts of things, and the whole experience has made her feel purposeful."

Angela Wynter as a visibly distressed Yolande Trueman in EastEnders
Angela Wynter as Yolande Trueman in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Pastor Clayton will sexually assault Yolande at the fundraiser. How do you feel about telling such a challenging but important story?

"It's important to tell stories like this as sexual abuse is something that happens too often in our society, and ever has it been the case. There are many people who are being abused, and they are not able to speak up because those doing the abusing are in positions of power.

"When that happens, many people fear they won't be believed, that they'll lose their job or status, or feel naïve or embarrassed, so they don't speak up. As an actor, I tell stories, and I felt I could tell this story and put a spotlight on this issue."

Anyone affected by Yolande's story can find support via End Violence Against Women Coalition and Hourglass. Hourglass also has a helpline on 0808 808 8141.

You can also visit the website for Rape Crisis and contact by calling Rape Crisis's 23/7 support line on 0808 500 2222.

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EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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