Yolande Trueman will be the focus of a new sexual assault storyline in EastEnders.


The BBC One soap has already aired uncomfortable scenes for Yolande (Angela Wynter) as she felt that her personal body space had been invaded twice by her friend and confidant Pastor Gideon Clayton, portrayed by Howard Saddler.

Following this, Yolande feels punished by the Pastor this week when he shut her out of her fundraising project in favour of his wife Stella (Velile Tshabalala), manipulating Yolande by saying she was making it uncomfortable for them to be alone together.

Now, following the return of Yolande's husband Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) to Albert Square later this month, Pastor Clayton will turn even nastier with Yolande.

The storyline will be the chief focus of the hour-long special due to air on Wednesday 17th April 2024 which will also include special flashback scenes featuring accounts from other women who are survivors of sexual assault at the hands of Pastor Clayton.

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Executive producer Chris Clenshaw said of the storyline: "This is an important story that we hope will raise awareness of how women at any age can been groomed by someone in a position of power."

Howard Saddler as Pastor Clayton speaks to Angela Wynter as Yolande Trueman in the Minute Mart for EastEnders.
Pastor Clayton (portrayed by Howard Saddler) has already made Yolande feel uncomfortable with his behaviour. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

He continued "It was vital for us to work alongside End Violence Against Women Coalition and Hourglass to truthfully present and sensitively portray Yolande’s sexual assault storyline."

Alongside this statement, Andrea Simon, Director of End Violence Against Women Coalition, said of Yolande’s story: "We’re proud to work with EastEnders on this important storyline. Sexual assault happens to women of all ages and backgrounds, but many find they aren’t believed or taken seriously. Older women, black women and others who are marginalised are at the sharp end of this, with huge consequences for their access to justice and support. TV shows can play a huge role in shifting attitudes across society.

"We hope this storyline helps dispel myths and stereotypes about what victims and survivors look like and how perpetrators behave, and ultimately increases understanding of sexual assault."

Angela Wynter as a sad Yolande Trueman standing in a blue coat in the Minute Mart in EastEnders.
Will Yolande (Angela Wynter) tell the police and Patrick about what has happened to her? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Additionally, Veronica Gray, Deputy CEO and Director of Policy at Hourglass, said of the storyline: "This is a landmark moment for all older victims of abuse in the UK and beyond. EastEnders, shaping a storyline around the too-often hidden nightmare of sexual abuse of older people, finally brings this issue out of the shadows and into public consciousness. We hope this will start an important conversation in many households across the UK.

"Hourglass is delighted to work with EastEnders on this storyline to provide advice, and we were impressed by how engaged the scriptwriting team were and how keen they were to be authentic and respectful. Abuse of older people comes in many forms, and Hourglass urges anyone affected to make contact with us."

More details for the storyline will be revealed with full spoilers for the week at midnight.

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

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