Leo’s mum Micheala returns to confront Whitney – EastEnders’ Shona McGarty on their showdown

"Whitney can't help but feel guilty for what happened"

eastenders Whitney dean

Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) continues to be haunted by dead stalker Leo King, who she murdered in self-defence after a terrifying intimidation campaign that climaxed in a fatal stabbing in the Branning kitchen.

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Poor Whit is facing a possible prison sentence for defending herself against the son of childhood abuser Tony King, who deliberately tracked her down in a twisted attempt to clear his late father’s name.

Ms Dean’s dilemma deepens on Monday 13th April when Leo’s estranged mum Michaela Turnbull (Fiona Allen) returns to EastEnders to face her son’s killer. Despite Michaela disowning her delusional offspring last time we saw her after he locked her in the boot of a car, her grief pushes her into an emotional confrontation with Whit. McGarty reveals what’s ahead for her beleaguered alter ego.

eastenders Whitney dean

How is Whitney dealing with Leo’s stalking and subsequent death?
She still can’t sleep, she can’t get it out of her head. You never would, though, would you? Every day she is thinking about the trial.

Does she think she is going to end up in prison?
Yes, she is completely convinced that even though she knows it was self-defence, the situation ended up really badly so she deserves to go to prison. Whitney thinks she’s never going to get any happiness.

Does she believe she is guilty?
I think she does, yes. She’s always saying that, it doesn’t matter how it happened, she killed someone and feels guilty about it. Whitney is going over it all the time thinking maybe how she could’ve prevented it.

When she sees Michaela, how does does that make Whitney feel?
She feels really sorry for her, but also can’t help but feel guilty after what happened. Michaela is tough but it’s not that Whitney is scared of her, more that she is scared of what Michaela thinks of Whitney.

eastenders whitney dean

Who can Whitney rely on in these tough time for her?
Chantelle has been her best friend throughout the whole thing, definitely. And Whitney can always rely on her family – Sonia, Kat and Tiff.

Have you enjoyed this storyline?
I’ve absolutely loved it, I really have. It’s been one of my favourite moments at EastEnders, especially the hunger strike scenes in prison.

What have been the most challenging moments?
Playing the hallucinations in her cell. I was excited when I read the scripts, I felt really gripped. Working with the director Toby Frow I knew I was in safe hands, he is amazing in everything he does. It was honestly one of the best stories I’ve really got my teeth stuck into. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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