Watch: Maya appears in court on Emmerdale
Emmerdale actress Louisa Clein has revealed that she and co-star Joe-Warren Plant refused to film some "unnecessary" scenes during their hard-hitting abuse storyline.
In 2018, Clein's character — teacher Maya Stepney — began grooming Plant's character Jacob Gallagher, who was just 15 years old at the time.
The storyline culminated in Maya being sentenced to a year in prison for inappropriate text messages sent between her and Jacob.
Clein told the podcast Soap from the Box that there were some scenes written in the scripts for the controversial plot, which both she and Plant opted to push back against.
She said: "Sometimes the writers would write something so simple and we would both go: ‘I don’t think that’s necessary, I don’t think we need to show that'.
“I think [it's] actually far more effective if we show less, or if the words say more as opposed to the action.
“I think we all felt very protected and very looked after.”
Clein said she had a "great relationship" with Plant and that this made the difficult material a lot easier to deal with.
She added: "We were very open about things and could really talk about how comfortable or uncomfortable we were about things."
Emmerdale bosses conceived the complex storyline in consultation with children's charity Barnardo's.
Clein said she received abuse in the street from members of the public at the height of the story, which was one of the most prominent on the soap at the time.
She recounted one occasion in which a woman approached her while shopping with her two-year-old son and called her a "b***h".
Clein said: "I was like: ‘You know it’s not real? I’m with my son and he just thinks some strange lady has come up to me and said something mean’."
Plant is due to return to Emmerdale this month after taking a hiatus to compete on the skating show Dancing On Ice, from which he was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.
Watch: Dancing On Ice winner poses with trophy