Emmerdale star Zoe Henry has said that concerned fans have been warning her character Rhona Goskirk to steer clear of sexual attacker Pierce Harris.
The ITV Dales-set soap has seen Rhona try to find love again with widower Pierce (Jonathan Wrather), who has repeatedly raped her during their relationship.
Rhona has been struggling to get over her split with husband Paddy (Dominic Brunt) after he had an affair with Pierce’s wife, Tess, who was later killed in a car accident.
Zoe said: “Everyone is warning me off and saying, ‘You need to get rid of Piers and get back with Paddy’.
“In Rhona’s situation, you only see what you want to see. She desperately wants the relationship with Pierce to work because if it fails, it fails in front of the whole village and her ex husband.
“They have a deep sexual attraction and when he’s good he’s brilliant but when he’s bad he’s rotten. She tries to ignore the bad days and the mood swings and controlling things but I don’t think she sees as much as the villagers or the audience do.”
But Rhona’s relationship with Pierce is about to get even more dangerous as, while he is away marking the anniversary of Tess’s death, she and Paddy have a divorce party for two which ends in a kiss – just days before Pierce returns to the village and she agrees to marry him.
Zoe admitted: “I don’t think she’ll ever stop loving Paddy. She never wanted the marriage to end, it was forced upon her because she literally couldn’t deal with the betrayal and she really tried to get through it but she just couldn’t.
“She’s still a bit heartbroken about that and they have a deep love and friendship.”
:: Emmerdale continues on ITV Monday to Friday at 7pm.