Zoe Lucker gets Hollyoaks abuse plot
Zoe Lucker will be at the centre of a child sexual abuse storyline when she makes her 'Hollyoaks' debut.
The 40-year-old actress has joined the soap as Reenie McQueen - the incarcerated mother of Porsche, Celine and Cleo McQueen - and her first major plotline will see her eldest daughter reveal her mum's boyfriend Pete sexually assaulted her when she was 15.
However, after Porsche confided in her mother, Pete convinced Reenie that the teenager had propositioned him and her refusal to believe her daughter led to the girls leaving the family home.
A soap source said: "The McQueen sisters - Porsche, Celine and Cleo - came to Hollyoaks to escape from an unhappy home life and the memory of Reenie's boyfriend, Pete.
"The sisters had never confided in each other about Pete's inappropriate behaviour, which they had all experienced to varying degrees, so the extent of the danger he posed within the family was never revealed.
"When Pete comes back into their lives troubled Reenie desperately wants him to stay and the girls want their mum to be in a happier place - but letting him into their home brings with it devastating consequences."
'Hollyoaks' have been working with the NSPCC on the storyline and hope it will assist in directing young people to find help and support and also to recognise if a friend could be vulnerable to abuse.
Zoe said: "I have been involved in the story from very early on and have been lucky enough to have worked with Jon Brown and his team at the NSPCC.
"For me 'no secrets' is about, as an adult, thinking carefully about what you ask children to do and say. Even giving a child sweets as a treat and saying 'don't tell your mum', is sending the wrong message to a child.
"We want children to know that someone asking them to keep a secret is wrong and that message needs to start at home because sadly that can still be an unsafe place for some children."
NAPAC - which supports people who were abused in childhood - have also been involved in the researching of the storyline, in particular the effect of generational abuse within a family.