Viewers have been left shocked and heartbroken by horrific rape scenes that aired on Emmerdale last night showing manipulative lawyer Pierce Harris force himself onto his new wife Rhona Goskirk, just hours after they tied the knot in front of their friends and family.
Ofcom has now received 62 complaints over the brutal episode, which aired at 7pm, but actress Zoe Henry has warned that there is “worse” to come tonight.
The scene begins when Rhona expressed concern that Pierce was making decisions about their life without her and he snapped, bringing up her drunken kiss with Paddy Kirk. Jonathan Wrather, who plays Pierce, revealed actress Zoe (Rhona) was left bruised and injured after filming the close contact scuffle.
Despite many rehearsals, the brutality of the scene caused Jonathan to accidentally injure his co-star during the scuffle.
How the hell has that been allowed on tv? #Emmerdale
— BETHΔNY (@beththeyoung) April 24, 2017
That was beyond hard to watch oh my god. I praise #Emmerdale SO much for raising awareness. I am speechless
— Danimay Palmer (@Danimay_Palmer) April 24, 2017
Speaking on ‘Lorraine’ on Tuesday, Jonathan explained: “(It was) difficult to do, luckily we get an element of rehearsal on those ones.
“All that thing had to be choreographed. You couldn’t just turn up on set and go: ‘Hi, crew and just work this one out.’
“It was very hard-hitting – I’ve not seen it screen but I remember doing it – we shot it in chronology so it’s very much up here but most of it was very much implied. You don’t see a lot, but in a sense it makes it more powerful!
“Zoe will say that she did get one or two bruises along the way. We were fully committed to it, we had to be, we wanted to make it as truthful as possible.”
Meanwhile, Zoe apeared on ‘This Morning’ today and told presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that viewers should be prepared for the dark storyline to continue and get worst.
“Tonight is harder than what we shot for last night. You expect an apology from Pierce but that doesn’t come. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but what does happen is worse.”
#emmerdale OMG pierce needs sorting he better be sent down for that!
— Kathryn (@mummykx) April 24, 2017
— Sue Kirwan (@JoshsMomm) April 24, 2017
The storyline was no doubt also disturbing for the cast and crew to watch and as expected, Ofcom received dozens of complaints.
A spokesperson said: “We will assess these complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate.”
Jonathan has admitted he wanted to take on the hard-hitting scene because rape within marriage is happening in real life so often.
Emmerdale also worked closely with Rape Crisis and Women’s Aid throughout the preparation.
The actor added: “Pierce is seemingly this kind of sorted, charming, well-adjusted individual but behind closed doors he is perturbed and disturbed. It’s happening all too often, we work with a number of groups – Women’s Aid and various crisis groups – to make sure we get it right. The facts and statistics are pretty shocking and not nice at all.”