Joining the Loose Women for a video chat today (September 18) ahead of tonight's horrific scenes – which will see Chantelle killed by her abusive husband Gray – Smith confirmed that they had to consider the reactions of viewers if they didn't know it was coming.
Presenter Kaye Adams began their conversation by mentioning the soap's deliberate move to announce the storyline ahead of time, to which the Gray star replied: "I think they were coming from the angle of... you know, what's gonna have the biggest impact?
"Obviously we could've left it as a surprise, but ultimately it could've been a massive trigger for a lot of survivors out there watching it.
"If there's anyone at home who's sitting next to someone who is potentially a perpetrator as well, that could be very scary and very dangerous, so I think it was definitely the safest thing for them to do."
Meanwhile, Smith also went on to suggest that his research for the role of Gray really opened his eyes to the issue of domestic abuse.
Speaking previously, the actor declared: "We hope that Chantelle's story gives people the courage to speak out before it's too late and to know that there are services out there to help.
"Working with Women's Aid and Refuge has been invaluable in understanding the mindset of an abuser and the awful realities of abusive relationships. With such a tragic ending bound to be shocking for the audience, hopefully it serves as an important reminder of the devastation domestic abuse causes, especially at the moment."
EastEnders airs Chantelle's death tonight on BBC One at 8.30pm, while Loose Women airs on ITV on weekdays.
Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk) or Women's Aid (www.womensaid.org.uk). The 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be reached on 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
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