Emmerdale stars discuss possible return for Maya Stepney

Susannah Alexander
·3-min read

Note: The following article contains discussion of a sexual misconduct storyline that some readers may find upsetting.

Emmerdale spoilers follow.

Emmerdale fans haven't seen manipulative teacher Maya Stepney in the village since she was released from prison back in November 2019, having been charged with grooming and sexually abusing her teenage pupil, Jacob Gallagher.

However, the fact that she is still out there somewhere means that there's every possibility that she could return in future, particularly as her baby son Theo still lives in the village with his dad, David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden).

But to say that Emmerdale's residents wouldn't be too delighted to see Maya again is an understatement, and this is especially true for Jacob's mother Leyla Harding and her partner Liam Cavanagh – who also happens to be Maya's ex-husband.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Related: Emmerdale star wants more Gabby and Leyla scenes

With Leyla and Liam about to get engaged, a reappearance from Maya would be far from welcome and actors Roxy Shahidi and Jonny McPherson, who play Leyla and Liam, reckon that it would be one of the worst things that could happen to the couple right now.

Speaking to Digital Spy and other media recently, Roxy said that Leyla would do anything to get Maya out of her life again should she return.

"I think it would make Leyla's blood run cold and I think she'd do absolutely everything in her power to get rid of her as quickly as possible," the actress said. "I don't think she'd necessarily try and kill her again but I think she'd stop at nothing to get rid of her to be quite honest."

Jonny added that Liam would feel hugely guilty if Maya were to make a comeback, particularly as he was the person who first brought her to the village.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Related: Emmerdale stars on Leyla and Liam's future

"I think for Liam, he obviously unwittingly married a paedophile, which is another mark of how blind he's been to throwing himself into love," he said.

"But also it ended up inflicting that woman on the village and wreaking havoc in so many people's lives, Jacob and Leyla included, which went some way to explaining why Leyla suspected him of grooming Gabby (Thomas) last year, so I think he'd feel horrendous guilt if Maya returned."

Leyla and Liam's relationship has faced a number of hurdles already, with yet another coming their way when jealous Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) tries to sabotage Liam's proposal as she suspects that her boyfriend David is getting close to Leyla again.

Although Meena's interference ruins Liam's secret plans, he will still manage to deliver a heartfelt speech to his girlfriend as he gets down on one knee.

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with a longer episode on Thursdays.

Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 (www.nspcc.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline on (1-800-422-4453) or the American SPCC (www.americanspcc.org).

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