CORONATION Street star Shelley King said she cries real tears when playing suffering Yasmeen Nazir as she revealed nasty Geoff Metcalfe will ramp up his abuse.
The abuser (Ian Bartholomew) trapped Yasmeen in a box in recent scenes that have horrified fans of the ITV soap, and Shelley opened up about taking on the coercive control storyline on Loose Women today.
And the actress has admitted playing the submissive wife has taken its toll on her emotions, but warned Geoff's reign of terror is far from over.
Shelley began by praising her co-star for making her feel comfortable throughout the uneasy scenes, and revealed they sat down with charity Women's Aid to hear real-life stories of abuse.
She said: "Women's Aid have been really helpful. We have talked to people who have survived these terrible times, some of the stuff you see is (nothing) compared to what happens to people but everything has been drawn from that.
"Things are only going to get worse … it's been hard, because you know, soaps are a huge challenge to all of us who are in them because you don't get a lot of rehearsal time.
"You have to recall on your own memory, you have to look at dark moments in your life to recreate, there's only so much a tear stick can do and I don't like to use them.
"It has been very difficult."
When Coleen Nolan said she was surprised that feisty Yasmeen had fallen victim to Geoff, the actress replied: "When I asked one of the ladies from Women's Aid, (she said) the coercer will always try to seek out someone who is stronger than themselves, as a challenge."
And the reaction from viewers has been the biggest surprise, as she said it has turned from horror to recognising that coercive control can be common in relationships.
She continued: "Initially people were very upset by it for all the reasons you've said, but as we've gone on both men and women have identified or seen circumstances they can relate to in their own lives.
"I've had direct messages from men and women."
Geoff convinced Yasmeen to marry him last year and she has suffered increasing abuse since in the ITV soap's storyling about coercive control in relationships.
Viewers have been appalled by evil manipulator Geoff's actions that have included locking claustrophobic Yasmeen in a box, chucking his dinner on the floor and convincing her that she is an alcoholic.
Shelley received a round of applause from the Loose Women audience and viewers at home praised her for taking on the difficult role.
One person said: "It’s an uncomfortable watch. But it’s important to raise awareness for coercive control"
One more said: "I think she has been incredibly brave doing this story line."
Another Loose Women viewer tweeted: "How beautiful is Shelley King speaks so nicely. Great actress – a serious subject handled and projected well."
Geoff tried to convince Yasmeen he locked her in a box by mistake but when that failed he turned on the waterworks and pretended his ex had abused him.
He said: “I would never hit you, only cowards hit women and I’m not a coward. I’ve never fully told you about Tim’s mum, have I?
“She scared me, that’s real abuse. She left scars all over and here. I will not let her win, I love you so much.”
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