EastEnders‘ Ace Bhatti reveals to Soaplife why Yusef gives Zainab an overdose – and warns that Masood could be next!

Yusef is playing cruel games with Zainab, but surely he wouldn’t kill her, would he? “He doesn’t want Zainab to die,” Ace tells Soaplife. “But he doesn’t want anybody to know he’s been giving her drugs…” He should have thought of that before he gives Zainab an overdose that leaves her fighting for her life!

Why is Yusef trying to control Zainab?
“He’s playing with her. He has feelings for her, but his idea of love is slightly different to most people’s.”

He makes sure Syed knows she’s been hiding Amira’s phone number from him…
“Yusef’s trying to cause more problems between Zainab and Masood so he can isolate her. He’s very clever about it – he gives Syed a magazine and in it is Zainab’s shopping list with Amira’s number on it. Zainab’s confused, adamant she threw the number away and Syed’s furious with her.”

Is this all because Zainab chose Masood over Yusef years ago?
“Yes. He was hurt and devastated and can’t seem to let it go. It’s warped into this weird thing in his head.”

But Zainab could have burned to death because of him…
“Yusef’s family put him up to it because Zainab had an affair with Masood. He lit the match, but it’s never been established whether it was out of anger, revenge or pressure. Who knows?”

What are the pills he’s giving Zainab?
“Sleeping pills, but the quantity is more than it should be. It’s a good way of controlling somebody. Once Zainab is reliant on that drug then she will come to Yusef.”

But Zainab says she wants to come off the pills because they’re clouding her mind…
“And Yusef fears he’s losing her. He offers to get her some different drugs, but she wants to stop the pills completely. So he secretly crushes the pills into her food. She’s drowsy after dinner and calls out to him, but he ignores her. She collapses unconscious on the sofa. Yusef walks over and kisses her gently before putting the pill bottle in her hand. Then he leaves the house…”

Is Yusef trying to kill her?!
“Gosh no. It’s a calculated risk. If she died there’d be a post-mortem and they’d know somebody was giving her pills. He’s trying to make her think she’s tried to hurt herself and that way she’ll be more reliant on him…”

Does Yusef have a conscience?
“There is a conscience there and you begin to see it later on. Yusef wants the happy family… it’s just that his way of going about it is a bit twisted.”

Would he kill Masood if he had to?
“Let’s just say he’d do what he had to in order to get Masood out of the picture.”