Hollyoaks’ Claire: ‘I always knew the truth’

Hollyoaks‘ Claire Cooper reveals to Soaplife how, at last, fans find out what really happened the night Jacqui cried rape…

Are you – like thousands of others – dying to find out what really happened on that fateful night when Jacqui accused Gilly of raping her? The jury cleared him but Claire, who plays Jacqui, has been inundated by Twitter requests asking her for an answer to the question: was it rape?

Now the wait is almost over… In a tense, three-hander episode between Jacqui, Gilly and Rhys on Monday, November 21, the truth will finally be revealed. “I know some people have found it totally frustrating not knowing what really happened,” says Claire. “The episode will answer all the questions.”

Is Gilly’s return difficult for Jacqui?

“Jacqui thinks back to that night every time she sees him. She feels she was wronged and is infuriated that he managed to get away with it.”

How is it affecting her relationship with Rhys?

“She’s pretending to Rhys that she’s fine, but she’s not. She can’t cope with her feelings about what happened and she feels as if she needs some space.”

Is that why she and Rhys talk about moving away?

“Being near Gilly is a strain on their relationship and Jacqui desperately wants to get away from him. Life’s too short. They start talking about going to Cornwall.”

Could Jacqui really leave her family and friends?

“It wouldn’t be easy for her as she’s close to her family. Whenever there’s a problem with the McQueens she’s the one who holds it together.”

How does Jacqui feel about Cheryl’s relationship with Gilly?

“She cares about Cheryl – even though she’s been a bad friend – and tries to warn her off. She thinks Cheryl’s in danger. But it doesn’t go down well. They’re two opinionated women at loggerheads and Cheryl thinks Jacqui’s just being spiteful. She really loves Gilly.”

So what happens in this three-hander episode?

“It’s a full episode, in real time. It’s 25 minutes of Rhys, Jacqui and Gilly talking. It’s really unusual for Hollyoaks. Our longest scenes are usually six pages and this episode contains a 22-page scene.”

And how do you feel about the truth of what happened that night?

“I always knew what the truth was. I just kept it to myself.”

How do you expect viewers to react?

“It’s a night that could change everything. Some viewers will like the way it goes, but others won’t. That’s all I’m telling you!”

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