Emmerdale’s storyline about a controlling relationship is set to step up a gear next week when the soap’s abusive Pierce Harris makes a sex tape of Rhona Goskirk.
The creepy new development happens when Pierce encourages his fiancee Rhona (Zoe Henry) to strip on camera, but doesn’t tell her until later that he has gone on to film them having sex.
Pierce has been worrying fans of the Dales-set ITV soap with his treatment of Rhona, including assaulting her and controlling her behaviour.
Jonathan Wrather, who plays him, explained: “The story begins when Vanessa is organising a pre-wedding girls’ night out for Rhona. The girls get involved with Laurel and they end up buying all of her lingerie stock to make her feel better, because they feel sorry for her.
He wants to control the situation.
“Vanessa pokes fun at Rhona, saying she’s a bit boring and stays in with Pierce all the time and that he has her under the thumb. Rhona then comes home slightly annoyed with Vanessa, so Pierce cajoles her into putting the lingerie on and trying it out.
“Pierce ends up filming Rhona on his tablet. She’s very self-conscious about it initially, but then gets into the swing of it at Pierce’s behest.
“Rhona is uncomfortable about it and afterwards she wants him to delete it. He says he has, but he hasn’t and he keeps a copy of it. So he’s very deceptive and she thinks it’s gone, but he’s kept a copy on his laptop.”
But the plot becomes even more sinister when Rhona’s best friend Vanessa discovers the recording and Pierce uses it to pit the women against each other.
Jonathan said: “They’re becoming each other’s nemeses. Vanessa is the real fly in the ointment for him. Slowly but surely, Pierce is isolating Rhona in many ways. That includes isolating her from her friends. Vanessa is her main confidante, so he’s putting a wedge between them.
“Vanessa sees right through Pierce. At this point, Pierce finds that threatening. He wants to control the situation by deliberately working it so it looks like Vanessa has gone onto his laptop without permission and found this sex tape that Rhona and Pierce have made privately.
“Afterwards, Vanessa insists that Pierce said she could use the laptop for work, but he completely denies it and lands her in it. All it does is drive a wedge between Rhona and Vanessa. It keeps her out of the picture.
“Eventually Rhona will tell Vanessa that she doesn’t need or want her in her life. Initially Rhona asked Vanessa to be maid of honour at the wedding, but then she changes her mind because she feels betrayed by Vanessa. It plays perfectly into Pierce’s plan.”