As if Hollyoaks favourite Cleo McQueen hadn’t already been through enough, she has to deal with seeing ex Joel move on with Sienna on New Year’s Eve.
It’s too much for the fragile student and she develops eating disorder as she struggles to cope with all the emotional pain she has amassed in her short and tragic life.
Utterly despondent after discovering Joel has moved on when she hoped for a reunion, Cleo turns to food for comfort.
But after a binge on New Year’s Eve, the guilt sets in – and she purges for the first time.
She will continue with this destructive behaviour, becoming trapped by the illness.
Hollyoaks – known for tackling tough issues to raise awareness among young viewers – is working with eating disorder BEAT, reports The Sun, to ensure that the storyline is accurate.
The charity said: “We are aware media can play a big part in how eating disorders are perceived, influencing attitudes, beliefs and actions.
“For this reason we support Hollyoaks as the more we talk about these serious mental illnesses the better we can break down stigma and, in turn, encourage individuals to seek treatment as soon as possible.
“The evidence is clear: treating people with eating disorders quickly gives the best possible chance of recovery.
“This is as true for adults as it is for children.”
During her three years in Chester, Cleo has been subjected to sex abuse by her stepfather Pete, consumed by grief following the loss of both her older sisters, rocked by the death of the love of her life – and hooked on heroin.
Nadine Mulkerrins, who plays Cleo, has said of this latest harrowing storyline:
“I’m honoured to take on Cleo’s latest issue lead storyline.
“We’re working closely with Beat and I met a brave young woman who shared her own experiences with bulimia.
“I’ve also been doing my own research about bulimia in order to portray it accurately and responsibly.”