The following article contains discussion of sexual abuse and grooming that some readers may find upsetting.
Simone made her debut as Katy last month, a carer who groomed Mick Carter when he was a preteen, before cutting ties once she fell pregnant with his daughter Frankie.
Since coming face-to-face in November, Mick has struggled to come to terms with the fact that the sexual encounters they had when he was a boy were in fact abuse.
Now, with Katy set to make a return to Albert Square, Bad Girls star Simone has revealed how EastEnders has prepared for the issues-based storyline, saying they have taken every precaution to portray the events sensitively.
"The whole subject of potential abusers can be triggering, so they have to be responsible and warn ahead and have support numbers," she told The Sunday Post.
The actress also referred to the COVID-19 restrictions in place on set, admitting the situation felt like "a different way of working" – "not just with the COVID restrictions but with the handling of the issues, which are a tricky subject to handle before the watershed," she continued. "The writers have been advised all the way along and it tells in the writing."
Reflecting on the "huge responsibility" of playing Katy, Simone added: "I hope I've done my job well and the storyline stimulates debate and awareness."
As for what viewers can expect when Katy visits Walford in upcoming episodes, Simone hinted that we may begin to see a different side to the character.
"So far you've only seen the character at the very beginning, where she's been charming and warm and alluring," she explained. "Next week we jump back in."
EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights on BBC One.
Readers who are affected by the issues raised by this storyline can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by email via email@example.com.
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