There’s dark times in the village of Emmerdale this Christmas, with the usual joys of the festive season being overshadow by a grooming story that will have a far reaching effect on a number of characters in the ITV soap.
Teenager Jacob Gallagher has fallen for his thirtysomething teacher Maya Stepney and she is not turning away his advances.
In fact, she has encouraged the 15-year-old and rejected him in equal measures, as part of a grooming storyline that is proving difficult for a number of viewers to stomach.
Jacob is on a mission to prove himself man enough to bed Maya and has been desperate to lose his virginity.
Jacob has been on a mission to lose his virginity
Jacob beds Gabby but his mind is on Maya
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This led him to use a house party as cover for him to, first of all, throw himself at Liv Flaherty and, after she knocked him back, play up to Gabby’s desires for him, so that he could sleep with someone for the first time.
With the deed done, Jacob then ignores Gabby the next day, leaving her confused as to where their ‘relationship’ stands.
Not as confused as Jacob is though, who then confesses to the manipulating Maya that he wished he had lost his virginity to her.
Jacob confesses that he wished he’s lost his virginity to Maya
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While viewers have been reviled by Maya’s advances towards Jacob, they are also convinced that this is not going to be the only thread to the story.
After Gabby and Jacob had their evening of passion, viewers believe that this will land Emmerdale with a teenage pregnancy.
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One fan thinks that this is the basis of a spring storyline for the soap, while another asked, "any bet that Gabby gets pregnant by Jacob??"
The inevitability of the situation is proving too much for some and it would seem that a storyline involving Gabby getting pregnant would not be what everyone wants.
This storyline is not one that is being taken lightly by producers.
They have met real-life survivors of sexual abuse and have been working with Barnado’s, to ensure that this sensitive issue is tackled with respect.
What is for certain, it will prove to be one of the more controversial storylines in recent times for the early evening soap.
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