Hollyoaks biggest scandals – knife-wielding clip, death threats and OnlyFans axe

Hollyoaks biggest scandals – knife-wielding clip, death threats and OnlyFans axe

Hollyoaks fans tune into the Channel 4 soap each weeknight to watch steamy romances, murder and mayhem.

However, the serial drama has had its fair share of drama off-screen too.

Hollyoaks began airing on October 23 1995, and over the past 26 years there has been plenty of scandal away from the fictional village in Chester.

Following the news that Sarah Jayne Dunn has been sacked from the show after she refused to stop stripping off on her OnlyFans account, Daily Star has taken a look at other scandals which saw Hollyoaks hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

OnlyFans outrage

Hollyoaks fans were left gobsmacked last week when it emerged that Sarah Jayne Dunn had been axed from the soap over her decision to share racy snaps on OnlyFans.

The actress, who has played the role of Mandy Richardson since 1999, decided to leave the show after bosses tried to stop her stripping off on the adult-only website.

A row broke out after Hollyoaks execs warned the mum, 40, over the saucy pics – telling her to be mindful of her conduct because of the show's young audience.

A statement from Lime Pictures said: "Hollyoaks is a youth-facing drama with many young viewers, who follow our cast very closely, both in the soap and outside of it.

"We take our responsibility to our young audience very seriously and therefore the show does not allow any Hollyoaks cast members to be active on certain 18+ websites.

"We had hoped we could reach a resolution with Sarah that would allow her to remain in her role as Mandy, but we respect her choice to continue to produce content on OnlyFans.

"In the past four years since her return to the show her legacy character has been an integral part of some our most important storylines and we will be very sad to see her go."

Sarah has since hit back saying her snaps are only as explicit as a Hollyoaks calendar.

She said: "The pictures I’ve put on OnlyFans are no more explicit than the sort of things I’ve done in the past for magazines and even for Hollyoaks’ own official calendar.

"I love photoshoots and I’ve worked hard for my figure. I don’t make a secret of the fact that I get a big boost out of it, and I’m not apologetic for that."

Racism row

The Channel 4 soap was at the centre in a racism storm back in June 2020.

Rachel Adedeji, who played Lisa Loveday in Hollyoaks, hit out at the serial drama's Black Lives Matter social media post and podcast.

Hollyoaks went silent for 24 hours on its platforms in response to the death of George Floyd in America.

But Rachel, 30, claimed at the time that the programme's stance was "performative and disingenuous".

The former X Factor contestant went on to make a series of allegations about incidents backstage, including the lack of diversity in the directing team.

Soap bosses launched an investigation and set up a plan to deal with any racism.

A statement issued by Hollyoaks at the time read: "Hollyoaks has zero tolerance on racism.

"We are taking Rachel Adedeji's comments extremely seriously and investigating."

Lime Pictures added in June last year: "We are very conscious that we need to do more and are committed to making changes that we need to make.

"The onus is upon our company collectively and us all as individuals within our community to tackle racism, and it is a responsibility which all of us here at Hollyoaks are taking on fully."

Rachel left the show last year.

'Forced into stripping off'

Laila Rouass took to social media last year to suggest that she was "bullied" into stripping off for the Hollyoaks calendar.

In June 2002, the now 50-year-old actress tweeted: "When I told you I didn’t want to feature in your annual calendar where we instructed to wear almost nothing, you booked my flight to Spain anyway.

"Your reasoning… 'we don’t have anyone that looks like you on the show'. The pressure you put on me made me feel helpless and stuck.

"I got on that plane, I took the photos, I felt dirty and weak afterwards but luckily I got another job, paid my way out of the contract (which I’ve never heard of any actor doing). And I wasn’t featured in the calendar. It was the best money I spent."

A statement from Hollyoaks bosses asserted that they will be "working with unconscious bias trainers" going forward.

Laila, who is married to snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan, later posted: "To those 'at the top' – I spoke to @Hollyoaks when I was there about comments made to me… you did nothing. Absolutely nothing!'

"The fact is… you made me fear for my job so much so that I begged my agent to find me something else. You called me stupid, silly and so much more.

"My agent found me something else, I left and you made me pay 10’s of thousands of pounds to get out of my contract a couple of months early despite my experiences there."

Illegal rave

Goldie McQueen actress Chelsee Healey was forced to apologise last summer after breaking lockdown rules and attending an illegal "quarantine rave".

More than 4,000 people reportedly attended the event in June 2020 – including Chelsee's Hollyoaks co-star Malique Thompson-Dwyer.

The 33-year-old mother of one was also accused of breaching lockdown to travel 200 miles to visit Lauren Goodger’s jailbird ex Jake McLean.

After being pictured breaking lockdown again, Chelsee apologised, saying: "On Saturday night I made a silly mistake. I now realise it was irresponsible and I am truly sorry."

Prince McQueen star Malique, 23, also apologised for attending the outdoor party.

He said: "First of all, I apologise to anyone I may have offended, but let me just get one thing straight.

"I've got family members that have actually passed away from this coronavirus. So yo, I am in this as well. So don't go on at me like I am not in this as well.

"But it's funny how everyone is never saying anyone positive about me. It's always bad boy Malique this…

"They never want to say anything positive and it's funny because at least I am not out there p***ing on war memorials. Racist c***s."

Soap awards spat

Hollyoaks' Jamie Lomas found himself embroiled in a row with Emmerdale's Asan N'Jie at the TV Choice Awards in September 2019.

Asan, who played Ellis Chapman in the ITV soap, threatened to stab Jamie after launching into a furious tirade.

In a clip of the bust-up, Asan screams: “Do you think you are a f***ing big man? I’m going to f*****g kill you."

The pair had to be pulled apart by security twice during the row at the Hilton hotel after the ceremony.

Jamie's co-star Malique Thompson-Dwyer led him from the confrontation, as shocked guests looked on.

N'Jie was dismissed from Emmerdale days after the headline-grabbing brawl.

N'Jie said in a statement at the time: "My behaviour at the TV Choice Awards was completely unacceptable and very much out of character.

"I sincerely apologise to everybody who has been affected especially Jamie Lomas, the whole Emmerdale team, our audience, ITV, my family, and the organisers of the TV Choice Awards.

"I am devastated, accept full responsibility for my actions and I am determined to learn from this."

Aaron Anthony has since taken over the role of Ellis.

Axed for boozing

Stephanie Davis made an epic return to Hollyoaks in 2018 – three years after she was fired on the spot after turning up to work drunk from the night before.

A spokesperson for Hollyoaks said at the time: " Stephanie Davis will no longer be filming Hollyoaks. Her contract has been terminated with immediate effect."

Steph's rep explained: "Stephanie's contract was terminated following warnings for lateness, attendance and after a final incident in which she turned up to set unfit to work because of alcohol consumption."

But in September 2019 she took a break following her split from boyfriend Owen Warner.

Five months later, Steph shared a heartbreaking post on Instagram revealing her battle with depression led her to attempt suicide and left her in intensive care.

In June 2020, she announced she was quitting the soap permanently, writing on social media: "Sometimes we make decisions based not on what we want but what we know is right!

"I have loved bringing Sinead into your homes for the past ten years but it’s with a heavy heart I have decided to leave Hollyoaks and now looking forward to working on new and exciting projects."

Knife-wielding video

Harry Thompson actor Parry Glasspool was suspended from the soap in 2016 when he posted a clip of him wielding a knife online.

The actor put on a high pitched voice and mimicked a jealous woman threatening her boyfriend for talking to other women

"I would kill you if you did […] with this knife, I know exactly how to, I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again so don’t even think about it,” he said while holding a knife.

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Parry has since apologised for any offence caused and made a donation to a domestic violence charity over the now-deleted post.

A Hollyoaks spokesperson said at the time: "Parry Glasspool has apologised and will begin an immediate two-week suspension from Hollyoaks."


Gavin and Stacey star James Corden appeared in Hollyoaks back in 2000.

The Late Late Show host has since revealed that he was humiliated during his stint on the soap.

He played school caretaker Wayne, whose bedroom was decorated with photos of junk food.

James, 41, took issue with the posters and refused to continue filming until they were removed.

He told The New Yorker in January 2020: "I thought that they were just really being nasty about anyone that's overweight.

"I remember saying to the guy: 'I don't know one person who would take a picture of a hot dog and a burger and stick them on the wall'.''

He also slammed Hollyoaks in 2009 during an interview with The Telegraph, calling it "hell on earth".

'It was a horrible place to work," he said.

"I'm sure it has changed a lot now but I was there a long, long time ago and I hated it."

Breach of contract

EastEnders star Danniella Westwood swapped Albert Square for Hollyoaks village in 2012.

The actress played Trudy Ryan from 2012 until 2013 and was due to reprise her role two years later.

However, she was axed at the last minute for "breach of contract."

The star, 47, initially claimed she had pulled out because an ex had a training camp near her Liverpool accommodation and she "did not feel safe".

However, Danniella went on to claim soap bosses sacked her because she and ex-boyfriend Bryan Harvey delivered a petition on child abuse to Downing Street.

In a spat with the former E17 star, she claimed she "told them to stick their job" after they asked her to retract the statements she made over child abuse.

Hollyoaks airs weekdays on Channel 4 at 6.30pm followed by a first-look episode on E4 at 7pm

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