Curse of the Slater Sisters – Jessie Wallace and Elaine Lordan’s real-life drama
Over the last 30 years, EastEnders has brought bloodshed, horror, drugs, sex and violence to the streets of Walford – helped by its cast of good, bad and downright mad characters.
But away from the cameras, one family seems to have had more than its fair share of real-life drama.
The Slaters, who were introduced to Albert Square in 2000, have always been at the forefront of the action, thanks especially to the women of the group.
Here's a look at what the Slater Sisters have been up to in real life…
Jessie Wallace (Kat Slater)
In January 2020, Jessie was suspended by BBC bosses for allegedly turning up drunk on set.
The actress, 48, has been written out of the soap for two months and a new report suggests she was disciplined by bosses over her boozing.
A source told The Sun that Jessie "seemed drunk" during filming.
It comes after The Daily Star Sunday revealed bosses had hauled Jessie into a meeting over an incident during work, and she was suspended for two months.
It would be the second time her partying has got her into trouble with BBC bosses.
Back in the 2000s, she was previously suspended from the show over claims she'd used the drug ketamine on a night out.
She was also convicted on a drink-driving charge in 2003, while in 2018 she was sent home from the British Soap Awards for being tipsy.
As of January 2020, Jessie has been given two months to sort herself out – or she could find her time on the soap comes to a quick end.
Elaine Lordan (Lynne Slater)
Troubled Elaine left EastEnders in 2004 after four years on the show, having previously starred in Gimme Gimme Gimme and Dangerfield.
She eventually got fired after bosses took her to task for her problem drinking.
Elaine was convicted of drink-driving and banned for a year after downing five vodkas in July 2001, and was subsequently axed from the soap.
A source at the studios said at the time: "It was decided to make the changes after she had a few problems with drinking. It has been done to help her rather than to punish her."
Elaine's mother Bernadette reportedly told a magazine at the time: “Elaine drinks too much. It is a problem and I wish she would cut down.
"She will be seeing a professional for help. She was constantly in the public eye and working long hours. Drinking blocks out her stress.”
Sadly, Elaine's world came crashing down in March 2005 when her mother died by suicide – and again when her one-year-old son James died just three days after Elaine married her partner Peter Manuel.
The actress suffered yet more heartbreak with a miscarriage in 2007 then when her 72-year-old father died from a degenerative illness.
Incredibly strong Elaine documented the difficult time in her book Whatever It Takes: A Story of Family Survival that year, but has struggled ever since.
She sparked concern in March 2018 when she was spotted downing bottles of wine in the street and walking unsteadily, needing to lean on her friend's arm to stay upright.
Leanne Lakey (Belinda Peacock)
Leanne joined the cast in 2001 and played fifth Slater sister Belinda for three years.
She was cleared in January 2018 of smuggling £150,000 worth of cocaine into Britain, having been arrested at Gatwick airport when three kilos of the Class A drug were found hidden in a suitcase.
She pleaded not guilty and walked free after no evidence was offered against her.
As of 2018, Leanne is believed to be working as a waitress.
Katie Jarvis (Hayley Slater)
Katie was found to be working as a B&M store in Romford last October, having departed from the BBC soap in February.
But while fellow actors, including EastEnders alumni Tamzin Outwaite, and fans praised the young mum for stepping up and providing for her family, Katie admitted being 'embarrassed' to be 'job-shamed.
"I've taken a step back from acting. I've got a job and I'm looking after my kids," she said.
She later added: "It's the nature of being an actor; gigs come and go, and after my contract with EastEnders ended in February, I found a new job as soon as I could.
"As long as I'm providing for them, nothing else matters. Everything I do is for them."
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