Emmerdale's Tom King manipulates Belle's family after public showdown

The following article references physical and emotional abuse.

Emmerdale spoilers follow.

Tom King has manipulated Belle's family after their violent showdown in Emmerdale.

The evil abuser has escalated his coercive control over Belle, making her family believe she's been abusive towards him when the opposite is the truth.

Thursday's (May 23) double bill opened up with Tom tense as ever ahead of his work review. He put pressure on Belle to stay at home all day to wait for an important package, even though it was the anniversary of her mother Lisa Dingle's death.

tom and belle king in emmerdale

Related: 7 huge Emmerdale spoilers for next week

Belle ultimately decided she wouldn't spend the solemn anniversary stuck inside her house so she decided to put up some decorations in her mum's honour at Wishing Well Cottage.

Over at the cafe, Rhona and Vanessa were preparing for Tom's review, with Rhona admitting she was "dreading it" since she'd have to give him some criticism.

Vanessa was surprised as Rhona asked her to sit in on the review, especially since she'd always felt her friend considered her to be "dead tactless".

"You are, but that's one of your better qualities," Rhona quipped. "While I'm faffing about, I can just chuck you at him."

By the time of the review, Tom tried to get it over with quickly by touting his accomplishments, yet he was taken aback when Rhona suggested there were "areas of improvement" needed.

tom king, belle dingle and rhona goskirk in emmerdale

Tom turned it around on Rhona, revealing he'd been hearing her tense conversations with Marlon through the "thin" walls of the surgery. He then insulted Vanessa by quipping she doesn't have "much going on".

After leaving Rhona and Vanessa speechless, Tom sent Belle a voicemail ordering her to meet him at the Hide in 30 minutes. Belle was shaken by the message and rushed to meet her husband for lunch.

Belle wanted to open up to Tom about her mother's anniversary, only for the topic to be brushed aside so they could discuss Tom's work review instead.

He then grew furious after getting a text notification that Belle had missed the delivery window for his package.

tom king, belle king, emmerdale

A distraught Belle ran off, while Tom complained to Laurel that he was "treading on eggshells" around his wife.

The pair had a major row in the middle of the village, where Belle asked why Tom hadn't said anything about the anniversary of Lisa's death all day.

"I couldn't be more aware [of the anniversary] if you dug her up and plonked her outside the pub where she was probably at her happiest," Tom cruelly quipped.

Tom turned to walk away, but Belle was seeing red and shoved him to the ground. Marlon, Rhona and Vanessa were all watching and rushed to break up the row.

Lydia and Sam took a heartbroken Belle home, while Vanessa escorted Tom to the pub to keep the couple separated for the time being.

Lydia later asked Belle: "Sweetheart, did you assault Tom?"

tom king, belle king, emmerdale

Belle explained she hadn't punched or kicked her husband, but confided in Lydia that she'd slammed into Tom because "everything is going wrong".

At the same time, Tom tried manipulating Vanessa by revealing that this was the first time Belle had got "physical", but suggested she'd previously emotionally abused him.

Once he got home, Tom revealed that the package he'd ordered was a gift for Belle, making her feel bad for lashing out. Belle asked if Tom wanted her to move out, but he insisted she stay.

Lydia and Sam interjected to assure Tom that "no-one deserves" being attacked like he'd been. Belle was deeply confused and hurt as Tom hugged her and promised her family they'd be just fine…

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, organisations including Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk), New Beginnings Peer Support (www.newbeginningspeersupport.com) and Women's Aid (www.womensaid.org.uk) can provide further support and information. The 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or text LOVEIS to 22522.

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