Hollyoaks’ Cleo and Abe to take big relationship step in abuse story

Note: The following article references domestic abuse and eating disorders.

Cleo McQueen and Abe Fielding are set to take a big step in their relationship in Hollyoaks amid their ongoing abuse storyline.

The soap has shown Abe being both physically and emotionally abusive towards his partner Cleo as she is in recovery from bulimia.

Abe has used Cleo's eating disorder to humiliate her, coercing her to throw up after getting her drunk and posting photos of the incident online.

pearl anderson and abe fielding in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

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In other sinister scenes, he has encouraged her to lose weight, devising exercise plans for her and making comments on her appearance.

With her feelings of control slipping away and increasing isolation, Cleo booked a secret appointment for her eating disorder, which Abe uncovered after she could not meet him for lunch on the same day.

Despite this and a previous disastrous appointment with a mortgage advisor, Cleo and Abe prepare to move in together.

In episodes set to air next week, the McQueens are worried that Cleo has relapsed, but she shuts them out as they air their concern.

john paul and cleo mcqueen in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

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Zoe and Pearl Anderson come around for lunch, and it’s awkward between Cleo and her cousin Prince amid her family's growing worries.

The meal comes to a head when John Paul hovers over Cleo and confronts her over being sick in the toilet – but it wasn't Cleo, it was Zoe suffering from morning sickness.

John Paul's confrontation causes a scene in front of Abe, which pushes him to suggest to Cleo that they move into their own flat together.

prince mcqueen, zoe anderson, pearl anderson and abe fielding in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

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John Paul is upset at Cleo leaving and brings Sally St. Claire in on it to talk the pair out of leaving, which pushes her further away.

At the park, Cleo opens up to Sally about her feelings of failure and admits that having intrusive thoughts made her book her session.

Cleo initially tells Abe she isn't ready to move out, but she later goes back on her decision and agrees to the move so they can support each other – putting her in further danger at his manipulative hands.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, organisations including Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk) 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.

Beat is a charity that raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders, and supports those affected by them. It has a one-to-one secure messaging service, and details of its phone helplines can be found here.

Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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