EastEnders real-life scandals – murder charge, webcam scandal and drunken arrest
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EastEnders is renowned for its on-screen drama but its controversies have been known to spill over into real life.
The BBC soap has been entertaining fans for almost four decades and has employed thousands of actors over the course of its 37-year run.
Notable figures include Kat Slater actress Jessie Wallace, who recently found herself arrested after a boozy night out in London, and she isn't the only Walford icon to have behaved badly once the cameras stopped rolling.
READ MORE: EastEnders Nancy Carter star's life – real age, reality TV stints and soap exit
From Dirty Den's real-life murder charge to Lucy Beale actress Melissa Suffield's "unruly behaviour", Daily Star takes a look inside the soap's worst ever real-life scandals.
Jessie Wallace landed herself in hot water with soap bosses earlier this month when she was arrested for disorderly conduct.
The Kat Slater star, 50, was detained by Suffolk police for allegedly attacking a police officer after a drunken bust-up in Thetford.
It's thought Jessie had attended a Madness gig in the town before her arrest outside a Burger King.
Following the incident, Jessie was reportedly 'warned' about her behaviour by EastEnders bosses.
After expressing "deep regret" for the incident, she is said to have been allowed to continue in her role as Kat Slater.
A BBC spokesperson told the Mirror: "Senior bosses have spoken to Jessie Wallace about the incident and issued a clear warning that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and Jessie has expressed her deep regret."
Danniella Westbrook is potentially the only EastEnders star to be fired from the soap three times.
The 48-year-old actress rose to fame playing Phil and Grant's younger sister Sam Mitchell.
Following concerns about her drug use, Danniella was initially sacked by EastEnders bosses in 1996.
She was invited back to reprise her role two years later but following more concerns about her reliability and behaviour, Danniella was given the chop for the second time and replaced by actress Kim Medcalf.
In 2009, Danniella rejoined EastEnders as Sam Mitchell, departing a year later.
She reprised the character again in 2016 for Peggy Mitchell's funeral.
After appearing in only two episodes, The Sun reported that Danniella had been fired for a third time after turning up late to set and annoying producers by bringing her then-boyfriend to set.
Danniella later denied her 2016 firing during a Good Morning Britain appearance.
She told hosts Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan: "I was only contracted to do two weeks and I did exactly my contract."
Webcam sex scandal
Ricky Norwood cemented himself as an EastEnders fan favourite when he joined the cast as loveable rogue Arthur 'Fatboy' Chubb in 2010.
Four years later, the actor was unexpectedly suspended by soap bosses.
His suspension followed the emergence of an eight-minute Skype clip during which Ricky allegedly performed a sex act while naked and smoked a cannabis joint.
A year later, Ricky was axed from the soap all together.
His character Fatboy met a grisly off-screen end in Christmas 2015 when he was crushed inside a car.
Dennis Watts actor Leslie Grantham passed away in 2018 at the age of 77.
While revered by EastEnders fans as the iconic villain Dirty Den, Leslie joined the soap with a much darker backstory in his own life.
In 1966, Leslie was working as a lance corporal for the Royal Fusiliers in Germany when he attempted to rob taxi driver Felix Reese while armed with a pistol.
During a struggle between the men, the pistol went off, killing the cab driver and landing Leslie a murder conviction and life sentence.
After being briefly detained in a jail in Germany, Leslie, who was also caught up in a webcam scandal, returned to Britain and was imprisoned in several facilities.
After ten years, he was released from prison and managed to turn his life around by becoming an actor and landing his legendary EastEnders role.
EastEnders star Katie Jarvis made headlines for all the wrong reasons in July 2020.
The actress, who played Hayley Slater on the show from 2018 – 2019, was arrested after arguing with a group of women outside a chip shop in Southend, Essex.
She is also alleged to have shouted racial abuse, including the phrase: "Black lives don't matter anyway".
The altercation is believed to have started after Katie attempted to use a chair the group were going to use – and she is reported to have bragged about her EastEnders role during the foul-mouthed tirade.
Last month, Katie pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment and common assault.
During a sentencing hearing at Basildon Crown Court, the 31-year-old actress was given a community order and instructed to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Ben Mitchell actor Joshua Pascoe had a short-lived run as the character following alleged bullying claims.
Joshua portrayed Ben from 2010 until 2012 and during his time on the show it was reported that he was expelled from a stage school following bullying accusations.
In 2017, the actor was also filmed shouting at strangers, with passers by shocked by his vile racist rant, and a source telling The Sun: "Many of the people who overheard were offended."
He left the soap after Ben was jailed for the manslaughter of Heather Trott and his exit was mired in controversy.
Lucy Beale star Melissa Suffield joined EastEnders in 2004.
After portraying the character throughout her primary teenage years, she was allegedly dropped from the soap in 2010 after ignoring repeated warnings about her "unruly behaviour".
The final straw is said to have come after Melissa misbehaved after a final warning was handed to her for attending a nightclub while underage.
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At the time of her exit, a source told Daily Star: "She was given a warning a couple of months back after she was photographed going into a London club.
"So when things didn't improve they had no choice but to write her out of the show."
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