Scott Maslen defends 'EastEnders' co-star Jessie Wallace in wake of arrest
Scott Maslen has defended his EastEnders co-star Jessie Wallace in the wake of her arrest for an alleged attack on a police officer earlier this summer.
Wallace, who plays Kat Slater on the BBC soap, was arrested outside a Suffolk nightclub in June on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and drunk and disorderly conduct.
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She was released without charge having received a conditional caution and expressed regret for what had happened.
Maslen, who has portrayed Jack Branning on EastEnders since 2007, told The Sun on Sunday that her exhaustion around the job may have been responsible for the incident.
"It’s hard in this job. You get caught out sometimes, it’s life. I love Jessie. There’s nothing wrong with her, she is perfectly fine," said the 51-year-old actor.
BBC bosses warned Wallace about "unacceptable" behaviour after her arrest and a spokesman said she had "expressed deep regret".
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Maslen added: "She’s a character, she works very hard, it’s long days, so when she goes out occasionally, maybe she’s tired.
"We’re under the spotlight, that’s the reality, so when you do make a mistake, you have to be careful. She’s in a good place, we move on, she’s learned and we go forward."
Wallace has been disciplined by EastEnders several times previously for incidents involving alcohol, including when she received a three-year vehicle ban after being caught drink-driving in 2003.
She joined the soap as Kat Slater in 2000 and was written out in 2005, before rejoining from 2010 until 2016 and then returning to Albert Square for a third time in 2018.
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Wallace is set to be joined in the Square by one of her most memorable co-stars later this year, as Shane Richie's return to the show as Alfie Moon has been confirmed.
Richie said: "It's an absolute honour and privilege to be asked back to my TV home of Albert Square. I’m looking forward to catching up with some old cast mates and meeting some new ones."
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