Whitney Dean in EastEnders

Whitney Dean’s tragic past and struggles in EastEnders

The unlucky-in-love Walford resident is played by actress Shona McGarty

Whitney Dean in EastEnders is currently struggling to deal with the death of her fiance Kush Kazemi.

Poor Whit’s had a string of failed romances since she arrived in the Square back in 2008, as Bianca Jackson’s stepdaughter. She was abused by Bianca’s fiance Tony King, suffered sexual exploitation at the hands of Rob Grayson and has been married once and engaged three times.

Whitney is played by actress Shona McGarty. The talented young woman was only a teenager when she got the role, and has grown up on screen.

Whitney Dean and Tony King

When Bianca’s fiance Tony arrived in the Square it became clear that he had groomed teenage Whitney and started a relationship with her when she was just 12 years old.

Read more: Kush On EastEnders: Davood Ghadami’s secret life as a property developer

Tony’s control and emotional manipulation of Whitney was hard to watch. And as Whitney grew older, Tony lost interest – instead turning his affections to her friend Lauren Branning. Eventually, on the day Whitney turned 16 – and still believing her romance had been consensual – she confessed all to her horrified stepmum, Bianca.

Tony and Whitney Dean from EastEnders
Tony groomed Whitney (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

Bianca called the police and Tony was arrested, while Whitney grew to understand that his interest in her was abuse. Tony later killed himself in prison.

Whitney’s abuse storyline was revisited when Tony’s son, Leo, arrived in the Square in 2019, looking for revenge.

Whitney’s sexual exploitation

Whitney met Rob Grayson (played by Shameless star Jody Latham) who saw she was troubled and vulnerable and helped her when she needed someone.

Whitney and Rob
Whitney escaped from Rob in Southend (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

But Rob was manipulative and soon Whitney was tricked into having sex with men to pay off Rob’s debts.

Whit’s friend Lauren was determined to get her mate away from Rob but she couldn’t do it alone. When Whitney ended up in Southend, it was Whit’s half-brother Ryan (dad of Stacey Slater’s daughter, Lily) who went to help.

He ended up fighting with Rob on the pier and Rob died.

Whitney and Lee Carter

Whit fell for Lee Carter almost as soon as he arrived in the Square and the pair got engaged. But Lee was struggling with depression and Whitney found it difficult to cope with.

When Lee overheard Whit admitting she was thinking about calling off their relationship, he went missing on their wedding day and got drunk instead.

Whitney Mick kiss
Whitney and Mick kissed (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

But the pair worked through their differences, even though Whitney had kissed Lee’s dad, Mick. When Whit confessed to snogging Mick, Lee forgave her and proposed again.

Whitney was thrilled when she found out she was pregnant, and heartbroken when she later miscarried. But she and Lee eventually tied the knot.

Whitney Lee wedding
Whitney and Lee got married (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

Their marriage was full of difficulties, though, with Lee’s mental health getting worse. He even hit Whitney on one occasion. Eventually, Lee left Whitney on Valentine’s Day and moved to Dover.

Whitney Dean in EastEnders and her  heartbreak

After Lee left, Whitney – who was still struggling with her feelings for Mick – got close to his friend Woody Woodward. They got engaged and planned to move to Spain to run a bar.

But Woody skipped off without Whitney, simply leaving her note telling her she was better off in Walford. What a rat!

Whit’s stepsister Tiffany set up a date for her with Callum ‘Halfway’ Highway and though their romance got off to a slow start, Whitney eventually fell for the kind-hearted former soldier.

Whitney loved Callum, but he was struggling with his sexuality (Credit: BBC)

But Callum wasn’t be honest with his girlfriend, and though he proposed to Whitney and they began planning their wedding, he secretly had feelings for Ben Mitchell.

After Callum confessed to kissing Ben, Whitney agreed to go ahead with the wedding but she changed her mind on the big day and the pair broke up.

Leo King

When Whitney Dean in EastEnders came home from her solo honeymoon, she told her friends she’d met another man – Leo. But Tiff warned her that she’d seen him at Whitney’s wedding and Jack was suspicious of the awkward newcomer.

It was revealed that Leo was Tony King’s son. He was convinced Whitney had made up the allegations about his dad, and he wanted revenge.

Whit was terrified of Leo King (Credit: BBC)

He began stalking Whitney, making her life a misery and eventually hiding out in the attic at Sonia’s house and spying on poor Miss Dean.

After a dramatic confrontation in the house, Whitney and Leo ended up struggling and Leo fell on to the knife Whit was using to defend herself.

In a panic, Whitney called Mick for help and then went to the Carters’ boat party on the Thames in the special 35th anniversary episodes.

Whitney was arrested for Leo’s murder and was held in prison while she was waiting for her trial.

But thanks to unlikely hero Gray Atkins Whitney was found not guilty.

Whitney, Kush and Gray

Whit has been a real support for Gray and his kids since the death of Chantelle – at Gray’s hands, of course, though unsuspecting Whitney doesn’t know that.

But when she got close to Kush, Gray wasn’t impressed and when, after a whirlwind romance, the pair got engaged, Gray was even more annoyed.

Whitney and Kush were happy until Gray stepped in (Credit: BBC)

So serial killer Mr Atkins pushed Kush in front of a tube train, just as he and Whitney were heading off to Dubai to start a new life together.

With Whitney heartbroken and convinced the Mitchells were behind Kush’s death she’s already taken revenge that accidentally put Kat Slater in hospital.

Is this the end for Whitney’s vendetta against the Mitchells? Or is it just beginning?  Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer