Note: This story covers topics such as rape and sexual assault.
coronation street spoilers follow Friday’s (June 16) episode.
coronation street aired the final scenes of Aaron Sandford on Friday night as he decided to leave Weatherfield after dropping his libel suit against Amy Barlow.
Aaron recently took legal action against Amy after she exposed her as a rapist in an online blog post.
In this week’s episodes, Amy feared the financial implications of fighting the case and offered to write a public recantation, even though she only ever came clean about her ordeal with Aaron.
During tense conversations about what the retraction should say, Aaron began to subtly acknowledge his own guilt and eventually dropped the court case in shame, before walking off the streets.
Here, James Craven – who played Aaron – discusses the outcome of the story.
When did Aaron start having these doubts?
“Aaron began to have slight doubts about the court case before this because when he first met with the lawyer he was told that even though there was a 51% chance they would lean in favor of ‘Amy, then that would go to her.
“So it was already worrying him and he was already starting to have doubts about the reliability of the result.
“Then when he found out Amy’s family was selling the businesses [to fund the legal fight] it was really the guilt at that time. It was almost overwhelming to Aaron what he put them through.
“Since his dad came back on the scene, he’s felt a lot of guilt about it too because he didn’t have any money in the past and all of a sudden everything was happening in this court case, that Aaron was starting to think he could fight a losing battle with it.”
When Aaron read Amy’s planned retraction and realized it didn’t make sense, was that a red flag that his own story wasn’t true?
“To him, it was obvious that Amy was just writing the retraction so that it would all go away. Obviously, Aaron wanted and needed something concrete and solid that would ‘prove his innocence’.
“It wasn’t until he went to write it himself that he struggled to put it into words and began to realize that what he believed to be the truth might not be the truth.
“At that time he was still trying to really push that out of his mind, those thoughts that maybe he’s not innocent. But definitely when he tried to get through that, I think that’s the first time he actually sat down and tried to think of it all in a logical way and also tried to think of it from Amy’s perspective and add perspective.
“Then he just couldn’t put it together, in a way that outright proved he was innocent. When he started writing it, he realized the truth was no – not be what he thought it was.”
How did Aaron feel in these scenes?
“The realization that he could have done this was really devastating for him. And also the realization that he was the one who put Amy through all of this is awful. I think it comes from a lack of education , from a lack of awareness to stop and check in with her rather than nastiness, but nonetheless it’s just as devastating.”
What was it like filming the scene where Aaron told Amy he was dropping the defamation case?
“It was a really cool scene – not cool in a sense of context, but in terms of shooting something that ever since I read it, I had been thinking about it a lot, because I knew it was the one of the most important scenes in history.
“So it was something that I was slightly apprehensive about, but when we did it, we really let the scene breathe and really took our time with it happening and we did it in one take. We probably couldn’t have done more, because what came came naturally.
“When Aaron arrived he was hoping he could just tell Amy he was dropping the libel case and walk away. Then when she started breaking it down for him and started going through everything, he was still trying to get it out of his mind all the time.
“He didn’t really want to go to the end of this story, because he knows that when it comes to the end, that’s when he realizes. Everything builds on that, but he doesn’t have never quite admit it because he can’t admit it.
“Amy knows Aaron knows what he did was wrong, even if he never quite admits it, and the fact that he ran away highlights that. But I think for Amy , it was so overwhelming because even though it’s not necessarily the closure that she wanted, in some ways it might be as much closure as she needed. closure it deserves.
How did you feel about this being the end of the story?
“I think I was always hoping Aaron would admit it or have some sort of admission. I liked that there wasn’t anything particularly dramatic about it. I unfortunately think it’s pretty realistic , because there are so many of these cases in real life where people don’t face justice and people don’t get prosecuted for it.
“So I think while that’s obviously a pretty hard thing for Amy to accept, unfortunately it’s kind of realistic. I never wanted him to come out of this, but I think it’s one of those things that he now has to live with. that, knowing what he’s done.”
How do you feel about leaving the show?
“It’s obviously very sad, it’s been a lot of fun and I really, really loved my time there. I met so many great people and made so many great friends for life. But I I’m excited – I’m really, really excited to move on and keep going and do other things.”
Do you already have projects to share?
“There are a few things I have to say but I can’t really say too much right now.”
What kind of reaction did you get from the audience?
“Everyone who came up to me in public was very positive about the story and complimented me on the script. I think overall the reaction was pretty mixed, it certainly did what we were hoping for and it sparked a conversation for sure.”
Have you found that people want to talk to you about the issue raised by the show?
“Yeah, definitely. I even had the conversation with friends and family friends and people told me they saw the situation differently. ‘an older generation have said to me, it made them see situations like this a little bit differently, and I think that’s a really positive thing.”
Are you proud to have been part of history?
“Yes, I’m very proud. From the start, I knew how much work I was going to put into it and I knew how much work everyone had to Corri put there. As soon as we started, I knew it was going to be a really positive long-term story, so that’s something I’m very proud of. It’s something that I hope the fans appreciated, and more than anything, they started thinking about it.”
coronation street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
Learn more coronation street spoilers on our dedicated homepage
coronation street worked with the School Consent Project on Amy’s script.
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, at their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape crisis in Scotland the helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the United States are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673.
Daniel has been writing about soap operas on Digital Spy since 2004 and took over as soap editor in 2010.
He has interviewed hundreds of soap opera stars over the years, from Bill Roache to Lacey Turner, and regularly visits the sets of Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks for behind-the-scenes trips and press events.
He has been an awards judge on numerous occasions for the BAFTA TV Awards, the RTS Program Awards and the British Soap Awards. In 2020, he was highly commended for Best Section Editor at the BSME Awards.