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Home & Away's Ada Nicodemou opens up about her character Leah's most shocking story line to date

Things take a terrifying turn for the Summer Bay local.

By TV Week team
Home and Away fans have barely had a chance to breathe in 2020.
Sure, we've gasped and gulped our way through, but it hasn't brought any relief to an edgy audience. And yet, we love it.
This week, the rollercoaster continues as Leah's whereabouts finally come to light. She's being held captive by a deranged man who not only wants to punish her – but marry her too!
Can anyone find her in time?
Leah's terrifying story line takes a dramatic turn this week. (Channel Seven)

Cruel intentions

The search for Leah (Ada Nicodemou) has now become an official missing persons case.
Justin (James Stewart) is beside himself with worry as weeks pass by without a word.
When a beach swim does little to ease his mind, he heads home to check Leah's blog – for what feels like the one hundredth time.
To his shock and horror, a photo of Leah has just been posted on the site. She is standing happily next to a mystery man and wearing an engagement ring! What is going on?
Leah had all but disappeared... until now. (Channel Seven)
Justin immediately calls Roo (Georgie Parker) and Maggie (Kestie Morassi).
Neither can believe their eyes, and none of them believe this could be genuine.
Justin urges the police to take action, but they inform him that they've already spoken to Leah and she confirmed the announcement.
They have no reason to continue searching.
But Justin refuses to believe it's so simple.
Yet, a seed of doubt plagues him. Has Leah left him for another man?
Justin is completely confused by Leah's disappearance. (Channel Seven)

Beck and call

Meanwhile, on the outskirts of town, a man waits impatiently for his breakfast.
It's the man in the photo, and Leah – dutiful and scared – apologises repeatedly as she places his plate on the table.
"Viewers see a completely different Leah," Ada, 42, explains.
"She's reserved, controlled and almost a Stepford Wife. She's walking on eggshells, terrified of causing him distress."
The man, Douglas, then asks for a peck on the cheek and the telephone.
Leah obliges before shrinking into a corner. Battered and bruised, it's clear she been assaulted.
Leah is subjected to one of her most harrowing situations to date. (Channel Seven)
"He gets very violent with her when she steps out of line or talks back," Ada says.
"He wants Leah to obey him. He plans for them to get married and share a bed together on the wedding night, it's truly terrifying."
Douglas informs her that they're calling Justin.
He doesn't seem to be getting the hint and it's time they made plans for their upcoming nuptials.
Justin is stunned to hear from his girlfriend, but can instinctively tell something isn't right.
In a trembling voice, Leah warns him to stay away and hangs up before he can ask any questions.
Disapproving of her performance, Douglas' temper flares and he lashes out.
While it remains unclear as to why this man is hurting Leah, her life is in grave danger…
Douglas is a dangerous man. (Channel Seven)

Runaway bride

The following morning, Leah emerges from her locked room sporting a wedding gown and a bleeding lip.
Douglas has arranged for them to become husband and wife in the imminent hours.
He orders Leah to fix her makeup – to cover her bruises – as he calls to invite his "men's group" to the ceremony.
Back in Summer Bay, Justin relays his phone conversation to Colby.
Alarmed and slightly bashful, the policemen searches the case files for clues.
While the investigation is closed, Colby comes across a street address for a potential suspect.
Leah gives chase... but will she free herself from her kidnappers clutches? (Channel Seven)
Justin doesn't hesitate and instantly races to his car.
With the finishing touches in place at the cabin, it's time for the wedding to begin. Leah panics and looks for a reason to stall.
Douglas is resolute on making Leah his wife – at any cost.
"She knows she has to get out," Ada says.
"She flees in a wedding dress, hoping she can find someone to help."
As he places the veil on her head, Leah strikes him across the head with a nearby flashlight. She makes a break for the door and flees across the bushland. But she struggles to run under the weight of the gown.
Douglas groggily stands up and gives chase. As he closes in, Leah knows it's a moment of fight or flight.
"It's now or never – she has to do something," Ada teases.
Can she escape his clutches?

Ada reflects on filming the spine-chilling scenes

"It was so creepy to put on that wedding dress! I had actually been in Greece on holidays and the day I returned to work, jetlagged, and we filmed these terrifying cabin scenes [laughs]! I absolutely loved being challenged like this.
Working opposite Adam Booth was fantastic, and he was actually quite scary when the cameras rolled, so it made it easy for me.
He's actually quite sweet! It was lovely to film the romantic storyline between Leah and Justin in 2019, but I was thrilled to sink my teeth into a gritty storyline."
Home and Away airs Monday to Thursday, 7pm, Channel Seven.

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