CORONATION Street star Tanisha Gorey has revealed that her sexting storyline has been helping others who have been through the same ordeal.
Tanisha, 18, who plays schoolgirl Asha Alahan in the hit ITV soap, also admitted that she didn’t realise just how big of an impact the plot would have for real-life victims.
Viewers watched in horror as her character stripped for teenage crush Corey Brent via a video call. During their sexting session, Corey took screen shots of Asha’s racy antics and the pictures went all round the school before ending up on the internet.
Speaking about the hard-hitting storyline Tanisha said: “I had quite a lot of young viewers on my Instagram, there’s a lot of under-16s on there.
“A lot of people were messaging me saying, ‘It’s actually made me realise that it happens a lot’.
“People telling me, ‘I’ve got help, I’ve got in touch with someone, I’m currently getting help because you gave me the confidence to do this’.
“Obviously it’s awful what happened to them, but it’s so nice they’ve got the confidence and they’re starting to feel some sort of growth and will get help with this because it’s not okay.
“That’s what it’s about, getting people to talk and get help. It was like I was with them on the journey, even though I wasn’t from the start. Even though I don’t write the scripts, they’re looking at me going through that and I’ve portrayed it OK enough for them to get some help. It’s really nice.
“I didn’t think the story would do as well as it has. I didn’t think people would take it seriously either. For people to have the confidence to even message me about it, it’s amazing.”
Tanisha was speaking during a special virtual press event with her on-screen dad, Jimmi Harkishin, 55, and on-screen twin brother Adam Hussain, 19, who joined the show earlier this year as Aadi.
Viewers have already seen that Dev is having money troubles following his decision to send his kids to private school after Asha’s ordeal.
During Monday night’s episode he showed an estate agent around the kebab shop and tonight viewers will see a distraught Chesney Brown point out that his family rely on Dev for a living.
Asha starts to blame herself for her dad’s financial problems but ends up causing him even more grief when he catches her kissing Corey in the ginnel.
Speaking about what’s coming up Jimmi said: “It’s very serious. He’s not earning as much as people think and he’s worried.
“He spent a fortune getting Asha’s pictures off of the web and this new school is costing an arm and leg. He thinks if he sells the kebab shop it’s one less worry and he’ll have a buffer, and he can carry on raising his children. He’s doing everything to protect his children. He’s not spending the money on himself.
So how does he react when he catches Asha with Corey? He said: “After everything that’s happened, all the trouble this boy has caused, and the aftermath, having to move out of her old school, the money it cost to get rid of the images online, he’s quite devastated.
“He doesn’t understand why she would do this. That’s love! Me personally I kind of understand. It was something that got out of hand. She kept saying that it wasn’t Corey, he wasn’t the one who posted the pictures.
“It was so well played and Tanisha is such a star, she’s an amazing little actress, as is Adam, I have to up my game when I’m playing with those two. They keep me on my toes.”
Jimmi, who joined the show 20 years ago, also joked that he’s not sure how many more kids Dev has out there.
Speaking about playing a single dad of teenage twins he added: “No matter how much you try to understand somebody’s problems even if they are their own children you can’t comprehend it.
“Asha is a young girl and she’s going through all this, he’ll never understand that. He comes from a different generation, he’s working and trying to raise a family.
“It’s hard but it’s lovely to play and think about. At the risk of sounding like I’m not in touch, if she had a mum that she could talk to, it would bring a different level of understanding to it.
“Dev should probably talk to somebody before he shoots his mouth off. That’s the thing with Dev with all his best intentions he’s got nobody else to take to or bounce off or consider.
“He’s very much a ‘do as a say not as I do’ kind of thing. He’s had a chequered past but he doesn’t bring that up.
“He had one lady in every shop! And a couple of kids. I don’t know how many he’s got… probably hundreds! He’s not an angel but where his kids are concerned he’s a bit of an old-fashioned father.”
And on his 20 years on the cobbles he said: “I just love it. I’m an actor and I get to act every week.
“Coronation Street is this brilliant, brilliant programme, to work for. It just feels like home and I never forget how fortunate I am to do something I love.
“Outside in the real world what else can I do? After 20 years they’ve developed and grown the character.
“Obviously I’m different than I was 20 years ago. I’m 20 years older and I’m playing a father now. I’m not this reluctant heartthrob anymore. It’s just nice and a lovely way to grow up and live.
“I never forget how fortunate I am and I really look forward to it. After a while, it gets to the stage where I think to myself, ‘Is there anything I’d really like to go out there and do more than I like doing Corrie’. The answer to that is, ‘No’. If there was, I’d do it.”
So is Jimmi like a dad in real life? Tanisha said: “I think because I’ve known him for so so long, I’ve literally grown up with him being a father figure anyway. It’s been 12 years this year — that’s most of my life — so definitely. He’s always there for advice. A hundred percent, he’s like a father figure to me, yes.”
While Adam revealed that he helped him on his first day. He said: “I think it was the first day — in the chemistry read, actually — he told me don’t be nervous. Make your choices, and go with it.
“Be confident and believe in yourself.”