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Aaron Dingle (played by Danny Miller) will be horrified when newcomer Ben (Simon Lennon) reveals he used to bully him at school for being gay. The Emmerdale resident will be forced to revisit the abuse he suffered at the hands of his sinister father Gordon Livesy (Gary Mavers) and may direct his anger at the Dingles as the guilt over bullying Ben takes hold.
In upcoming scenes, Aaron develops a crush on the new HOP employee but is shocked when he’s told they knew each other when they were younger.
Speaking to press including Express.co.uk, actor Danny revealed how Ben’s confession affects him.
Danny said: “Well I think he brings up old ground that Aaron wanted to bury and move on with his life and he was doing so well at that.
“That part of Aaron’s life has a lot of dark moments for him, like self-harm.”
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“And in a way, this was almost self-harming,” he continued.
“Bullying Ben was his way of releasing the anger of what his dad was doing to him at home.
“I think anybody that says, ‘You bullied me in high school,’ I think anybody would be shocked if they didn’t know that’s what they were doing.
“In Aaron’s way, he selfishly thought, ‘Something’s happening in my life, so I’m going to make somebody else’s life a misery.’”
“It’s a selfish approach, but it’s that self-loathing, inner angst that Aaron’s always had,” Danny said.
The actor explained Aaron put the past behind him but Ben’s presence will make him see certain situations in a different light.
“Now he’s sort of a changed person and almost came to terms with that after what happened to him and surviving the ordeal and still being there,” Danny remarked.
“Gordon’s now dead, and that’s a part of his life that Aaron wants to put in a box and put to the back of his mind for the rest of his life.”
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“Then this comes up, and there are so many mixed emotions,” he added.
“He regrets what he’s done, but he’s also justified as to why he’s done it.
“Then he comes round to the other side and thinks it’s not actually acceptable or justifiable in any means to bully somebody.
“He’s embarrassed as to why he would make those life choices back then, and bully a lad who was actually quite genuine and had a heart.”
Could this stirring up of emotions lead Aaron to turn against his Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) and the rest of the Dingles?
As Ben struggles to accept the emotional turmoil Aaron put him through, could he demand he turn his back on his family if they’re to have a future together?
Gordon’s abuse of Aaron was exposed in 2016 shortly after he returned to Emmerdale.
Aaron opened up to Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) and subsequently Chas.
The Dingle favourite later reported the abuse to the police and Gordon was given an 18-month prison sentence before later taking his own life in his prison cell.
Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV at 7pm.
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