Whitney Dean is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera East Enders, played by Shona Mc Garty.
Mc Garty was temporarily written out of East Enders for four weeks in July 2012 because of her repeated lateness to work.
The child sexual abuse storyline marks the first time the subject matter has been broached in a UK soap opera, and was researched and developed with advice and approval from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
The inappropriate nature of Tony and Whitney's relationship resulted in over 200 complaints being made to the BBC and television regulatory body Ofcom by members of the public, with the storyline deemed "horrifying" by the Daily Mail Whitney first appears when she and her family—mother figure Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer), half-sister Tiffany Dean (Maisie Smith), and Bianca's sons Liam Butcher (James Forde) and Morgan Jackson-King (Devon Higgs)—are evicted by their landlord.
The children spend a week in care after Bianca is arrested for assaulting a police officer, returning to her custody a week later and moving into Pat Evans' (Pam St. Over the next few months, Bianca becomes the beneficiary of a mystery "guardian angel", who is revealed to be Whitney.
Whitney tells Bianca she found a winning lottery ticket, but kept it secret as she knew that Bianca would spend the money.
Bianca reluctantly agrees to deposit the money; however Whitney hides some to be used in emergencies.It is revealed that Bianca's imprisoned boyfriend Tony King (Chris Coghill) has been grooming Whitney since she was 12 and that they have had a sexual relationship.Having served a year-long prison sentence for assaulting a boy who apparently harassed Whitney, Tony is released in September 2008.He makes it clear to Whitney that they will resume their sexual relationship, and Whitney reveals that she has kept some of the lottery winnings so they can run away together.When Bianca harangues him about the prospect of marriage, he gives her Whitney's money to put a down-payment on a flat.When Whitney and classmate Peter Beale (Thomas Law) are cast in a school play, Tony is jealous of them rehearsing in private and punches Peter.