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Buster Smith is a fictional character and major antagonist of the British soap opera drama Hollyoaks. He served as the secondary antagonist in 2018 and 2019 until his departure in the latter year, before reappearing as a minor antagonist in 2020.
He was portrayed by Nathan Sussex.
Buster Smith made his first appearance in 2018 following the death of his former wife Maggie Kinsella. During their marriage the couple had produced a son named Damon, who is shown to be often estranged from his father as he believes that Buster thinks little of him and more of his own career as a football youth coach. It is also alleged that Maggie often resented Buster for apparently having numerous affairs with other woman behind her back. Despite Damon's resentment towards his father, he is persuaded by his girlfriend Holly Cunningham to give Buster a chance to make amends.
While Buster is able to mend his bond with Damon, it quickly emerges that Damon's longtime friend Brody Hudson is unhappy around Buster's presence. This continues as Buster begins dating Marine Nightingale and they have a relationship. He and Damon later move into the Pond public house with her along with her children Alfie and Ellie; they are later joined by Brody when he asks Damon to move in with him.
As he settles his new life in the next few months, Buster decides sets up his own football academy for teenagers. Many local kids, including Imran Maalik, sign up to the academy and Buster's business goes off to a promising start. Soon enough, Buster seems to have a particular close friendship with one of his students - Oliver Morgan. As time goes on, Oliver begins to see Buster as a father figure ever since he confined to him about his problematic home life; Oliver's parents father, Luke Morgan, is relapsing on alcohol and is constantly arguing with his wife and Oliver's mother Mandy on several matters. Appearing to sympathize with Oliver's problems at home, Buster claims that he can trust him with anything.
However, Buster's closeness with Oliver begins to take a strangle and usual toll to the point where he gives him special attention. He also makes Oliver team captain and appears to spend most of his focus onto him rather than the entire team. When Brody discovers this, he visits Oliver's mother Scarlett at her house and explains his reservations. Brody then reveals that Buster had sexually abused him when he was young, as he previously trusted him over similar circumstances. It then becomes clear to Brody's revelation that Buster is not just being friendly to Oliver — he is grooming him so he can sexually abuse him.
Eventually, Buster ends up sexually abusing Oliver after giving him a sports massage during one of their football events. This continues to happen on multiple occasions, even when Oliver gets upset over the situation and briefly quits the team until Brody convinces him to return and accept that he had misinterpreted over what has happened. At one point, Buster has Oliver pose for photos without his clothes on before going on to sexually abuse him again. When Luke discovers the photos and confronts his son about it, Oliver covers for Buster by implicating local resident Scott Drinkwell as the culprit. However, Brody quickly realizes that Buster is the perpetuator and confronts him for what he did to Oliver before pointing out that he also abused Brody as a child.
It soon transpires that Buster's abuse towards Brody is the actual reason why Maggie had threw him out, as she had discovered Buster's true nature. The truth is eventually revealed when Oliver reports Buster to the police, after he tells Luke the truth about what happened; Luke, who himself had been a victim of rape in the past, comforts Oliver over the ordeal. Buster is arrested and charged for his actions, causing his son to disown him whilst Marine also cuts ties with him to protect her children. In January 2019, Buster is trialed for abusing Oliver and - despite his attempt to elude justice - is found guilty before being sentenced to six years in prison.
Over a year later in September 2020, Brody and Oliver decide to get closure for what Buster put them both through and visit him in prison in the hopes of receiving an apology. Buster, however, refuses to do so and continues to stand by his actions - before he is taken back to prison as Oliver and Brody lecture him for the way how his perpetuation of abuse has rendered him a nobody who lost his son and everything else around him.
- Nathan Sussex (the actor who played Buster Smith) won "Villain of the Year" at the 2019 British Soap Awards.