Janine Butcher is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the British soap EastEnders.
Her storylines include prostitution, using people for their money and murders of Barry Evans, Danielle Jones and Michael Moon.
She has been portrayed by many actresses, the main one being Charlie Brooks.
Janine first appears as a compulsive liar and a thief resulting in her being taken to therapy. Janine then leaves with pat. She is delighted when Frank returns and they move to Manchester in 1996. However, they returns to Walford in 1998, leaving Janine to live on her own. Janine returns in 1999.
Janine starts a business with Terry Redmond. Janine uses him for money so first tries to seduce him. Janine also has a relationship with Billy Mitchell until he runs out of money. Janine sleeps with Ian Beale but is was a trick and she blackmail him, threatening to tell his wife Laura unless he pays her.
Janine gets a job working at Barry Evans's car lot. She and Paul Truman come up with a plan to steal Barry of his money. She pretends to love Barry and moves in with him but continues to cheat on himwith Paul too. Barry eventually proposes to Janine and she accepts. They marry on New Year's Eve 2003 in Scotland, but Janine is furious to discover that Barry's illness was a lie. Barry forces Janine for a walk around cliffs, but Janine cracks and admits that she didn’t love him and married him for his money. Barry refuses to believe that she does not love him and tries to embrace her. Disgusted, Janine pushes him away and he falls down a hill, fatally hitting his head on a rock whilst Janine watches him die.
Janine inherits Barry's estate but, Barry-ex-wife Natalie Evans, suspicious. Natalie becomes close to Paul Truman, who feels guilty about his role in Barry's death. Encouraged by Natalie, Paul eventually makes a statement to the police, calming that Janine in Barry's death. She is arrested but released without charge, due to lack of evidence, and Janine tells Natalie that she has got away with murder. Janine has a feud with Laure Beale and soon after a fight Laura falls down the stairs causing her death. It is confirmed in the post mortem that Laura had recently been in a fight, due to bruising on her skin. Although Janine was with Pat when Laura died, Pat avenges Barry murder by refusing to give Janine an alibi. Janine is then charged with Laura's murder and remanded in custody in May 2004.
Janine stands trial off-screen in 2005 and Frank attempts to persuade Pat to tell the truth in court, and she finally gives Janine an alibi. Janine is released without charge.
Janine returns for Frank's funeral but is furious that he has not left money in his will. She gets married to a Jewish man called David for his money. He has a heart attack which results in him dying and Janine end up homeless and leaves Walford.
She makes various enemies, among her return, one of them Jack Branning, whom Janine drugs and forces him to admit his misdemeanours which she uses as blackmail to gain control of Walford's car lot. Desperate of money, Janine teams up with Archie Mitchell and they make plans to destroy the Mitchell family by taking The Queen Vic from them. Janine uses Ian for sex again and then blackmails him, threatening to show his wife, Jane Beale unless he sells the Mitchell loan to Archie. Archie subsequently takes control of the Vic when the Mitchells are unable to meet the terms of the loan.
Archie and Janine announce their engagement, but on Christmas Day, Archie used Janine to gain control of the Queen Vic and is thrown out onto the street, leaving her distraught. That same day, Archie is murdered by Stacey Slater. Janine becomes a suspect for his murder, though she denies it so fakes distress over Archie's death. While she attempts to frame Ian and the Mitchells for the murder, Peggy attempts to frame her by planting evidence in her flat, which leads to an arrest but no charge. In the end, Janine found innocent for the murder due to Bradley Branning being falsely responsible for the murder.
Ryan Malloy and Janine start a relationship. Her and Ryan marry, but their happiness is short lived when Ryan discovers he is the father of Stacey's daughter Lily who is an enemy of Janine. A feud erupts between Janine and Stacey when Janine reports her to social services for poor parenting of Lily. Ryan and Stacey have an affair. When Janine finds out, she vows to kill them both. She buys sedatives and poisons Ryan. This causes the end of their marriage. Janine discovers Stacey is Archie's murderer and goes public to expose her but is not believed due to lack of evidence. Desperate, Janine visits Stacey and she stabs herself to try to frame Stacey for attempted murder, but Stacey escapes the country before arrest. Ryan who blames Janine for Stacey's departure and loss of his daughter, Ryan refuses to reunite with Janine and attempts to kill her by removing her oxygen tubing when she is hospitalised.
Janine takes care grandmother in, with the true motive of inheriting her money. Janine eventually admits she loves her gran, but Lydia's health quickly deteriorates. Janine discovers Lydia has left all her money to charity. Before she dies, Lydia explains that she wanted to look after Janine after her mother died but Pat and Frank wouldn't allow it. Janine is stunned when she inherits Lydia's estate, making her a millionaire.
She starts a property management and start a relationship with Michael Moon. She also buys shares in the nightclub called R&R. Despite Pat and Janine being enemies, Janine makes peace with her before her death, with Pat convincing a pregnant Janine to keep Michael's child. Janine accepts Michael's marriage proposal. Janine and Michael marry but she goes into labour 11 weeks early at the wedding reception. At the hospital, Janine undergoes a caesarean section. The baby is named Scarlett.
Tension between then starts to increase which leads to Michael then begins a plot to kill Janine and involves Alice Branning in his plans. Alice decides not to go through with the plan and tells Janine. When Janine confronts Michael, he tries to strangle her, leading to Alice stabbing Michael in the back to prevent him for killing her. Alice then leaves the room without realising Michael is still alive, and Janine stabs him again which was the fatal blow. Alice believes that she killed him, and Janine lies to the police stating that Alice stabbed Michael twice. David Wicks suspects that Janine is guilty of the murder, and tricks her to admit that she killed Michael. David promises not to tell anyone but has secretly recorded the confession on his phone. Janine suspects David is going to expose her secret, so she hits him with her car. However, he suffers only minor injuries. She admits she ran David over and is arrested.
Janine and Kat make a deal that if Janine does not tell the police about Stacey that Kat with agree on giving her a false alibi murder, backing up Janine's story that Alice killed him. Kat agrees and does so. At the trial they are both found not guilty and leaves Walford for good.
List of victims
- Barry Evans: Pushed him of a cliff resulting in his death.
- Ian Beale: Slept with him several times so she could blackmail him for money.
- Danielle Jones : Ran over her accidentally resulting in her death.
- Stacey Slater: Stabbed herself so she could frame Stacey for attempted murder.
- Michael Moon: Stab him in self defence resulting in his death.
- Alice Branning: Attempted to frame her for the murder of Michael.
- David Wicks: Ran him over intentionally to prevent him from exposing her for the murder of Michael.