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Leo King is a fictional character and major antagonist of the BBC British soap opera drama EastEnders. He served as a supporting antagonist in 2019 and 2020 as well as a posthumous antagonist from 2021-2022 onwards.

In his storyline, Leo forms a seemingly-romantic friendship with established character Whitney Dean after attending her disaterous wedding to her former fiance Callum Highway. It is later revealed however that Leo is actually the illegitimate son of the late Tony King, a convincted paedophile who had sexually abused Whitney for three years ever since she was 12-years-old. As such, Leo - believing that his father was innocent from the crimes he commited prior to his death in 2013 - has sought revenge on Whitney by stalking and exploitively threatening her unless she were to renounce her allegations against Tony.

He is portrayed by actor Tom Wells.

Biography

Leo King first came to Albert Square in Walford, a fictional borough in East London, in September 2019 for the wedding of local resident Whitney Dean and her soon-to-be husband Callum Highway. His poses as an attendee named "Leo Cameron" and coverses with Whitney's stepsister Tiffany Butcher, before giving her a peek on the cheek. This is thereupon witnessed by Tiffany's mother Bianca, also Whitney's adopted mother, and she approaches them in the midst of wishing Whitney the best of luck and having just threatened Callum's lover Ben Mitchell into staying away from them. When Bianca and Leo are left alone, though, she promptly confronts him over attempting to seduce Tiffany in the similer manner that his father previously did to Whitney from over a deacde ago.

It thereupon emerges that Leo is the illegitimate son of Tony King, a deceased convict and late paedophile who sexually abused Whitney ever since she was 12 years old and whilst being engaged to Bianca around the same time; Tony has since then been convicted for Whitney's abuse ordeal since December 2009 and had died in 2013 after committing suicide. As such, Leo is seeking revenge against Whitney and her stepfamily for what they did to Tony as he believes his father to be innocent despite the clear allegations against him. It also transpires that Leo is blackmailing Bianca by threatening to hurt Tiffany and Whitney unless she gives him his grandmother's money, which she somehow obtained; Bianca eventually relents in exchange for him staying away from Walford.

Once Bianca has left the square, though, Leo decides to get revenge on Whitney anyways and forges a romantic friendship with her; Whitney's wedding with Callum ended in disaster over his affair with Ben, before escaped convict Hunter Owen perperuated a siege at The Queen Victoria public house during their diasterous wedding reception ceremony. Leo begins to seduce Whitney and for months tricks her into believing that his surname is Cameron and that he is a hard-working employee.

In order to get close to Whitney to carry out his vendetta, Leo gets a job at the market trading store and it turns out that he used to be a lawyer before getting sacked. He also forges a relationship with wayward Dotty Cotton, but later dumps her in order to focus on his venetta against Whitney. Soon enough, he begins stalking Whitney and for a while manages to cover-up his involvement whilst also making Whitney believe that he is the only supportive friend of her.

But then she eventually learns the truth about him being Tony's son when he later takes her to his father's grave, whereupon Leo reveals himself to be Tony's son and exposes his resentment towards Whitney for what happened to his father. Despite the revelations, however, Whitney still feels attracted towards him and Leo decides to use this to his advantage. But then his efforts leads to an incident where Whitney's close friend, Kush Kazemi, gets into a scuffle with Leo and accidentally shoves him off a building. Leo is hospilatized and survives, but then blackmails Whitney by threatening to report Kush unless she tells everyone that she lied about what Tony did to her. Whitney reluctantly complies, but everyone can see what Leo is doing to her and they threaten him into staying away from Whitney.

Moreover, both Whitney's ex-father-in-law Mick Carter and his enemy Max Branning each threaten to hurt Leo unless he leaves Whitney alone. On another occasion, Leo finds himself hassled by local villain Gray Atkins as the latter - having an obsessive crush on Whitney on his own - attempts to warn Leo off on multiple occasions. Soon enough Leo appears to have gotten the message when he is no longer seen in Walford for most of 2020.

By February 2020, however, it turns out that Leo is hiding on the attic at Whitney's house and plans to either kill her or get revenge another way. Whitney eventually discovers Leo and the two get into a confronation when he attempts to stab her. However, Whitney is able to fight Leo off before grabbing a knife and stabbing him with it; killing Leo as he fatally collapses to the ground.

In the aftermath of Leo's death, Whitney is briefly taken to police custody for his murder; however, she is exonerated after the jury conclude that her actions came in self-defence and that Leo was responsible for his own demise. This pleases everyone but a woman named Michaela Turnbull, who is soon revealed to be Leo's estranged mother; they fell out over Tony as his son came to believe his innocence, whereas Michaela seemed to be aware of Tony's true nature. Michaela begins hassling Whitney after blaming her for Leo's death, but she eventually stands up to her with Gray's help by telling Michaela that Leo is responsible for his own actions - otherwise it'd be Tony for what he did to Whitney in the past.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and it's apparent aftermath, Whitney appears to have moved on from her ordeal with Leo despite mentioning him on certain occasions.

Trivia

  • The character Leo King made a total of 48 appearences throughout his time on the show.

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