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Villains Wiki
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"As a former prostitute - well, allegedly - you probably know these places pretty well. So why don't you just crawl off to some other corner to conduct your sordid business!?".
~ Maya's rant at Tracy


"I'd much rather be here with you than watch your dad rearranging his olives!".
~ Maya telling Jacob that she'd prefer to romance with him than his father David


Maya Stepney is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running British soap opera Emmerdale.

She first appeared in March 2018 as the history teacher at Hotten Academy, as well as the estranged wife of GP Liam Cavanagh. It was then Maya started grooming her fifteen-year-old student Jacob Gallagher in a sexual abuse storyline, during which she conducted a relationship with Jacob's adopted father David Metcalfe to cover up her true nature; however, Maya's abuse towards Jacob was eventually exposed and she was fired from her job before getting sent to prison for this offence.

She is portrayed by Louisa Clein.


Maya Stepney first appeared in 2018 as the new history teacher at Hotten Academy. She soon got acquainted with local villager David Metcalfe and the pair began dating. When they met again in June that year, Maya confided in David that she and her former husband Liam Cavanagh were having marital problems. She and David bonded over their marital problems, and began an affair. However, Liam found out and nearly punched David for this. Tracy also discovered the pair together and told David that she no longer wanted a reconciliation. Despite this, David and Maya struck up an affair. However, not long after. David told his father Eric Pollard that his relationship with Maya was a mistake. Maya found out that Tracy had terminated his child without his knowledge, and comforted David, leading to a vulnerable David to sleep with Maya again.

When student Noah Dingle was forced out of his home by Kim Tate, he confined to Maya and appeared to express sympathy towards him. She soon gave him an opportunity to talk to someone and ended up helping out Noah whilst his mother Charity Dingle mother was busy comforting her daughter Debbie Dingle with the latter's daughter Sarah having treatment in a hospital bedside. Thereafter Maya's employer Jessie Grant learned about this and grew concerned with the way Maya and Noah's relationship would look and, despite David's step-son Jacob Gallagher and David himself defending her, Maya was instructed to see Jessie in her office after school the next day.

Maya then started grooming Jacob Gallagher when he was 15 and started having sex with him when he was 16. Jacob's girlfriend Liv Flattery, who he had just dumped to be with Maya, walked in on them having sex and started blackmailing them for £5000. Though this was later increased to £10000.

On the big night out, Maya was seen by Priya kissing Jacob. Priya then told Leyla and Tracy. Maya wasn't seen again until the flashback episodes where Maya accused Jacob of sexually assaulting her and threatened to call the police on him but the girls knew she was lying. Maya finally admitted to having sex with Jacob but claimed it was consensual. Leyla then hit her over the head with a rock after Maya boasted about her sex life with Jacob, but it was later revealed that Maya had survived and in a hotel room with Jacob Gallagher, which was shocking as many people thought she had died.

After months of abusing Jacob into a relationship, she was finally arrested and carted off in handcuffs. It was then David's responsibility to inform the village of the crime she had been committing and everyone was horrified to hear what she had done, except for Liam who acted shifty about the news. She then made a surprise return to the village, and was spotted by Eric Pollard. Eric told her to end her relationship with Jacob or he'd call the police. Maya ended her and Jacob's relationship and admitted she used him.

She was later sentenced to 12 months in prison.


"Your precious mother didn't even want you. You were an accident. Or did Daddy never mention that!?".
~ Maya's harsh words to her troublesome ex-stepdaughter Leanna Cavanagh

Despite appearing to be kind and caring to most villagers in Emmerdale, Maya can be very controlling and manipulative at times. She has lashed out at David numerous times, only to "apologise" soon afterwards. She has also used sympathy to try and get Jacob to not tell anyone about the extent of their 'relationship'. When questioned about her actions by Jessie Grant and the way how she is to students, Maya used the breakdown of her marriage with Liam as an excuse to see Jacob more.

Prior to grooming Jacob overtime, Maya showed traits of antagonism when she told Leanna, the daughter of Liam, that her mother didn't want her and that she was an accident. She also described Liv's family as "weird".

Villainous Acts

  • Pedophile - In a relationship with a 15 year old boy.
  • Two-timing - In a relationship with said 15 year old boy while being in a relationship with someone else.