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Steven Beale is an antagonist of the British soap EastEnders. He is the adoptive son of Ian Beale and the biological son of Cindy Beale and Simon Wicks. He is also the grandson of the icon EastEnders character Kathy Beale and the half-brother of Peter Beale, Lucy Beale and Bobby Beale.
He appeared as a minor character between 1989-1999. He later served as a anti-hero in the 2000s sage; serving as a minor antagonist in 2000-2002, the secondary antagonist from 2007-2008 and returned as a anti-hero in 2016 and 2017.
Steven's storylines include a hate campaign against his dad and kidnapping him, threatening to kill himself and accidentally shooting his stepmom Jane Beale and then leaving to New Zealand. Since his return in 2016 Steven starts to control his girlfriend Lauren Branning, an affair with his sister-in-law Abi Branning, lies about having a terminal illness and setting his dad restaurant on fire under the orders of Lauren's father Max during the latter's attempt to kill Jane.
He has been portrayed by four actors, the main actor being Aaron Sidwell who played Steven from 2007 to 2017.
Steven was born in 1989 and his mum Cindy convinces Ian that Steven is his biological son. Despite Ian finding out that Steven is not his son, Cindy and Ian make up and Ian raises him as his son. In 1997 he was kidnapped to Italy by Cindy and returned by Ian. Cindy dies during childbirth and then is brought up by several different stepmoms. He eventually leaves to live with his dad in New Zealand.
In 2007 he returns, and this is when his darker side starts to prevail when he starts a hate campaign against Ian by pretending to be Ian’s ex dead wife Cindy. He tricks him into a flat and takes him hostage. Then he comes back to Walford and spends time with his siblings. Steven takes Lucy Beale to the flat where Ian is being held. Disgusted Lucy calls Jane and then Steven tries to commit suicide, but Ian, Jane and Lucy try and stop him, and Jane is accidentally shot. Her womb must be removed to save her life preventing her from having children. Steven is then taken to a psychiatric hospital and when released he stops taking his medication and tries to kill himself again with petrol. Jane lets Steven be a part of the family again. Steven ends up being gay and has a relationship with Jane’s brother Christian Clarke. He was rejected and felt distraught. Ian is furious by this. Steven tries to leave with Lucy to France and his grandmother Pat finds out and his hospitalised, and to stop her from telling Ian, Steven tries to smother her with a pillow but is interrupted by Ian. Pat tells Ian about Steven’s plan, but he denies it, but Ian can tell that he is lying, Steven abducts Lucy at a railway station but it stopped again by Ian. Ian disowns him and is glad that he didn’t produce something as sick and twisted as Steven.
Steven returns eight years later with his brother‘s fiancé Lauren after Jane had been attacked by his stepbrother Bobby. Ian rejects him, but Steven is determined to bring the family together. Steven and Lauren are secretly dating but when Ian finds them kissing in his living room he is furious and chucks them both out. Ian again lets him back into the family, but Jane is still wary of him. Steven starts working at Ian‘s restaurant. Steven arranged a burglary of the restaurant to pay off his debts in New Zealand. Steven starts to redeem himself by protecting and caring for Lauren and his stepson/nephew Louie Beale. Lauren refuses to have kids with Steven, so Steven pierces holes in his condoms. Steven is distraught when he finds out that Lauren had an abortion. Soon after Lauren‘s sister Abi and Steven sleep with each other on her 21st birthday. Steven takes to becoming more paranoid and starts spying on Lauren and finds her and Josh together. Lauren admits that she does not love Steven and is planning on a new start in New Zealand with her ex Peter Beale. Abi also encourages her, so she can be alone with Steven. Steven runs into Lauren before she can leave and in a desperate act to keep her he lies about having a brain tumour and claims that he is dying.
Abi finds out about the plot and works with Steven to convince Lauren that the tumour is real by producing fake brain scans. Steven wants to adopt Louie and proposes to Lauren in the Queen Vic which she accepts. His father in law Max Branning finds out about Steven‘s deceit and starts to blackmail him to move clients out or he will tell Lauren. Lauren leaves for a while to get support from her mum Tanya who also had cancer. Steven decides to tell Lauren the truth but when he finds out she is staying longer he agrees to stick with Max’s Plan. Jane finds out about Steven‘s lies and forces him to tell Ian. An explosion ripples through the Square and Jane is alone in the restaurant. Max convinces Steven to set the restaurant on fire to kill Jane. Steven blames Jane; claiming that she ruined the family when she dumped Lucy‘s body on the common and for framing Max for Lucy's murder. Jane tries to stop him by saying that Abi is pregnant and Steven could finally be a father which he always wanted. However, Steven dismisses these claims as lies and sets the restaurant on fire leaving a crippled Jane to perish. Steven believes Lauren is in the fire due to a phone tracker. Max and Steven run back and find Abi who is stuck and save her. Steven changes his mind and decides to save Jane, but Max violently shoves him into the side of the table severely injuring him. Steven is taken to hospital and apologizes to Abi for all his wicked deeds and dies much to Abi‘s grief.
On his funeral Lauren finds out about his cancer lie and is furious destroying his wreath and refusing to go to his service which only Abi attends.
Steven‘s baby Abi Branning Jr. is born on the 29th December 2017 by a cartesian section after her mum had fallen off the roof of the Queen Vic whilst trying stop Max from killing himself.