A Shortland Street storyline has left members of murdered University of Otago student Sophie Elliott’s family upset due to the similarities.
The TV2 show has surprised members of Elliot’s family recently by pursuing a storyline which features an intense, controlling and abusive relationship between a female student and a University lecturer.
Sophie Elliott’s cousin Linda Curtis has said that she was finally coming to terms with the loss of her cousin but that the Shortland Street storyline has brought it all back, forcing her and her family to “re-live” the nightmare.
Curtis has expressed her distaste for the storyline which has Sophie McKay (Kimberley Crossman) engaging in a relationship with her University lecturer Ash Fuller (Bryce Langston), saying it is “upsetting” that the writers of the show had used her cousin’s story, labelling it “poor taste”.
She said the family could have been given some warning over the upcoming storyline which would have helped them prepare for what would play out on the nation’s favourite scripted programme.
Curtis was also disappointed that the use of a character called Sophie to be involved, saying they had taken it “too far”.
Meanwhile, Shortland Street producer Steven Zanoski has shrugged of suggestions they used the Sophie Elliott case as inspiration, instead saying the student/lecturer relationship was a “classic storyline”.
Actress Kimberley Crossman has said she has received feedback via Twitter regarding the similarities in the storyline but says she doesn’t believe the writers drew from the real life events.