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EastEnders Wiki

Debra Dean (previously Malloy) is the mother of Whitney Dean and Ryan Malloy. She made her first appearance on the 5 January 2009. She is portrayed by Ruth Gemmell.


In December 2008, Whitney Dean decides to get it in touch with her mother, Debra, after she left her and her father years prior. She tried to send a letter to Debra after being giving the address from her adoptive mother, Bianca Jackson. She doesn't get a reply so she assumes that it's not the right address. Bianca tells her she hasn't got the right address, which she does but wants to keep Whitney save. Janine Butcher discovers this and steals the real address from Bianca's address book and gives it to Whitney

Debra and Whitney meet on 5 January 2009 at a café where Debra works. Whitney tries to discuss when they had lived together but Debra is not interested. She shows no interest in Whitney, coldly rejecting her, upsetting Whitney so much that she breaks down in tears just after she leaves the café. She goes home and tells Bianca that she is her mother as Whitney felt visiting her birth mother was the biggest mistake she has made.

Whitney does not have any further contact with Debra until 5 June when she arrives unexpectedly. Bianca sends her away but Debra returns a few days later, insisting she wants to get to know her daughter. Bianca tells Ricky Butcher that Debra is not to be trusted and on Whitney's first birthday, she went on holiday with friends instead of being there for her daughter. Debra takes Whitney out for lunch at The Queen Victoria public house, where they start to bond, and Debra confesses that she is homeless. As a result, Whitney asks Bianca to let her stay with them. Whitney helps her sell some counterfeit DVDs. Their bond grows stronger and she surprises Whitney with her plan to move to Greece and asks if she will come. Whitney delightfully accepts, but realizes that Debra is using her when she leaves suddenly, giving Whitney a sealed envelope, telling her she will be back for it and tells her not to open it or she would be "sorry".

She returns on 17 July with cuts on her face, just after Ricky leaves, after failing to convince Whitney to go to Brighton with them. Debra says that someone is after her and this turns out to be her son, Ryan Malloy. Whitney and Debra go to an abandoned school and retrieve a bag. Debra will not let Whitney see the contents and when they get home, a man who has been stalking Whitney is inside. The man is Ryan and he and Debra argue. When Whitney defends her mother, Ryan tells her she is his mother too. It is revealed that the bag contains a knife that Ryan stabbed somebody with. Ryan returns the next morning and argues with Debra again, causing Whitney to run out and throw the knife into the canal. When she returns, Debra plans to leave but when Whitney tells her about her abuser Tony King and his upcoming trial and says she is going to cook them a family meal, she agrees to stay. When Ryan and Debra are alone, he tells her to leave, insisting she is a bad mother and that Whitney is better off without her. Looking frightened, Debra leaves. In December, Debra sends Ryan a text message to say that she cannot attend Tony's trial to support Whitney and not to contact her again.

List of appearances[]


  1. 5 January 2009
  2. 5 June 2009
  3. 8 June 2009
  4. 9 June 2009
  5. 11 June 2009
  6. 12 June 2009
  7. 17 July 2009
  8. 20 July 2009
  9. 21 July 2009
  10. 23 July 2009
  11. 24 July 2009