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Character Profiles > Emilia Jovanovic Freya Stafford

Emilia Jovanovic 2011-2012
Parents: Edgar and Angela Jovanovic
Siblings: Helena
Family Tree: Jovanovic/Williams
Occupation: Hair dresser and make-up artist

The younger sister of Michael Williams' dead wife, Helena, feisty Serbian hairdresser and beautician Emilia came to Erinsborough after being tracked down by her curious niece, Michael's daughter Natasha. With Michael being evasive about her mother for years, Natasha decided to do a little research of her own, and found out that she had an aunt living across the city. Natasha tried to get an appointment at Emilia's salon, but it was cancelled when Emilia had to go and work at a modelling shoot. Not one to let that stop her, Natasha turned up at the shoot, telling Emilia only that she was a disgruntled customer whose appointment had been cancelled, and asking for Emilia to style her for a night out. Impressed by the girl, Emilia agreed, but was confused by Natasha's constant questions, until later, she noticed the name Natasha Williams on the debit card receipt, and realized the real identity of her chatty customer.

Emilia then tracked Natasha down and started following her, trying to get another glimpse of the niece she hadn't seen in years. When a fire alarm went off during a practice exam at the school, Natasha was in the school yard when she spotted Emilia, who asked if they could go and get a coffee together. Natasha was delighted that she could finally be open with her new-found relative, but was confused when Emilia suddenly clammed up at the mention of Helena's death, which Natasha had been led to believe was caused by septicaemia.

A few days later, Emilia made a quick visit to Ramsay Street to drop off an 18th birthday gift for Natasha on the Williams' doorstep. Whilst there, her car, Pearl, started giving her trouble, but luckily, neighbour and mechanic Lucas Fitzgerald spotted her and offered to help. After towing the car back to his garage, he chatted to Emilia and the pair were getting on very well, until Lucas mentioned his work with students at the local high school, telling her that the school principal was a friend. Emilia quickly made her excuses and left, but, having changed into her driving shoes, she accidentally left behind one of her boots, giving Lucas an excuse to call her. Soon, Lucas was arranging for her to visit again, this time in her capacity as a beautician, and he ended up getting a very painful chest wax, just to see her again. As she left Ramsay Street, Emilia was spotted by Michael, who was already having problems dealing with his past suddenly catching up with him, and he warned Emilia off, telling her that Natasha could never find out the truth about what happened.

Although Emilia did her best to stay away, after chatting to Lucas about her family, she decided that she had to try again. She turned up at the Williams house on Natasha's 18th birthday, interrupting the fun and facing an angry Michael. As they chatted, Michael started to soften towards her and agreed that she could stay, but the brief happiness ended when, having turned 18, Natasha managed to get hold of her mum's death certificate and found out that she'd drowned. Things only got worse when Natasha, plagued by nightmares, realised that her mum had been saving her when she'd drowned. Emilia told her that Michael had tried to help Helena, but had been too late, though didn't reveal any other details about what had happened that day.

After those dramatic events, Emilia realized that she should give Michael and Natasha some space, but she also continued to be drawn back to Lucas. After a couple more successful dates, she tried to make her excuses about business being hectic, but Lucas was determined that he wouldn't give up. However, while they were having a drink at the bar, Michael spotted them together and later told Lucas who Emilia really was. Lucas dropped hints that he knew who she was, and she eventually came clean, explaining that she was Michael's sister-in-law and that their history was complicated.

With Michael warning Lucas that Emilia was trouble, and not to be trusted, he found himself caught between the warring relatives, but refused to give up on either of them. When Michael came over for a beer one evening, Lucas was surprised when Emilia then turned up, explaining that her key had broken off in her front door and the emergency locksmith was going to charge her a fortune. Emilia and Michael came face to face once again, and she was upset to learn that Michael had tried to warn Lucas off from seeing her again. As the evening progressed, Lucas finally snapped and told them that they needed to talk about whatever issues still existed between them. Emilia explained that her parents had blamed Michael for Helena's death and, in their grief, cut off all contact, making things very difficult for the whole family. But the stress of the situations at home, and problems at work, were getting on top of Michael and he collapsed at school with a perforated stomach ulcer. During Michael's sudden hospitalization, Emilia proved to be a huge support to Tash, giving her a charm bracelet that had once belonged to Helena, and Tash came to appreciate having her new-found relative around.

When Michael was released from hospital, Tash quickly realised that she wasn't cut out to be his carer and called in help from Emilia. Emilia was more than happy to support her niece and brother-in-law, cooking for them and showing Tash some methods to deal with her stress over her final exams. With Christmas around the corner, Tash wanted the three of them to visit the beach where Helena had died. Emilia reluctantly agreed to go, but once there, she became uncomfortable and, although Tash remained unaware, it became clear that Emilia and Michael had been in his car, cheating on Helena, when she had drowned. They both agreed that Tash must never find out, and with the air clear, they began to grow closer as Emilia helped look after Michael and made him see that perhaps he didn't want to return to his old job as principal, preferring the lighter load of a teacher.

When some nude modelling photographs of Emilia appeared in a magazine, Lucas tried to conceal his surprise, but grew increasingly uncomfortable with other guys staring at her. Emilia failed to see the problem and began to wonder if she could be with someone who couldn't accept her for who she was. She told Lucas that perhaps they should slow things down and he was devastated, but refused to give up, inviting her to the garage where he had stripped off and asked her to take some naked photos of him. Emilia was touched by the gesture and the relationship was back on track, with Lucas also organising a surprise picnic for her on Australia Day. At the same time, Emilia's old feelings for Michael were beginning to resurface, and she encouraged him to resign from his principal's job with only days to go until the beginning of the new school year.

As Emilia encouraged Michael to enjoy his new teaching job, the pair found themselves trapped in a classroom when they went to the school one evening to retrieve some of his lesson plans. Hiding from new school principal Priya, under the desk, the close proximity brought out old feelings between the pair, and they struggled to stop thinking about each other. Emilia was distracted when Lucas later told her that he loved her, but feeling guilty, she returned the gesture by giving him a spare key to her apartment. When Lucas spoke to Michael about his feelings for Emilia, a guilty Michael went to see her and told her that nothing could happen between them. But later when a suspicious Tash mentioned to Emilia that she thought her dad was seeing someone, Emilia went to the school, where Michael was working late, and asked him to be honest about his feelings, leading to them sharing a kiss.

As they struggled to deal with their feelings, Emilia and Michael attempted to go back to how things had been, sharing their problems and refusing to mention the kiss. Emilia shared an awkward Valentine's Day with Lucas, while Michael later told her that he was having flashbacks to the day he had collapsed at the school, remembering that he had caught student Summer Hoyland in the toilets using her phone to cheat. He admitted that he would feel like a hypocrite reporting her when he had cheated on his wife. Emilia too was plagued with guilt, eventually telling Lucas that she couldn't see him any more, explaining that he was too good for her.

Though Lucas held out hope that Emilia would take him back when she'd had some time and space to think, she was more interested in sorting out her feelings for Michael. When her friend left without her, after they'd been doing the make-up for a wedding, Emilia was left stranded and called Michael for help, only for his car, the Sandman, to break down when he came to collect her. As they talked, they finally realised that they wanted to be together and shared a kiss, before moving into the front of the car to take things further. When Tash then turned up with mechanic Chris, who'd been called out to fix the car, Michael and Emilia were almost caught out, but Chris found her bra on the front seat and realised what had been going on. After he confronted Michael, and then Tash almost caught Michael and Emilia kissing, they realised that they'd have to tell her. Shocked at first, Tash came round to the idea, but the new couple realised that it would be more difficult to tell Lucas - and that Tash must never find out that their affair dated back 15 years.

When Lucas spotted Emilia continuing to hang around Erinsborough, he became convinced that she was there to see him, though she claimed to be meeting Tash. Lucas' suspicions were raised further when he found out that Tash was actually at the beach, and he called Emilia, claiming to want to talk about her car. When she made another quick getaway from him, he found her in Ramsay Street, helping Toadie and Sonya to perform a Wiccan fertility ritual. Lucas once again believed that Emilia's odd behaviour had been because she didn't want to embarrass Toadie, and he remained upbeat about the prospect of them getting back together. But later that day, he went to the Williams house for a beer with Michael and was quickly sent away, with Michael claiming that he needed to go out first and do some shopping. As he was leaving, Lucas heard Emilia's voice and, through the window, spotted Emilia and Michael kissing. Furious, Lucas later called Michael to the garage to confront him and the argument was only prevented from escalating when Chris turned up and stopped it.

Following Lucas' reaction, and with Tash also still feeling a little awkward about her dad and aunt, Michael and Emilia were feeling guilty about hurting so many people. But when Tash arrived home and explained that she'd bumped into an angry Lucas at Harold's, she explained that the whole thing had made her see that her dad and Emilia were meant to be together. But Lucas wasn't about to be so forgiving - he called to see Emilia again, looking for answers, and, realizing that it had been going on for a long time, he called her and Michael sick and stormed out of the house, later picking up Vanessa Villante at the bar to try and get over his problems.

Though things with Lucas continued to be strained, relations with Tash improved again as Emilia gave her an old leather jacket that had once belonged to Helena. Seeing Tash in the jacket stirred up old memories for both Michael and Emilia, and she decided to perform a ritual to try and move on from some of her guilt. After writing down the things she felt bad about - the situations with Lucas, Michael, Tash and Helena - on pieces of paper, she burnt each of them on the barbecue. But as she was called back inside, Emilia failed to notice one piece of paper, with the words 'my fault Helena died' on it, fly off the grill and into the bushes. Later that night, having cooked a terrible dinner for everyone, Tash was taking the food out to the bins when she found the piece of paper and confronted her father and aunt, who were forced to tell her everything. Tash stormed out and, whilst Michael and Emilia were searching for her, she stole her dad's car, the Sandman, and drove off, eventually arriving at Lassiter's, where she set fire to a picture of her dad, and then his car.

After spotting Tash at the scene of the crime, Michael lied to the police that he knew nothing about the incident, and Emilia was distraught as Tash moved across the street with Summer, while Lucas found himself under suspicion for arson. While Michael managed to end the police investigation by claiming that he and Emilia had been on a date and had used candles in the car, her guilt was eating away at her and she decided to escape everything by going to visit her parents in Serbia. Michael was stunned by her decision, but said his goodbyes and tried to repair things with Tash, only to be told by her that they needed some time apart if they were ever going to be able to speak again. Having destroyed his friendship with Lucas and his relationship with his daughter, Michael decided that it was time for him to leave town, and he left a note for Tash explaining that he'd gone with Emilia, but if she ever decided that she was ready to talk, he was only ever a phone call away.

Trivia Notes
Emilia's name was misspelt as Emelia on an invoice read by Lucas in episode 6284, and her surname was misspelt as Jovovich in a text message read by Natasha in episode 6276
Emilia's address is 183 Kelly Street, Brunswick, Victoria, 3056

Biography by Steve

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