Estelle Petrides Maria Mercedes
Estelle Petrides 2022
Children: Nick and Terese
The selfish and flighty mother of Terese Willis, Estelle Petrides always blamed her daughter for the fact that she'd missed out on so many opportunities, having given birth at such a young age. While Terese acted out as a teenager, Estelle would flirt with her boyfriends, trying to recapture her own lost youth. The resentment only grew as Terese became a successful businesswoman with a family of her own, and eventually, when Terese grew uncomfortable with her mother's inappropriate behaviour around her children, Estelle was cut out of her daughter's life.
Though Estelle kept in touch with her son, Nick, it was over a decade before she and Terese came back into contact with each other. Estelle arrived in Erinsborough, immediately heading to The Waterhole for a drink to pluck up some courage, lamenting the difficult relationship she had with her daughter - who she referred to as 'The Hellraiser' due to her outrageous behaviour as a teenager - to barmaid Wendy Rodwell, ultimately the only friend she would make during her brief time in Erinsborough. When Estelle eventually arrived on Terese's doorstep, Terese was suspicious of her mother's sudden arrival, as she claimed that she just wanted to try and build bridges. A call to Nick revealed that Estelle was homeless and had only gone to Terese as she had nowhere left to turn.
Terese struggled with Estelle's return to her life, particularly as she'd been through so much, including the death of her son Josh and her ongoing divorce from Paul Robinson, without so much as a phone call. As Estelle struggled to break down the barriers with her daughter, she spotted an opportunity when she met Paul, who was desperate to get the upper hand in the divorce proceedings, and thought he could use Estelle to his advantage. Shallow Estelle was easily won over with flattery and expensive dinners, but when Terese found out what was going on, she gave her mother an ultimatum, telling her to stop spending time with Paul, or their relationship would be over for good. After a heart to heart, and a visit to Josh's memorial plaque, Estelle agreed to make an effort and stop spending time with Paul, but he responded by giving her an expensive bracelet.
As tensions remained between Estelle and Terese, another argument led to Terese throwing her mother out of the house. Estelle turned to Paul - who was delighted that he was so successfully managing to come between them - and he offered her a room at his hotel, Lassiter's. She soon took advantage of his hospitality, but went a step too far when she kissed him. Realising that his plan had gotten out of control, Paul told her to leave the hotel, and with Terese still refusing to speak to her, Estelle found herself with nowhere to go.
When Terese's partner - and Paul's half-brother - Glen Donnelly, spotted Estelle trying to skip out on paying for her meal at The 82, he paid the bill, then found her sitting at the bus stop with nowhere to go. As she managed to win his pity, Glen offered to let Estelle sleep in the office at the vineyard where he worked. Though grateful for his help, Estelle soon showed her true colours once again when she broke into the locked desk and found several prescriptions and bottles of pills. Former addict Glen had slipped back into bad habits after an accident had let him in a lot of pain, and Estelle realised that she could use the information to blackmail him. Glen agreed to try and get Terese to talk to her mother, revealing that he'd offered her somewhere to stay, and it seemed like mother and daughter might finally be making some progress after a heart to heart.
As Estelle agreed to make an effort and find a job, she was allowed to move back to Ramsay Street, but Glen quickly realised that Estelle had no intention of changing her ways, as she turned down offers of work, claiming that they were too menial for her. Glen then decided to tell Terese the truth about his drug problem, and Estelle's blackmail, and Terese was furious about all of the deceit. She gave her mother a cheque for a large sum of money, and an ultimatum - she could take the money, or she could remain a part of Terese's life - but she couldn't have both. When Glen returned home to find Estelle attempting to sneak off, bags packed, he forced her to go back and say goodbye, face to face. As Estelle continued to try to blame her daughter for all of her problems, and said that maybe they could try again one day, Terese insisted that, if Estelle took the money, this was the last time they'd ever see each other. At that, Estelle announced that there was nothing left to say, and she walked out of her daughter's life for the last time.
• Maria Mercedes previously made guest appearances as Lucia Cammeniti between 2004 and 2007
Biography by Steve