‘Days Of Our Lives’: Vanessa Williams On Valerie, Eli, And Rejection

Days Of Our Lives fans met Valerie Grant a few months ago. The heart surgeon came to Salem to help Abe Carver (James Reynolds). It turned out that she had history in the town. As the weeks passed, small pieces of information about Valerie came out. Viewers that have been watching for decades already knew a bit of her past because when she was younger, Valerie and David were an item. What people didn’t realize is that David was the biological father of her son, Eli (Lamon Archey). Now that the paternity secret is out, everyone is furious with her. Recently, Vanessa Williams discussed Valerie’s secret, Eli rejecting his own mother, and the Horton family.

Valerie thought she was the only one who knew David was Eli Grant’s father. However, it was revealed that the FBI agent had known for quite some time. He didn’t say anything because he was waiting for his mother to tell him the truth. She never did and by the time Eli arrived in Salem, David was dead. Now, there is no chance of Eli meeting his real father and he is furious. Valerie’s son is not the only one who is angry. Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) is also livid that Eli’s mother kept the secret all of these years.

On Days Of Our Lives, Valerie has stated that she didn’t tell Eli because she didn’t want him disappointed. David repeatedly let her down and wasn’t the type that could handle the responsibility of being a father. Most people would agree that David and the Hortons still deserved to know the truth. In the latest issue of CBS Soaps In Depth, Vanessa Williams explains Valerie’s thought process and the heartbreak she feels over being rejected by her own son.

The Hortons have welcomed Eli into the family with open arms, but have shut Valerie out. Not only is Lamon Archey’s character angry with Valerie, but the Hortons, especially Julie, are keeping her on the outside.

“She’s jealous and hurt, and not for nothing, but this is the white side of the family. Even though they don’t really deal with it, that element is there, too.”

For a long time, it was just Valerie and Eli. Now, it’s like the Hortons have taken her child away. To add insult to injury, Eli wants nothing to do with his mother right now. Williams said that it is brutally painful and Valerie Grant feels rejected.

If anyone should know the harm and regret that can come from being distant with a family member, it is Julie. She and David pushed each other’s buttons and were always fighting. It seemed that their relationship was better when they were not in the same town. Julie loved her son dearly, but time and distance would eventually cause her a lot of regret. Right before he died, Julie said she wanted to call and talk to David on the phone. However, she didn’t do it soon enough and next thing she knew, David was dead.

Even though the anger toward Valerie is understandable, life can change in an instant. Julie understands that grief is multiplied when there is regret and self-blame. Julie and David were apart in a physical sense. In Valerie and Eli’s case, it is an emotional distance. If anything were to happen to the surgeon, Eli would have a hard time forgiving himself for pushing her away.

On Days Of Our Lives, Eli Grant wondered if his mother ever planned on telling the truth. It turns out that she never wanted the secret coming out. The actress explained that Valerie intended on keeping it to herself until she died.

Like many actors, Vanessa used her life experiences to understand the character. She revealed that a friend of hers had a paternity secret, even though being an unmarried mother no longer had the stigma that it once did.

“When you don’t judge your character, and when you align with that person’s pain and what leads them to making their decisions, then you can get in there, live their experience, and be truthful about expressing it. You can understand everyone else’s reaction to her, but also understand her reasons for doing what she felt was right.”

What do you think of what Vanessa Williams had to say about Valerie Grant on Days Of Our Lives? Do you feel for her heartache or does she deserve the way she is being treated? Will Eli Grant ever forgive his mother for keeping his father’s identity a secret?

[Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BET]