Ever since Justin Hartley left the Young And The Restless for This Is Us, fans of the show are demanding that Michael Muhney return as Adam Newman. Yet, in the comments of every article are always the same two stories that keep popping up: one is true and the other is fake news. The first story is that Michael Muhney was inappropriate with younger co-star Hunter King, and the other that he and Eric Braedon were at odds with each other.
Michael Muhney was recently on The Peloton Brief podcast explaining which story was embarrassingly true, while the other has no merit whatsoever. Could either of these stories keep Michael Muhney from reprising his role as Adam Newman?
On the podcast, Muhney told the story of his childhood and then acting school and how the late Carrie Fisher helped him meet with people who could get him to auditions. He mentioned that he was up for the role of Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS. The role went to Michael Weatherly, whose first wife was, ironically, Amelia Heinle, who played Victoria Newman, half-sister to Muhney’s Adam Newman on the Young And The Restless. Muhney was on the NCIS pilot, as a JAG officer, but the show decided to not go the JAG route with NCIS, and instead, went the CSI route. Yet, because of this association, he met and eventually married his wife.
In the first year that Muhney was on the Young And The Restless, the writers were thrilled with his portrayal of Victor Jr. and told him that he would be playing him for the next 3o years. While this was great, unfortunately, Muhney confessed, he started to feel trapped. Unlike most other prime-time series, he was not off for a few months, instead he worked Tuesday through Friday, nearly all year with just two weeks off. As an actor, he believed that you always needed to look for that next great role. By working banker’s hours, he felt that he could not be free to do this.
This is when the self-sabotage began. Muhney admitted that he had issues with Eric Braedon. He made demands on the writers and “picked battles with him” about the script. Muhney sheepishly spoke of his agitation with Eric Braedon, who played Victor Newman, his father on the show. Braedon has portrayed Victor for over 30 years, playing the scheming and manipulative character that is synonymous with the CBS show. This is why they split the the two characters out. Muhney had demanded that they make the changes or he would quit, or they were going to fire him. The powers that be at CBS chose the later. This is the story that is true.
Pic from a recent photo shoot: pic.twitter.com/AgV76XMpcz— Michael Muhney (@michaelmuhney) February 19, 2016
On December 17, 2013, fans were shocked to see the message on Michael Muhney’s Twitter feed that he was leaving the show.
“I’m so sorry. It breaks my heart to say this, but I was just let go from Y&R. My last day on set is this Thursday. My last air date will be Jan 30th. I’m going to take some private time with my wife & kids, as I am most concerned for their well-being…I have 3 final episodes to film, and because they are my last, I will be giving it everything I have. More details will follow… #xoxoxo.”
According to Muhney, he ate some humble pie and apologized to the head of Sony and to the head of CBS, by email, for his bad behavior. It had soaked in that he was “leaving a good job” at a place that he loved, in a role that he loved. He really regretted his behavior and realized the error of his ways.
The next day, they were so touched by this that they had a two-hour meeting with him. They told him that they were truly considering bringing him back right after the Christmas break. But they said that they needed assurances from him that his mouth was not going to “agitate.” He assured them this was a wake-up call. He realized that the grass was not greener on the other side. He told them this was an It’s A Wonderful Life moment, his George Bailey moment. He realized he was his own worst enemy. They said that they would make their decision over the holidays and they would write him back in.
During the holidays, the fake news story from TMZ came out. They did not reveal their sources but published accusations that Muhney was inappropriate and harassed King.
“Multiple sources connected to the show tell TMZ… 38-year-old Muhney allegedly bullied and harassed 20-year-old Hunter King, who plays Summer on the show. She went to higher-ups and complained recently Muhney had fondled her breasts on 2 occasions — and she said both were unsolicited and unwanted.”
Muhney stated his people contacted CBS and Sony to have anyone contact this “girl,” presumably Hunter King, and make it clear that nothing like this had occurred. There were no quotes and only a few publications posting rumors had published this. CBS and Sony said that they do not comment on rumors, otherwise, they would be doing this non-stop for every cast member. CBS and Sony knew that this rumor was false. They told him it was best to not comment on this as well.
Muhney did not go out on Twitter or make a statement because he was preparing to come back to the Young And The Restless. But instead, he wondered if perhaps this appeared to look suspicious. His lawyer called TMZ and they responded to the attorney that they were not saying that this happened, but that there were “rumors.” And, that is what they published.
Muhney paid a private investigator and discovered that this rumor was started in Florida by a woman that runs a born-again, church blog, and she had publicly surmised that this inappropriate behavior had occurred, and this is what started the fake news rumor. The “source” was a lady from Florida.
Sadly, Muhney did not return to the Young And The Restless. Instead, they hired Justin Hartley to become the next Adam Newman. Justin has since left the show and is starring in This Is Us. A lot of Michael Muhney fans want him to reprise his role as Adam Newman. There is even a petition to bring him back. But will either of these stories–real or fake–keep Michael Muhney from returning?
It should be noted that Hunter King has never spoken of this rumor, or anything related to Michael Muhney. There is no reason to believe that what Michael Muhney has said is false.
Do you think the powers that be at the Young And The Restless should denounce the Hunter King story as false? Or what else do you suggest that they should do? If you did not want Michael Muhney back as Adam Newman, was it because of the Hunter King story? If you are a Michael Muhney fan, have you been actively involved in trying to get him back on Young And The Restless? Please, share your comments and feelings below.
[Featured Image by Angela Weiss/Getty Images]