Michael Muhney has always been a controversial figure when it comes to The Young and the Restless viewers. There are fans who want him back as Adam Newman, and there are fans who never want to see him on the CBS show again.
Muhney has been dogged by the rumors that he sexually harassed co-star Hunter King and that was the reason for his firing. Neither he nor King has ever talked about those allegations, but Muhney is now coming clean.
A new interview on The Peloton Brief Podcast: Real Talent with Phil Gaimon, Muhney reveals the real source of those sexual harassment rumors — TMZ. He claims the gossip site sourced the rumor from a blogger in Florida. He hired a private investigator, who confirmed that the blogger was the one who started the story.
Muhney said the incident never happened and that was not the reason he was fired from the show. He believes it was his ego that got in the way of his Y&R gig. Muhney thought he was better than daytime and deserved to be on a primetime show. He gave an ultimatum to producers.
“I am gonna leave or you have to push me out the door or something has to change,” Muhney said in the podcast. ”After six months they finally said fine, you are leaving.”
Muhney later realized that it was a mistake to make such demands and test his working relationship with co-star Eric Braeden, who played his character’s father Victor Newman. He did an about-face and asked for his job back. The producers considered allowing him to return, but the rumors about his on-set behavior spread during his hiatus.
“My problem was I was a fucking idiot. I was my own worst enemy,” he said. “I just kept pushing and I needed to just keep my head down and do my work.”
His silence on the subject created a cloud of suspicion. Many fans thought he should have defended himself against the allegations and he did consider hiring a lawyer. Unfortunately, the story didn’t go away and some of his co-stars believed the TMZ story.
“This rumor disgusted me. I have a daughter. I never would do that,” he explained. “People thought I was gay on sets cause I never hit on girls. I was always professional.”
Muhney has admitted that he was the cause of on-set friction with Braeden before, but this was the first time he’s ever addressed the sexual harassment rumors. Why is he doing so now?
Now that his replacement, Justin Hartley, has exited the role of Adam Newman for This Is Us, Muhney is not shy about trying to work his way back to the Y&R set.
“My people are trying to talk to the right people,” Muhney said. “I want to go back to Y&R.”
The big question is whether Y&R is ready to give him a second chance. It’s clear that fans are mixed about his return, but if he has the support of executive producer Mal Young and head writer Sally Sussman, it might be a clear path to return.
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