Sunday, April 14, 2024

Former “Young and Restless” Star Michael Muhney Says He Was Suicidal After False Claim Forced Him Off Show


Former “Young and the Restless” actor Michael Muhney has posted an extraordinary notice to Twitter over the weekend. He says now that five and a half years ago, when he was fired from the CBS soap and then slagged on social media with a “grotesque internet rumor and lie,” he became suicidal.

Muhney, a committed cyclist, wrote that he’d “imagine drifting across the double yellow line into oncoming traffic and ending it all.” He notes that his wife’s mother actually had committed suicide some years earlier, and that he sought his wife’s permission to post this Tweet.

What happened to Muhney haunts the number 1 one rated “Y&R”. A volatile actor on the set, he often clashed with series star Eric Braeden. When he was abruptly told by CBS Daytime chief Anjelica McDaniel that he was being written off the show, something odd happened. TMZ’s TV show reported that Muhney was out because of he’d sexually molested “Y&R” actress Hunter King, who was in her early 20s. They didn’t seek any comment. No complaints were filed. It was a done deal according to TMZ.

It gets more curious here. Standing in the background that day on the TMZ set was Brian McDaniel, husband of Anjelica McDaniel. She was Muhney’s boss (and still runs CBS Daytime). You can see him in this clip at 1:27, resting his chin on his palm. Brian McDaniel, then a comedian, was also a regular on TMZ.

So what was the husband of CBS’s chief of Daytime Programming doing on TMZ while the show was presenting incendiary and unsubstantiated possible illegal behavior by a CBS Daytime employee? And how does Harvey Levin “know” in the segment that Muhney is guilty? Or that he’s been accused of other “bad behavior”? The whole thing is a set up, it seems, to tank a career without judge or jury.

Muhney has always denied anything happened. The actor says he later discovered that the rumor was started by a fan on the internet. He said in an interview that his lawyers approached CBS and got nowhere. (They don’t sound very competent.)

King never filed a complaint with CBS, Sony TV, or with her union. She has never spoken in Muhney’s defense. But was almost immediately thereafter given a contract to also appear on the CBS nightime sitcom, “Life in Pieces.”

Muhney certainly had a right to be depressed, if not suicidal. When he came to “Y&R,” he’d been a regular on “Veronica Mars.” But in the last five years he’s struggled to find work. His last role was a small one on ABC’s “The Good Doctor” in 2017. Coincidentally, Brian McDaniel doesn’t have any credits on the IMDB since 2017 either.

The post this weekend was incredibly brave of Muhney, who was clearly scapegoated out of “The Young and the Restless,” where he played Adam Newman to great acclaim from 2009 to the end of 2014. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Lead Actor in 2013. Since he was ousted, the role of Adam Newman has been recast twice– first with Justin Hartley, who went on to “This is Us,” and currently with a new actor 12 years Muhney’s junior.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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