Rumors may say that Eileen Davidson left her role as The Young and the Restless' Ashley Abbott because she was unhappy with former executive producer and head writer Mal Young, but the actress says that is simply not the case.
In a recent interview with Soap Opera Digest, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star explains that she had made the decision to leave the Y&R role she's been playing since 1982 long before Young took the reins at the CBS series and long before viewers witnessed Ashley's heartbreaking departure.
"I decided pretty much a year before I left. It really had nothing to do with Mal. He actually wasn't even technically the head at that point," she shares, adding that -- like she explained at the time her exit news was revealed -- her decision to leave was based on wanting to spend more time with her family. "I just found myself exhausted and completely consumed with memorizing lines. I found myself doing a lot of homework on the weekend. I've been doing this for a long time. I was kind of wanting to not have to be somewhere all of the time."
Some fans have speculated that because Davidson's exit announcement came shortly after Young took over as Y&R's executive producer, he may have had something to do with the Emmy winner's decision to leave. The soap's shocking decision to drop popular cast member Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) to recurring status shortly after only fueled the flames of the rumor that Young's actions as EP must have pushed the actress to leave, at least in part. But she stresses that Young truly had no effect on her decision to exit Y&R, and he was actually quite upset when she broke the news.
"He was very unhappy. He was very sad," she recalls of Young, who announced his own departure from Y&R in December. "He told me how much he loves to write for me and how I'm one of his favorite actors on the show. He was devastated."
She continues: "It's not really fair for people to think he pushed me out because he didn't... I can't blame my leaving on him, and that's really, really important for people to know."
Davidson has been free of Y&R's demanding schedule for several months now, and she's already making the most of it. As Soap Central reported earlier this month, she stars in the new film Walk to Vegas, which she convinced her real-life husband Vince Van Patten to write and create. For more information on the movie and to watch a sneak peek preview, click here.
What do you think about Davidson's reasons for walking away from Y&R? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.