‘The Young and the Restless’ Alum Eileen Davidson Explains the Real Reason She Left Genoa City

Longtime star of The Young and the Restless, Eileen Davidson, left a few lingering questions when she parted ways with the daytime soap. After multiple decades playing Ashley Abbott on CBS’ No. 1 soap, Davidson has disappeared off-and-on over the course of her career. However, a previous interview revealed she would likely not return in terms of a recurring role. Here’s why she really left, according to Davidson herself.

Eileen Davidson left the door open ‘for a visit’

Eileen Davidson
Eileen Davidson | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

The Young and the Restless welcomed Eileen Davidson to the role of Ashley Abbott way back in 1984. For nearly four decades the actress graced the Y&R set, sometimes parting to work on other projects, but always returning to her one, true home.

The star spent much of her “off” time on another daytime soap, Days of Our Lives. From 1993-2018, Davidson played Kristen DiMera. Both soaps garnered the actress Daytime Emmy Wards for Best Actress.

“Yes I am leaving my second home @YandR_CBS in September,” Davidson tweeted today. “I’ve been so blessed to be able to play Ashley Abbott and work with the amazing people on the show and have nothing but gratitude and love for all!!!” she tweeted in June 2018.

She may be gone from the show, but according to Soap Opera Digest, Davidson is open to making an occasional appearance.

“I said on my last day that I would love to come back for a visit,” Davidson said. “It’s always great to see my Y&R family.”

Daytime TV aside, Davidson also appeared on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills from 2014-2018.

‘Y&R’ previously faced misconduct allegations

When a show’s been on the air for nearly 50 years like The Young and the Restless, you can’t expect it to get by unscathed in terms of controversy. In 2016, some things came to light that may have led to the departure of multiple Y&R actresses.

The allegations stem from internal harassment claims via showrunner and head writer at the time, Mal Young. Multiple outlets reported inappropriate behavior that could’ve led to a lawsuit by one accuser.

Much of the suspected claims were corroborated by former Y&R actor, Abhi Sinha who sent out a barrage of tweets about behavior behind-the-scenes.

Fans across the world took to social media to file petitions for Young’s firing for “ruining” Y&R storylines and character histories with his new direction, including the exit of stars Christel Khalil, Mishael Morgan, and, of course, Davidson.

Viewers weren’t happy with Davidson’s character’s change in behavior and choices, claiming it didn’t fit the Y&R arc. However, what does Davidson have to say about her exit?

Here’s why Davidson really left the show

As it turns out, Davidson explained she decided to leave the show long before Young came aboard, despite the news of longtime co-star, Doug Davidson’s firing.

“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 said of Young.

“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.”

Y&R fans also petitioned for [Doug] Davidson’s return and it worked. However, he tweeted a cryptic announcement recently that alluded to the fact that he has been let go again. As for Davidson’s peace with Young, she maintains she didn’t leave due to Young.

“He was very unhappy. He was very sad,” she said. “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 continued: “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.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.