Iconic The Young and the Restless character Victor Newman has had so many wives, it is easy to forget some of them. Though she was only on the show half of a year, Raya Meddine’s Sabrina Costelana Newman is memorable due to the character’s story arc.
Raya Meddine was Victor Newman’s seventh wife
Sabrina was first introduced as a friend of Victor’s daughter, Victoria Newman, and art curator who she met while she was living in Florence, Italy. Victoria brought her to town and she soon developed a relationship with Victor. The relationship between the two upset Victoria and their friendship ended. Though many first ostracized her in Genoa City due to her quick relationship with Victor, she gained many friends, including Jana Hawkes.
Sabrina ended up pregnant not long after their romance began and they got married. She ended up dying in a fatal limo accident along with David Chow, who was romantically involved once with Victor’s then-ex-wife, Nikki Newman.
Though the character was killed off, Sabrina appeared several times as a ghost. She appeared to Victor, as well as his ex-wives Nikki and Ashley Abbott. The appearances to the latter were in the notable storyline of Adam Newman gaslighting Ashley. He put on one of Sabrina’s dresses, pretending to be her. He also played a recording of Sabrina’s voice. This made Ashley question her sanity and the mental stress she was under caused her to fall down the steps after running from who she thought was Sabrina. This causes Ashley to miscarry her and Victor’s baby.
Meddine’s last appearance as Newman was in December 2010, appearing in a dream of Victor’s along with Hope Wilson and Colleen Carlton.
Here’s what Raya Meddine said about her role on the show
For the character of Sabrina, the writers on The Young and the Restless actually incorporated aspects of Meddine’s persona. “I am Lebanese. I am from Lebanon. My dad was a diplomat and I was raised all over,” she told Michael Fairman TV. “I was born in New York, raised in Italy, France, Canada, North Africa, Lebanon, The Arab Peninsula, Tunisia, and Yemen. It has been an amazing life!”
This information was used to craft the character of Sabrina. “Y&R head-writer, Maria Bell, and executive producer, Josh Griffith, got that from me and thought it was good, and they wanted to make it evolve. They got that my dad is a diplomat, and that I do speak languages. It’s incorporated into my identity. I loved that they used that.”
She also spoke about the romance story between Victor and Sabrina and if it was odd that her character slept with her best friend’s father. ‘Of course it’s odd. The problem is not being clear up front,’ she explained. “If, God forbid, I were in a situation where I fell in love with my best friend’s dad, or started having an affair with him, I would go and talk to her right off the bat. I would make sure she knows and try to get her blessing! What is important is to try to be as honest or as transparent as possible. Also, you need to live your life, and you need to honor your feelings and be true to yourself. It’s not as if Victor and Nikki were together, they were divorced. So, it’s not as if you went and wrecked a home as a mistress.
Co-stars were reportedly shocked by her exit
Back in 2008, SoapCentral reported on the actresses exit and said that the cast and crew were primarily blindsided by Sabrina getting written out of the show.
“We were all a little blindsided. No one tells the same story about why they decided to get rid of Raya,” an insider at the show told the publication.
Another source insinuated that the exit would be a big one and would have major implications for the series. “This will be a big one. We’re going to feel the effects of this for a pretty long time,” said The Young and the Restless.
Given the fact that Meddine appeared on the show sporadically for two more years and the fact that ripple effects from Sabrina’s death include Ashley’s miscarriage and Adam Newman’s supervillain arc, it’s safe to say we still see the impacts of Sabrina’s death to this day.
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.