'The Young and the Restless': Why Melody Thomas Scott Went Public as a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

The Young and the Restless star Melody Thomas Scott is one of the most well-known daytime television stars. When she released her memoir, Scott got candid about being a survivor of sexual abuse.

Melody Thomas Scott is a daytime television legend

Scott, who was born Melody Ann Thomas, got her start in the industry a long time before she stepped foot on the set of The Young and the Restless. When she was a child actress, she had a role in the 1964 Alfred Hitchock film, Marine. Later, she appeared in other television series and films like John Wayne’s final film, The Shootlist. Scott also had a recurring role on The Waltons.

She has portrayed the iconic role of Nicole “Nikki” Reed Newman on The Young and the Restless for over 40 years. Scott first stepped into the role in 1979, leaving her recurring role on The Waltons. The actor was the second person to portray Nikki, as Erica Hope was in the role briefly from 1978- to 1979.

Nikki is one of the biggest characters in The Young and the Restless’ history, working her way up from a stripper prostitute to a businesswoman. The character is one-half an equally iconic supercouple with Victor Newman, played by actor Eric Braeden.

Melody Thomas Scott on coming forward with her story of sexual abuse

Recently, Scott dropped her memoir, Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Drama.

The official description of the novel reads in part:

As Nikki Newman went from impoverished stripper to resourceful, vivacious heroine—with missteps as gripping as her triumphs—Melody became a household name, enthralling audiences across the globe. But her road to stardom also had to be one to freedom marked by an escape fit for cinema. In Always Young and Restless, Melody tells of her troubled, untraditional upbringing for the first time.

On coming forward as a survivor of sexual abuse, Scott explained to RAINN.org, “My hesitancy to talk about it had to be reckoned with before I wrote one word. This book was an almost 10-year journey, with a few false starts. I would write a few particularly dark chapters, then the panic attacks would begin.”

The actor revealed that she had not even told her family members about what she went through before this. She had only told one person what happened to her. 

“Your brain has a way of letting you know when you’re not quite ready to share this type of abuse,” she continued. “Not that I had shared my experiences with my family. I had not. Only my therapist knew the details. The passage of time was the only thing that allowed me to willingly share these details in my book. I needed to heal my own heart and psyche before I could share with the world.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.

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