DC #548: Victoria Rowell Returns to Daytime Confidential

She’s baaaaack! That’s right Daytime Confidential listeners, Victoria Rowell returns to the podcast to dish with Luke and Jamey about her scandalously-hilarious new novel, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, in bookstores today. The former star of The Young and the Restless shares what it feels like to finally have her long-awaited roman a clef (think: Valley of the Soap Opera Dolls) about the behind-the-scenes drama of a daytime sudser into the hands of the adoring fans who have supported her during her 25 years in daytime.

Rowell gives DC listeners a sneak peek into the fictional world of Calysta Jeffries, the sexy, mocha starlet, who appears on daytime’s top soap, The Rich and the Ruthless and answers if Calysta’s panty-less arch rival Emmy Abernathy is patterned after anyone soap fans may know.

Rowell also reacts to having her New York Times Best Selling memoir The Women Who Raised Me cited in the 10th Anniversary issue of O Magazine and shares her joy at Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva being selected an official book club pick by Essence.

Then Rowell gets real, once again about the lack of diversity behind and in front of the screens of daytime television and weighs in on former costar Michelle Stafford’s recent revelation to TV Guide Canada that the brass at Y&R knew all about Stafford’s plan to spit water on Rowell in a scene, which The Staff refers to as "a spit take". If you guys thought Vicki was frank the first time around, you ain’t heard nuthin’ yet!

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32 Responses

  1. Profile photo of FanOfSoaps78

    She’s wrong about the spit take. It’s still used often to this day in televison, script and stage. I also don’t agree with her trying to basically say that Michelle Stafford is racist for doing what she did. I do like VR though…Y&R needs her back, and she and Michelle Stafford need to drop this.

  2. Profile photo of FanOfSoaps78

    I agree, and the way she kept going on about it, as if this proves Michelle Stafford and Sony is some kind of evil woman who was out to get her. It just paints her too much as a victim of a racist act. Even if she did this maliciosuly, I feel that it’s because MS just doesn’t like her for who she is, not because VR is half black. That’s my only issue with VR. She can go on fighting for diversity, but this example that she keeps using to expose racism on soaps, doesn’t cut it. Personally I hope MS and Sony just ignores this, if VR wants to continue using it, she should. It sure does get her name out in the news. She’s only as relevant as her latest piece of gossip.

    And before anyone bites my head off, I don’t balme her for bringing this up, well excpet for when she first exposed it. It’s the soap reporters that love to bring up the issue. And people wonder why some can’t let it go. 

    I don’t like how she is dealing with this, calling MS names on twitter…. but to each their own. I do want Dru back only as VR though. I don’t care how much MS and VR dislike each other, they had the best on screen chemistry. They both need to suck it up, and do what’s best for the show.

  3. Profile photo of Miry

    I absolutely LOVE her!! & can’t wait to read her book!  She is speaking the truth about MANY, many things & you can’t knock her for that.

    That is all. 

  4. Profile photo of Smitty

    Great interview!!!  I love Victoria Rowell’s candor!  She is a breathe of fresh air.

    Jamey thank you for noting that Eric Braeden and Kim Zimmer do the same thing and are called courageous for speaking out but VR does it and she’s called everything but a child of god.

    Haters to the LEFT! 

  5. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Victoria Rowell is ON FIYAH!!! LOL!! I love this woman’s creamy voice and tell-it-how-it-is ATTITUDE. I also loved her usage of all those big $20 words when explaining the actions of Michelle Stafford. I am not gonna get back into the whole debate about "who’s lying and who’s flying?," (we will probably NEVER know the REAL truth!) but this woman certainly has a way with words, and I can’t WAIT for my copy of her book to arrive.

    Kim Zimmer and Eric Braeden have BOTH used their tenure and respectability to push their various soapbox issues, as well as speak their minds. Peter Bergman and Eric Braeden have been feuding since the 1990s, but they seem to have gotten over it. Kim Zimmer also had a WELL-PUBLICIZED love/hate relationship with Pamela Long, who created her character of Reva Shayne back in the 1980s, but they also got over it. Speaking one’s mind, when done in the right way, should be what EVERYONE strives for!!! The same can be said for speaking out against discrimination!! Those who have the power to speak out against it SHOULD do so!!!!

    I hope that Michelle and Victoria can work this out and come to some sort of common ground, and as usual, I am hoping that Vicki returns soon!!

  6. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Love the interview and Victoria is only speaking the truth.  AA viewers are watching the ads and buying the products on tv and infusing Y&R to be on the air with a larger ratings bump than the others soaps and we deserves the same equal rights and s/ls on the show as of everyone one else and Victoria is fighting for the same respect as Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braden gets too.

  7. Profile photo of fewfew50

    [quote=siomonstuart2003]Love the interview and Victoria is only speaking the truth.  AA viewers are watching the ads and buying the products on tv and infusing Y&R to be on the air with a larger ratings bump than the others soaps and we deserves the same equal rights and s/ls on the show as of everyone one else and Victoria is fighting for the same respect as Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braden gets too.

    I love your comment. I think that is what aggravates a lot of AA viewers. THey buy the products and watch the same ads yet they do not get the same respect and s/ls .  On that I will agree with VR for speaking out but if it is some vendetta I want her to move on. She created a character that is still loved and wanted back but she has to realize that under this new writing team, she probably will not get the same qualtiy s/l like she did under Bill Bell.
    This team seems to have no respect for the diverse viewers only their fav and status quo s/ls

  8. Profile photo of EduBois

    Great interview guys!  I love Victoria, so I love to hear from her, because she’s eloquent and funny and spunky and unafraid to "go there".  She was preaching on that spit take crap – and I called that Stafford is full of it on that when you posted it originally.  As I say, it is a humiliating gesture – what in the what on a soap opera warrants that kind of extra business??  This is not some deep theater, there’s no need to get so gritty.  So Stafford was wrong on many levels.  And I was happy to hear her call it.  Thanks guys!

  9. Profile photo of LadyGooGoo

    OMG – it’s so obvious who she’s talking about with these "fictionalized" characters. If there’s not a lawsuit or two coming I’ll be surprised.

    Barely a few chapters in, and already there are direct attacks on Michelle Stafford, who is portrayed as a loud, obnoxious lesbian with a fixation on L. Ron Hubbard, and Christel Khalil, described as a fractionally Persian bulimic.

  10. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Oh my LadyGooGoo? Really?

    Nice…..her chances of being back on Y&R are just great now.
    I am not ordering the book but was concerned that it was going to be exactly what I had been reading…..behind the scenes items at Y&R twisted into "fiction".

    If you want to be asked back to where you used to work, you don’t slander your co-workers in a book.
    I can’t believe I even have to say that.

  11. Profile photo of RebeccaJ

    @ 14, Ryan-Scott,  I agree. You cannot fake up characters based on real people so you can slam them and then try to get your job back.

    First of all, it’s CHILDISH, and secondly, who can respect people like that?  Fiction is supposed to be just that. It’s not supposed to be used to get back at people you feel have wronged you. I think THIS is her REAL personality and the REAL reason she’s not wanted back at Y&R–she’s vindictive, and that’s sad because Dru used to be one of my favorite characters.

    And as far as a lawsuit goes, she’ll simply say "any resemblence to real people is purely coincidental" like everyone else who cops out.

  12. Profile photo of LadyGooGoo

    Just to be absolutely accurate about the lesbian thing, VR calls the Stafford character, Emmy Abernethy, a "muffin-eater". She hasn’t used the word "lesbian" yet… but I’m only at about the half way point. There’s still time – and anyway, what does muffin eating allude to besides being gay? It sure as hell wasn’t a reference to baked goods.

    The Melody character is portrayed as venal and stupid, the old story about Drucilla having to wear previously used wardrobe is trotted out as a scene where Calysta is slated to wear the MTS character’s wedding dress (from her character’s first wedding to the mogul played by an actor who was born in "Denmark" and has meetings with James Cameron). There’s an unseemly tussle in the wardrobe room between the MTS character and the wardrobe mistress that ends up with the MTS character spitefully ripping the dress and then blaming the wardrobe lady.


    I hear MTS has announced her own book as of a couple of weeks ago. Suppose she got wind of what was in this book?

  13. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    I have posted MANY comments regarding my Vicki Rowell, and I am sure many of you may be getting tired of hearing from me, but get ready for some more…LOL!!! I’m getting back on my beloved soapbox ONE MORE TIME for Victoria Rowell…………

    As a Vicki Rowell fan, the only problems I had with her interviews with Jamey and Luke, and Daytime Confidential as a whole (a problem that I continue to see) is her penchant for interrupting Jamey and Luke while they were talking, sometimes mid-sentence. I don’t think she was doing it to be disrespectful or rude, but I did find that slightly irritating. Oh, well….nobody’s perfect. Other than that, I am STILL a huge fan, and she is STILL on my top 5 list of my favorite performers in daytime history!!

    Furthermore, to address some of the comments on this thread, while I always respect the opinions of others, I see no logical reason why Victoria should have to "pander" or "bow down" to Sony, CBS or TPTB, with the "hopes" that they will rehire her. This woman is THRIVING as an author, and is not likely to be waiting in ANYONE’s umemployment line ANYTIME soon!! Furthermore, if you have to give up your independence, or the CONSTITUTIONAL right that we all have to speak out against injustice, just to get or keep a job, then you have to ask yourself if that job is worth having, or if you are better off on your own. For Victoria, the answer to this question is SIMPLE—She is far better off on her own. She doesn’t need Y&R’s storyline scraps or their brand name to contribute to her success.

    The old saying goes—"If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!"…and "anything" for Y&R is a cast that is VERY segregated and racially imbalanced. The black actors are fed STORYLINE SCRAPS by a group of writers who like to pretend that they don’t exist. This kind of complacency would NEVER be authorized or accepted with the Newman family or the Chancellor family!! How many protests/petitions would be in place if they just STOPPED showing Katherine Chancellor or Victor Newman, or only showed them once or twice a month?? What would happen?? Outright anarchy!! BTW: I would be protesting as well, because I LOVE Katherine Chancellor and Victor Newman, as well as the actors who portray them!!

    To answer the question regarding why soaps don’t write for black characters—it’s a simple reason…..FEAR. Fear of writing something that’s too "ghetto" or may be offensive to black people. Perhaps the white writers on these shows don’t have many close black friends, or can’t identify with them closely, so they simply want to avoid it because they want to be "realistic," but not present any stereotypes that may offend the black community. However, the irony is that by doing nothing, they are offending US blacks equally as much as they would if they were to write characters who are "walking stereotypes." I am not implying that these writers are RACIST, but rather that they are scared to face the challenge, and scared of offending people. The same could be true for other minorities. They say "write what you know"..and if you don’t know much about other ethnicities, how can you write effective storylines for them?? You can’t.

    You can either join a show and take their "scraps" or blaze your own path and success solo. Keep doing that,

    Lastly, before I get off my soapbox, people can speculate and GUESS all day long about which characters in her book are inspired by real people—and who those real people are—but, as Vicki said, she has worked on many TV shows and movies, and her past as a dancer must also be taken into account, as should her VAST circle of friends, family and relatives. These characters could have EASILY been inspired by any number of people, not necessarily actors on Y&R…..it is fiction, after all.

    Vicki, you have my continued support……..

  14. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    All I can say is to quote the DIVINE Lady Gaga from Pokerface: Bluffin with my muffin.
    So I think we can guess what that is supposed to mean.
    Crazy? Indeed.

    Melody Thomas Scott’s book is going to be an autobiography. I saw Melody’s episode of Intimate Portrait years ago when Lifetime was still doing that fabulous series and Melody had an AWFUL childhood. It’s a nod to the power of the human spirit that she came out ok and that’s all I am going to say. I can’t wait to read it.


  15. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    And thank you LadyGooGoo for confirming what I guessed this book was going to be.
    I am not supporting that by buying that. Hell to the no.

    I would rather read The Women Who Raised Me.
    That is more the type of book I read anyway – autobiographies and biographies.

  16. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    What Vicki has done with Secrets is no different than what the author of Devil Wears Prada did, or Grace Metalious with Peyton Place. She wrote what she knew, from her perspective. You don’t think the characters in the Starter Wife resemble the vapid Hollywood housewives Gigi Levangie Grazer encountered? It’s a roman a clef.

  17. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Fiction AlstonBoy?

    That’s just like when the fabulous Jackie Susann wrote my favorite book, Valley of the Dolls, and the characters and their closeness to real celebrities was another "purely a coincidence."
    Only difference was Jackie wasn’t hoping and campaigning to get re-hired.

  18. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Well, Ryan Scott—

    We clearly have differing viewpoints regarding Vicki Rowell, so we’re just gonna have to RESPECTFULLY agree to disagree.

    I will say this….whether it’s fiction or not, good writing is good writing, and ditto for hackery and plot-driven foolishness. Y&R is currently in DESPERATE need of good writing, and if Vicki does have any hidden desire to come back, all she has to do is turn on the TV and see that it’s basically becoming a sinking ship—of the same TRAGIC proportions of "The Titanic"………..and she’s better off not coming back unless she’s a damn good swimmer.

  19. Profile photo of LadyGooGoo

    This is my thing… there have been rumors that MS is in the glass closet. If there’s any truth to that, VR just outed her, and that’s low. You don’t take someone’s privacy and rip it up like that, out of spite –  leaving yourself all set to make $$$ out of it, too. It’s dirty.

    If MS is not gay, VR just took a rumor and ran it up the flagpole as "thinly veiled reality". VR put the muffin reference right beside the L. Ron Hubbard thing. How are readers supposed to assess the MS being a practicing Scientologist reference as different from the allegation that’s she’s gay?

    VR just slapped MS with lavendar tar. She had to know it might stick regardless of truth, and regardless of privacy issues.

    It should always be someone’s choice to come out. Outings stink.

  20. Profile photo of bottomchef

    I don’t think Rowell is necessrily outing MS. These characters are amalgamations of fictional aspects and real people. Rowell’s alter ego is Calysta Jeffries, who’s rumored to have an affair w/ Augustus Barringer Sr., so I don’t think Rowell is admitting to an affair w/ Bill Bell.

    Also, if people here are taking issue w/ Rowell alluding to MS being a lesbian or the claims of some that Rowell is referring to Khalil as the bulimic character, then those same people should be angry at Nelson Branco.

    He has after all basically outed Tuc Watkins, Greg Rikaart and Christian Leblanc on goldderby forums. He did so for Watkins when he was cast as a gay guy on DH years ago on the goldderby forums. When people were discussing Rikaart and Leblanc’s rumored relationship and who’s the bottom or the top on the goldderby forums, Branco made comments abt them that are tantamount to outing them.

    Branco called MTS "Miss Piggy" in his columns and in a podcast, Branco has called Hunter Tylo’s face a "guilty pleasure" in his columns. Branco called Adrienne Frantz "ugly" in his columns. Branco has called Marlena Delacroix "ugly" and "the only makeover she can afford is with crayons" when Delacroix wrote criticisms for Branco overpraising OLTL. These were not allusions thru fictional characters, Branco actually flat out wrote these insults towards these actors and a journalist in his columns. So if people here do not have double standards against Rowell, and they are angry at Rowell’s fictional characters "outing" Khalil or MS, then they should be even more angry at Branco.

  21. Profile photo of LadyGooGoo

    I didn’t realize we were talking about Branco, who I agree with you about wholeheartedly. He’s mean, belittling and insulting, has outed actors, and is pretty negative about anyone who criticizes him constructively, let alone via the same tactics. (Wow. I see how you jumped from Rowell to Branco so easily – they do make a nice set!)

  22. Profile photo of thecourt99

    It is so much easier to destroy the messenger than it is to actually listen to the message.

    Regarding the spit-take, while i think it should be backburnered, my question is….would they have let any other actor do that to another? Let’s face it, VR wasn’t liked from day 1. So be honest.  Could that have happened to any other character?  Has there ever been another "spit-take" on Y&R before or since where the spit was on the person? I have seen actors spit to the side, or on the table in front of them….but never on their acting partner? Could you see that happening to MTS and then asking her to sit there during the next take with the spit still on her? Think about that. It doesn’t have to be a racist thing, it’s a sign of disrespect and race is factored into the picture because that is what VR was fighting for.  If everyone knew and signed off but VR…that is another issue altogether.

    It’s obvious that VR isn’t coming back to Y&R, it is always easier to say that the door is open, but that doesn’t mean that she is begging for a job. She is doing well by her damn self.  She is thriving. She doesn’t have to bg Y&R for nothing. That doesn’t mean that she needs to forget where she came from.  Y&R is out of the picture now, but it is a foundation for her success and she can discuss it as long as people ask her about it.

    I think it is an insult to assume that the characters in the book are all Y&R related. Follow her career. While Y&R is one of her notable roles, she has had many roles, done many shows, used many mediums, and met many people.  All fiction is bred in reality at some level.  Most characters in fictional books are based upon a combination of familiar faces.  An author may take a piece of one person or another, to create a character in their book. Happens all the time. It happens with situations, too. Authors, comics, songwriters….they all do this.  As as soap viewer, you see these characters and think MS, MTS, or CK….but someone that followed her in ballet would have 3 different people come to mind….and someone that watched Diagnosis Murder would think of something else. As VR said, use your own imagination…(my addition) but don’t blame VR if your imagination leads you to that place.  I hadn’t heard those rumors about MS until these posts, so to me, VR didn’t out them.

  23. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Thecourt, great post and I couldn’t said it better myself.  Daytime has a few years left and we all know this and VR is doing big things and has a fan following that will last longer than y&r ever be.  The show is a mess and tiic don’t care about this industry anymore.

  24. Profile photo of LadyGooGoo

    What’s interesting is that VR’s fictional counter part, Calysta, does no wrong. She doesn’t bring donuts to the set, but otherwise, she’s as pure as the driven snow. Her fictionalized co-workers, except for Eric Braeden, Shemar Moore, and Sharon Case, are evil, manipulative, racist, and all part of a conspiracy to ruin Calysta’s career. Nothing is Calysta’s fault, nothing at all. She’s a helpless victim of racism, jealousy, and network greed.

    So far, on the what’s real about Michelle Stafford and what’s not tally, we’ve got references to Emmy being a Scientology zealot, Emmy being a muffin eater, Emmy being loud and saying gawd! a lot, Emmy calling Calysta a "nigger", and Emmy spitting the contents of a glass of sparkling water on Calysta – who didn’t know she was going to do that – Emmy calls it "improvisation" and calls it a "spit take".

    How do you separate known truths about MS – the Scientology, the huzzzband/dotter/etc exaggerated pronunciations, the SPITTING, fgs! from the innuendo?

    And is that the point?

  25. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    LAdygoogoo, it is a fictional tale.  Why don’t you get over it?  VR is doing the damn thing and don’t need to apologize and don’t say yes maam no maam and tell it like it is.  Y&R is a mess right now and I hope the ratings drop even lower than it has been.

  26. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    .Vicky is on smokin’ here tell it like it is no holds barred just the way I like it ignoring racism doesn’t make it go away  

    I would definitely watch her project whatever soap opera etc reading her book…keep writing girl…  

    Glad to hear her response to Michelle Stafford she has a right for that rebuttal.

    she even said its old news but I think she addressed this well in this interview and I would not have liked being spit on without prior knowledge

    take, or no take

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