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Exclusive Days Of Our Lives Preview: Eric Turns To EJ For Help!

dan feuerriegel, greg vaughan, days of our lives


Keep Your Enemies Close: Eric (Greg Vaughan, l.) needs assistance from EJ (Dan Feuerriegel).

Eric is struggling after relinquishing Jude to Nicole on Days of Our Lives, the baby’s biological mother, still unaware that he, not EJ, is Jude’s biological father. “Eric is making this huge sacrifice, but he wanted to do what’s right,” says his portrayer, Greg Vaughan. “He feels this child belongs with its rightful parents, and in his mind at this point in time, that’s Nicole and EJ.”

Eric opens up to Roman about how much he misses Jude, and his dad suggests that he move into the pub. But Eric is more focused on another move he feels he needs to make: securing a divorce from Sloan, his deceitful wife, who has been MIA since EJ secretly helped her vanish from Salem. And in what Vaughan calls a bit of “funny irony,” Eric ends up seeking help from EJ, of all people. Of course, Eric does this because he doesn’t know that EJ is harboring the explosive secret of Jude’s true paternity. Sighs Vaughan, “Eric has just lost his entire world. His whole world has imploded in his face, and EJ is sitting back enjoying his popcorn watching this whole debacle unfold as he is kind of the ringleader, to a certain degree, because Sloan is running for her life [after EJ paid her to vanish from Salem]. But Eric ends up leaning on EJ for help because he is a lawyer. He goes to Justin first for legal counsel, as Roman suggested he do, but there is a conflict of interest forbidding him to do it, and that is what brings EJ and Eric together.”

Under the circumstances, Vaughan allows, “It’s funny that he requests EJ’s support and help. EJ is trying to protect his future and protect himself at all costs. He does not want the truth [about Jude] to come out. He doesn’t want to lose Nicole, because if the truth comes out that Eric and Nicole share a baby, he could lose what is most meaningful to him — his partner, his legacy. So, what better way [to safeguard his secret] than to say, ‘Hey, I’m here for you, man. What can I do?’ He completely manipulates Eric. ‘Hey, let’s just forget our past, let’s call a truce. Here’s an olive branch. I want to help you.’ ”

However challenging it may be to secure the official end to his union, Vaughan says that Eric is “for sure” determined to make it happen. “Nobody wants to go through a divorce,” he notes. “It’s such an emotional headache of a roller coaster. It’s terrible. But there’s no saving this marriage. I think he will question his process over a period of time; he’ll sit with it to make sure he’s not doing anything on emotional impulse before making this decision. But at the same time, he can’t get out of his head the crimes she just committed and looped Eric into. He’s got to take care of himself.”

Of course, EJ’s seeming generosity in helping Eric get that divorce finalized will only make his betrayal seem more egregious if and when the truth about his role in Sloan’s disappearance and in concealing Jude’s paternity comes to light. But to hear Vaughan tell it, both he and Dan Feuerriegel (EJ) relish the idea of deepening their on-screen rivalry. “We love the conflict,” he enthuses. “Dan and I have a tremendous working relationship and we enjoy each other. The quadrangle [of EJ/Nicole/Eric/Sloan] was a journey, a long one, over a year taking this ride. And we,” the actors and their leading ladies, Arianne Zucker (Nicole) and Jessica Serfaty (ex-Sloan), “had a glorious time.”