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Exclusive: Y&R's Melissa Claire Egan On Adam and Chelsea's Sexcapades

melissa claire egan, mark grossman, the young and the restless

Howard Wise/

Old Habits Die Hard: Adam (Mark Grossman) and Chelsea’s (Melissa Claire Egan) tryst is sure to have a dramatic fall-out.

Adam and Chelsea have been growing closer on Young and Restless while commiserating about their son Connor’s mental health struggles as he undergoes treatment for OCD. However, the former marrieds reached a whole new level of intimacy, one not seen since their last split back in 2021, when they impulsively slept together on the July 4th episode — and in so doing, cheated on their respective partners, Sally and Billy. Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) chatted exclusively with Soap Opera Digest to weigh in on the hook-up — and the juicy ramifications of it, which will play out this summer.

Although Adam and Chelsea hitting the sheets seemingly came out of the blue, Melissa Claire Egan easily understood what prompted the characters to cross the line. “They’re still in Baltimore, and after spending a great day with Connor, they got really bad news that he tried to hurt himself,” points out the actress. “Then it was decided by his doctors that his mom and dad shouldn’t see him for a while, which was so crushing for them. Adam was just trying to be a good friend when he showed up at her hotel room. At that point, they are close because they bonded over this ordeal [with Connor].”

But, she maintains, the sexual encounter was not premeditated. “There was no intention of doing anything mischievous,” says Egan. “Adam came with a bottle of bourbon so they could kind of drink their sorrows away, but they drank a lot, and they were reflecting [on] all those memories of Connor when he was a baby, plus all these things from their pasts. Chelsea was just a mess and lost it. They were both in this vulnerable state, and they were the only ones who knew how the other one was feeling at that moment and were really leaning on each other. And when you mixed it up with a lot of booze while in the throes of despair, feelings got really confused, and in soaps, these things happen!”

While Egan maintains “this isn’t an Adam/Chelsea reunion,” she does believe the characters still harbor a deep affection for one another. “I think they always have, I think they always will,” she states. “They’ve always had a very deep connection and bond, but it doesn’t reflect their feelings for their partners because they’re actually very much in love with Billy and Sally, respectively. Adam and Chelsea have gone through a lot together, but they also tend to be toxic with each other, and that’s what I find so intriguing. It’s not just black and white with them.”

The actress was far from shocked when she first learned of Adam and Chelsea’s upcoming indiscretion. “Funny story,” she begins. “I voice memo’d Josh Griffith, our amazing head writer [and executive producer], and I said, ‘I feel like this needs to happen,’ and he texted back, ‘It’s already happening. Great minds.’ So we were on the same page,” she chuckles. “I mean, all of us have talked out [such a twist happening]; I’ve talked about it with Jason [Thompson, Billy]. I love the Billy and Chelsea [coupling], but, you know, it’s a soap! You need something to happen, you need this couple to maybe not be happy, or someone messes up. Jason and I would talk for months [saying], ‘One of us needs to mess up!’ — he kisses Lily, or Chelsea kisses Adam. So I really thought of exactly what Josh had written. I was like, ‘I feel like Adam and Chelsea have to be in the throes of their despair and something really bad happens and they get drunk or something and it just happens one night.’ ”

The Other Woman

She’s excited to find out how the audience responds. “Either people are either to love it because they love ‘Chadam’ or they’re going to hate it because they don’t, but they’re going to be passionate about it,” she notes. “They’re going to be fired up about it. And that’s what you want!” Her proof? How fans reacted just to the promo Y&R aired of Adam and Chelsea kissing. Says Egan, “People are fired up one way or the other and it’s kind of fun to see.”

As for her own reaction, Egan says, “I feel so bad for Adam and Sally, because they’re so good together and they went through so much this time last year. And I feel so bad for Chelsea and Billy because he saved her life and then she did this to him. It’s just so layered and, I think, so interesting, and being able to play it with the three of them [Thompson, Mark Grossman, Adam, and Courtney Hope, Sally] has been so much fun.”

The stakes of Adam and Chelsea’s betrayal are even higher since Chelsea and former rival Sally have finally been getting along. Not only that, “Sally’s really been there for Connor,” Egan notes. “Chelsea has lines all the time where she’s like, ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for us,’ and, ‘Thank you for being there for Adam.’ So the guilt is tremendous!” And it kicks in quick. “I think right away, they know they’ve done something wrong. You see when they’re laying there together, ‘Oh my God, what did we just do?’ They know they made a mistake. And how are they going to come back from that?”

Summertime Blues

The actress is looking forward to sharing more screen time with Grossman as the story progresses. “I’ve always loved working with Mark,” Egan beams. “He’s really such a talented actor and I do love the Chelsea/Adam chemistry and I think it’s really interesting and fun. I’m so excited that we’ve been able to tell this story together — the serious Connor stuff but also this juicy, soapy storyline for the summer. It’s been really fun connecting with him again.” She feels the same way about TV son Judah Mackey (Connor). “I love sharing scenes with Judah. He’s such a good actor, and he’s gotten so big — he’s taller than me now!”

Egan says to expect a messy summer as Adam and Chelsea reckon with the aftermath of their tryst. “This isn’t just some random hook-up,” she concludes. “I think the fans are going to be on a very bumpy, fun, exciting ride to see, ‘Do [Billy and Sally] find out? How do they find out, when did they find out?’ And the guilt and all the layers that come with this mistake.”