Jessica Serfaty (Sloan, DAYS) is still over the moon over her engagement to billionaire Leonardo Maria Del Vecchio. “I was absolutely taken aback; I was completely surprised,” she shares. “We had just been talking the week before about how funny our engagement stories were from our previous engagements. So I had no idea he was going to propose.” The two first met in 2017, at the Cannes Film Festival. “We were on a boat and I saw him dancing and thought he was so cute and a good dancer. We kind of just said ‘Hi,’ shook hands and then went about our way. Then I ran into him a couple of years later in Europe. A lot of our friends are mutual friends, so we were there and spent five consecutive days with our group. He and I really took a liking to one another and had the best time with our friends, dancing until the sun rose, blasting music, screaming, singing … it was a beautiful, joyous trip. We stayed friends. We didn’t let anything happen, but we had big crushes on one another. It was just never the right time.
The two ran into each other after that initial encounter. “So I left and then we saw each other a couple of more times after that throughout the years, and we were both in relationships,” he continues. “But still there’s moments when you see someone at a party or at an event and you get excited that they’re there. You’re trying to figure out how you’re going to make your way over and accidentally run into them. Every time we would see each other it was that, ‘Ahhh. Hi, Leo, What are you doing?’ But we were always with somebody, so you just suppress that emotion, suppress that feeling. It is what it is. And you’re happy for them as well, happy that they’re happy.”
The timing was ultimately right for the duo. “It wasn’t until after my last relationship ended mid-last year, he reached out and said he’d been thinking about me,” she relays. “Strangely enough, three days prior to that, I had told my sister about him. I hadn’t seen him in, like, a year-and-a-half. It was really just coincidental, but I was thinking about him as well. He asked, ‘Are you single … finally?’ Because I have a history of not really being single. I was and then I flew out to see him. It was history after that.”
As for wedding plans, “It’s too soon. I know we’ll start planning for around a year [from now]. I’m just living in this this engagement bliss. Letting it sink in. We’ll definitely have the wedding in Europe and most likely do it in Italy. His family is from Italy. I’m also in love with Italy. That’s the plan.”
Laura Wright (Carly, GH) has vivid memories of her first day of work at GUIDING LIGHT, where she began playing Cassie back in 1997. “On my first day, I had to strip down, because Cassie had to do a strip tease in a strip bar,” she explains. “The first time you see her, she’s stripping and I had to do a dance number and strip all the way down to a pair of tiny little bathing suit bottoms with just a cowboy hat covering my top. So, that was probably the most interesting first day of work I’ve ever had!” Especially because she unexpectedly received a blast from her past when she dropped by the wardrobe department. “I had to go to get my costume and I ran down to wardrobe to ask the costume designer a question or something — and I walked in and I guy I went to high school with, and did theater with, whose name is Kevin Bergen, was standing there! I was like, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’ He was like, ‘I don’t know, I’m playing a patron in some bar where some girl is going to be stripping.’ I was like, ‘Oh, great. That would be me!’ It was so funny!”
While Jason Thompson’s (Billy, Y&R) parents were recently visiting from Canada, they received a special invitation from one of the actor’s co-stars. “Eileen [Davidson, Ashley] invited us over for an afternoon of pickleball, so I brought my mom and dad and my wife” he shares. “My parents were thrilled and enjoyed hanging out and talking with Eileen. She feels like a sister to me. and we’ve got a really great relationship.” However, Thompson admits that he had not yet engaged in the popular sport. “I’ve never played pickleball,” he confesses. “The very first person that I’ve ever heard utter the word ‘pickleball’, or anything about the game, was my father. I don’t remember when that was exactly, but he’s been playing it for years now and he loves it. There’s a real group that he plays with and he’s like the captain. Eileen and her family have picked it up and they have a little court in their backyard.” On that day, Thompson decided to sit out the game. “Eileen is a very good player and I didn’t want to be embarrassed by her but I do want to learn how to play,” he chuckles. “I really like tennis and I like ping pong and I feel pickleball is somewhere in the middle there. I’ll have to go by her place on my own and hit her up for lessons. I definitely want to practice before going up against her.”