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The Jack Scene That Went Too Far On The Young And The Restless

"The Young and the Restless" character Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) has done a lot of dirty deeds during his time on the soap. For example, there was the time he stole Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) from her husband (and Jack's long-time rival) Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). His half-sister Ashley (Eileen Davidson) was used as a pawn in Jack and Victor's never-ending corporate war, with Ashley ultimately both becoming Victor's bride twice over and being stolen from Jack's employ once.

But not all of Jack's actions have been motivated by his anger at Victor. For instance, he once had an affair with his father John's (Jerry Douglas) ex-wife, Jill (Jess Walton). And let's not talk about Jack's incredibly messy marital history.

With Bergman celebrating 30-plus years playing Jack Abbott in 2022 (per WLTX), it's a good time to look back at the Jack-related things which have pushed the envelope over the years. Which nasty action do many fans consider to be the worst thing Jack Abbott has done? 

Jack set up Victor Newman for murder

Jack Abbott's storied conflict with the man he calls "The Mustache" has spanned several decades and two different actors, but it's an ever-burning beacon in "The Young and the Restless" history. It's probably unsurprising to fans of the show that Abbott's worst misdeed relates to his various attempts at getting the better of Victor Newman. There are a lot of boundaries a character might cross on a soap opera, but framing your rival for murder definitely takes the cake.

The storyline takes place in 2008, when Jack teams up with Victor's son Adam (Chris Engen) to take Victor down. Adam wants revenge on Victor for firing and disowning him after he reacted to Victor's presumed death by leading a hostile takeover of Newman Enterprises and moving into Victor's home. Jack, meanwhile, seems to mainly be in it just to put the screws to Victor.

Jack impersonates Victor on an audio tape and gives the cassette to conman Frank Ellis (Larry Bagby), who forges a diary from the recording — which Adam promptly lies about and says he salvaged from the trash. The tape makes it look like Victor has murdered Walter Palin (Derek Scott Hoxby), a mobster connected to the death of his young bride, Sabrina Costelana (Raya Meddine).

After an excerpt of the diary is published in Restless Style, an Abbott-owned magazine, Victor is arrested and jailed for the crime. After Victor spends some time in lockdown, the truth surfaces thanks to Frank's confession. 

Victor got revenge in a most dangerous way

Jack Abbott, being an old hand at the blackmail game, makes sure that Adam Newman is the one who handles all of their in-person dealings with Frank Ellis, framing his partner as the sole guilty party. To avoid prison time, Adam takes a plea deal from Victor Newman's lawyers. But even with one accuser properly punished, Victor is not done with Jack, and suspects his old enemy has a hand in his latest personal disaster. He convinces Jack's former wife Patty Williams (Stacy Haiduk) to return to town under the alias of Mary Jane Benson. Victor pays for her plastic surgery, and she intends to con Jack into having an affair with her. 

By then, Jack is seeing Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford). Victor's machinations lead to Patty drugging Jack and sexually assaulting him, and Patty intentionally causing Phyllis' daughter, Summer Newman (Samantha Bailey), to have an allergic reaction by kissing her after eating a peanut-laced cookie. But putting Summer in a temporary coma does nothing to bring Patty closer to Jack, who only develops a stronger bond with Phyllis and her family. Jack never finds out that Victor has intentionally unleashed Patty on him, and Victor never receives proof-positive evidence that Jack forged the diary.

Fans posting to the Soaps message board for "The Young and the Restless" at the time were divided over whether or not Jack deserved to be punished for his crime, but it's hard to deny it's the worst thing that Jack ever did.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).