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‘The Young and the Restless’ Star Melissa Claire Egan Talks Mental Health, Redemption and Love Triangles  

Plus, the Daytime vet reflects on her real-life journey thru IVF to motherhood

There was a time when Chelsea might have been in the middle of all the Jordan mayhem on The Young and the Restless (Y&R), but on the heels of facing her own mental health issues, she’s now grappling with her son Connor’s diagnoses and care. While portrayer Melissa Claire Egan admits she misses Chelsea’s wild days of machinations and love triangles, the real-life mom is honored to tell these grounded, important stories about depression, OCD and trauma.  

Egan — who earned her seventh Daytime Emmy nomination in 2023 for Chelsea’s suicide storyline and first won over soap fans as All My Children’s Annie talks to FIRST for Women about the evolution of The Young and the Restless’ Chelsea, Connor’s OCD and trauma, and the possibility of a Billy/Adam love triangle.  

Plus, the mother of two shares her IVF experience, along with a message of hope to those on their own fertility journeys.  

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‘Y&R’ star Melissa Claire Egan talks Chelsea’s suicide attempt 

woman in red dress on red carpet
Melissa Claire Egan at 50th Daytime EmmysFrazer Harrison / Staff / Getty

The Young and the Restless’ Chelsea Lawson has come a long way since she showed up with Billy’s baby in her belly in 2011 and started playing games with Genoa City locals.  

“She lived so many lives in the 12 and a half years since she came to Genoa City,” Egan notes. “She’s not a con artist anymore, but she’s definitely done some bad things, done some good things. Like any human being, she’s had her ups and downs and continues to evolve into different versions of herself.”  

After giving Billy and Victoria parental rights to her firstborn, Johnny, Chelsea got pregnant again. That time, she kept the baby… but tried to hide Connor’s true paternity from Adam.  

While she’s taken as many hits as she’s given, becoming a mother has softened Chelsea and some might say the final piece of her redemption tale came through her recent struggle with depression and the introspection that followed. 

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Woman on ledge, man running
Melissa Claire Egan in “The Young and the Restless”CBS

“Last year’s mental health story with the suicide attempt was so important to tell,” Egan says. “And the fan feedback warmed my heart and brought me to tears. People shared their stories about how they had dealt with suicide, depression, and mental health issues.  

“I felt honored to be given the story and that it resonated so much with people,” she continues. “It was probably the biggest thing that ever I’ve ever experienced in my career, because it was so relatable, and our writers did a really beautiful job.” 

Melissa Claire Egan talks Connor’s OCD and trauma diagnoses on ‘The Young & the Restless’ 

Young Restless OCD PSA Connor Grossman Mackey Egan.jpg
To learn more about children’s mental health, join the movement and visit for resources.@youngandrestlesscbs via Instagram

Having found a sense of balance and a loving partner in Billy (of all people!), Chelsea is now wrestling with her son Connor’s mental health struggles. When the child’s issues began interfering with his life, she and Adam made the difficult decision to send him to a treatment center where he can get the help he needs.  

“He’s experienced trauma from what Chelsea went through, and now he’s dealing with his own obsessive-compulsive disorder, amongst other things,” Egan recaps. “It’s so real. And it’s so heartbreaking. Because as anyone can acknowledge, it’s sad when it happens to you, but man, when it happens to your kid? It’s just next level.” 

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Emotional stories like this can be exhausting to play, but Egan is thrilled to tell another one that’s resonating with audiences.  

“Whether their child has OCD or struggles with something else, I’m hearing about parents’ guilt, shame, and fear that this was genetic or something that they somehow caused,” she says. “It’s a very heavy, sensitive story to tell, but again, it’s really important.”  

‘Y&R’ star reflects on her own road to motherhood 

woman smiling on carpet; melissa claire egan
Melissa Claire Egan at ‘The Young and the Restless’ 50th Anniversary (2023)Francis Specker/CBS

As she’s told these challenging stories on Daytime, Egan has also been open about her own real-life journey to becoming a mother to Caden, 2, and Jake, nine months.  

“It was a trek to get here,” admits Egan, who suffered 2 miscarriages along the way. “I was going through IVF (in vitro fertilization) in my dressing room. It looked like a hospital room because of the needles and medicines on the table. I remember trying to quickly do a shot in the back – which is quite hard to do in a mirror, by the way! – and then running to set, trying not to get blood on my wardrobe.” 

Today, however, Egan’s infertility war stories can feel a bit surreal when she shares them.  

“I tell friends that are having fertility issues now that it’s all like a distant memory,” she explains. “It was so many years. There was so much stuff. All that hard work and stress. But now, here they are! I have these two little angels. I’m so blessed. So don’t give up hope.” 

‘Y&R’ star Melissa Claire Egan dishes working with Mark Grossman and Jason Thompson 

family smiling
Melissa Claire Egan, Judah Mackey and Mark Grossman in “The Young and the Restless” (2024)@youngandrestlesscbs via Instagram

Armed with her hard-won perspective as a mother, Egan appreciates the magnitude of her current story – not to mention the fact that she gets to play it with Judah Mackey and Mark Grossman, who play Connor and Adam.  

“Judah’s doing such an incredible job,” Egan says. “He’s a great little actor.  

“And I love working with Mark,” she continues. “He’s so good, and we have very similar work ethics. We’re both constantly texting each other, ‘You want to run lines?’ We want to say them over and over all day long, so we’re fully prepared.” 

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Unfortunately, Chelsea and Adam feel ill-prepared for the challenge before them. As they awkwardly try to co-parent and support Connor from afar, the mom is finding support in Jason Thompson’s Billy – who stopped her from committing suicide last year.  

“I love working with Jason so much and I love that pairing,” Egan raves. “Everything that happened on the rooftop and after changed their dynamic, forever. Billy truly saved Chelsea’s life and has continued to save her life by being an amazing partner to her. They’re both so vulnerable and have just been able to be there for each other.” 

Is the romance really over for Adam and Chelsea on ‘The Young & the Restless’?  

two men and a woman smiling; melissa claire egan
Melissa Claire Egan, Joshua Morrow and Mark Grossman (@missyclaireegan on Instagram

Over a decade after coming to Genoa City to con Billy, Chelsea has managed to find love with her mark. Like Connor, however, there are The Young and the Restless viewers who still believe Chelsea belongs with Adam.  

“Adam and Chelsea were so important to each other for so many years and have gone through so much,” Egan concedes. “I would never think the two of them are forever over, because they have such history and always fall back into that.” 

A reunion with Adam’s brother Nick seems less likely… but you never know! In the meantime, Egan is always thrilled when onscreen ex, Joshua Morrow, pops up in her scripts.  

“On soaps, you have these ‘lovers’ you’re with for months and months, maybe years at a time,” Egan explains. “They become like your best friends, and then the writers break you up, and you never see them. You’re in different stories, shooting at different hours of the day. So I’m excited when I get to see Josh, now.” 

Why the actress isn’t exactly rooting for Chelsea on ‘The Young & the Restless’ 

headshot Melissa Claire Egan
Melissa Claire EganJoanna Degeneres

While Chelsea certainly deserves some happiness and Egan is rooting for young Connor to find his way, the lifelong soap fan is not exactly rooting for her own character when it comes to romance and redemption.  

“I grew up watching soaps like All My Children and on primetime, so I just love the twists and turns of cheating and covering up lies,” Egan explains. “And when the audience knows, but the people on the screen don’t… that’s what I call fun and juicy goodness!” 

The actress – who is set to perform with her band Canal Street at Hollywood’s legendary Troubadour this July – can’t help but miss the drama Chelsea used to create with all her scheming and missteps.  

“I feel like, right now, that is behind her, but I kind of hope it’s not,” Egan admits to FIRST magazine. “I mean, I would LOVE a good Adam/Billy love triangle. How lucky would I be, right? To have the two of them pining after Chelsea? But in the meantime, I’m enjoying what I’m playing and am really excited about Connor’s storyline.”  

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