The Story Behind Mariah's Sad Childhood On The Young And The Restless

Mariah Copeland (Camryn Grimes) dazzles fans every week on episodes of "The Young and the Restless." She possesses the ability to steal any scene she's a part of, something she's been doing for decades. Fans first saw Grimes join the cast in the late 90s as a small child, playing the role of Cassie Newman. However, years after Cassie's untimely demise, Grimes reemerged on the canvas as the character's previously-unknown twin Mariah, who she's been playing since 2014.

Mariah has become a fan favorite of the soap opera, in part because of her groundbreaking same-sex relationship and subsequent marriage to Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks). Their relationship has broken several barriers for the LGBTQIA community in daytime television, culminating in their gorgeous wedding in May of 2022. Beyond this, Mariah has provided many comedic and dramatic moments since arriving in Genoa City — like the emotional birth of her baby, Dominic, following weeks of captivity at the hands of Ben "Stitch" Rayburn (Sean Carrigan).

However, long before Mariah arrived in town and found genuine love from her biological mother, Sharon Collins (Sharon Case), and other extended family members, she endured a childhood full of unimaginable horrors. The conditions of her younger days are so horrific it's a surprise Mariah was able to turn her life around and become a productive and upstanding member of the community.

Mariah was stolen at birth and given to a cult worshipper

Things went poorly for Mariah long before her first appearance in Genoa City. Like the birth of her own baby, Mariah's origin story is rooted in similar evil and distress. For starters, teenage Sharon Collins had no idea she was pregnant with twins at the time — but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because of what was in store for her and her unborn daughters. After going into labor, Sharon was drugged, and both babies were taken. Cassie Newman got the better end of the deal since she was put up for adoption as Sharon had planned for her child. However, Mariah's existence was kept a dark secret.

To make matters worse, Mariah was handed over to a woman named Helen, who was obsessed with the sadistic leader of a cult called The Path, Ian Ward (Ray Wise). Helen didn't have much of a maternal instinct, often neglecting Mariah and leaving her to fend for herself within Ward's warped world. Once the only mother she knew passed away, Mariah was entirely at the mercy of the cruel cult head, who had basically become her family. Mariah used all the tactics she learned from Ian to scratch and claw to get anything in life. She was motivated only by money and greed because that's what he had drilled into her head over the years.

Mariah's childhood caught up to her when Ian Ward arrived in town

When Mariah Copeland first arrived in Genoa City, she was hired by Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) to terrorize Sharon Collins because of her striking resemblance to Sharon's deceased daughter, Cassie Newman. Mariah posed as a ghost, making Sharon question the state of her own mental health. However, Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) soon discovered the true connection between Mariah and Cassie. They were twins, but Mariah didn't have the same sort of privileged childhood that her former womb mate did.

Because of her twisted upbringing, Mariah grew up to be a con woman, which is why she was willing to gaslight Sharon when she got to town. She was willing to do anything for a quick buck, those she didn't know at the time she was tormenting her biological mother. Once she learned the truth, Mariah started to warm up to the other Newmans, though she wasn't quite ready to accept Sharon as her mother. 

Mariah's past and childhood caught up with her, though, when Ian Ward showed up in Genoa City. He kidnapped her and set the stage for them to be united in unholy matrimony. Ian not only held Mariah hostage but put her into a wedding dress and forced her into a sham marriage that — thankfully — wasn't valid. Luckily for Mariah, Sharon and Nick rescued her from Ian's clutches, and she found a true family with the Newmans. Despite the cards she was dealt as a child, Mariah was able to overcome her darker impulses and become a law-abiding member of society.

Mariah's childhood effects are still felt today

If Mariah Copeland didn't have the childhood that she did, she might be an entirely different person than the one put forth every day on "The Young and the Restless." Though growing up in Ian Ward's cult was terrible, the natural distrust of people she developed and her hustle mindset has landed her much success since she arrived in Genoa City.

If she had been on the canvas at the same time as her twin sister, Cassie Newman, Mariah might have gotten lost in the shuffle. The fact that she met Sharon Collins later in life and formed their mother-daughter bond in adulthood has helped shape who Mariah has become. After what she endured as a child, her genuine appreciation for her loved ones is even greater.

Now that Mariah and Tessa Porter have just become parents for the first time, she will surely know what not to do when raising her own child. Mariah has a unique set of skills because of her past, and she'll undoubtedly use them to become a fiercely protective and loving mother.