The Young And The Restless: Nikki Newman's Scandalous Past Explained

When Nikki Reed was first introduced to "The Young and the Restless" scene — played for the first few months by Erica Hope and ever since by Melody Thomas Scott — she was a young woman determined to get ahead in life no matter what it took. She believed marrying well was the best way to do it (via Soap Central). Eventually, she married very well when she wed Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), a man she has been married to and divorced from several times over the decades (via Soaps In Depth). 

Of course, before Victor and Nikki's relationship blossomed, Nikki had quite a life full of scandals and mistakes. She was even doing something considered scandalous at the time that Victor first laid eyes on her. The life of Nikki Newman has been a dramatic and eventful one indeed, turning her into one of the most legendary daytime television characters of all time.

Nikki committed her first murder

When fans first met Nikki, she was still a 16-year-old living with her older sister, Casey Reed (Roberta Leighton), who had become her guardian after their mother passed away due to a heart attack (via Soaps Central). Unfortunately, Nikki and Casey's dad, Nick Reed (Quinn Redeker), showed up in Genoa city after leaving years ago. 

Nikki was thrilled to have her dad back, despite Casey's dire warnings that Nick had sexually assaulted Casey when she was younger. Nikki wanted to grow close to her dad, but he attacked her one day the same way he had attacked her sister. Casey returned home to find her father's bloodied dead body on top of Nikki (via Soap Hub). Nikki went on trial for killing the man, but never served time as the murder was committed in self-defense. Alone in the world with just her sister now, Nikki moved on to other things, including men.

Paul Williams entered Nikki's life

Played by Doug Davidson since 1976, Paul Williams started dating Nikki Reed when she was 17 and the two shared quite the passionate summer by the beach (via Soap Hub). That passion didn't last and Nikki was left with two things — a sexually transmitted disease and a baby. However, fans didn't know about that baby for another few decades.

While Paul and Nikki have come and gone out of one another's lives through the years, they remained good friends. It also wasn't until just a few years ago that Nikki revealed she had given birth to a child while she and Paul were involved in the New World Commune cult (via Soaps In Depth). She was also very relieved to learn that Ian Ward (Ray Wise), the commune leader, was not her child's father but Paul was. Nikki and Paul got to know their adult son, Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton), until Dylan left town to join the witness protection program in 2017 (via Soaps In Depth).

Nikki married for the first time, but ended up a prostitute

Thinking she finally found a suitable mate in Greg Foster (James Houghton), Nikki Reed married him (via Soaps In Depth). However, she soon grew bored with life and answered an ad for a modeling job. Of course, that modeling job ended up not being a modeling gig at all and instead, Nikki fell into a prostitution ring led by nefarious madam Rose DeVille (Darlene Conley) (via She even ended up in bed with a dead man when he had a heart attack. Thankfully, Nikki was able to escape Rose's clutches, but that is around the time she entered the cult with Paul.

With her marriage to Greg decidedly over, Nikki still longed to do something exciting and be in the spotlight. So, she found herself a job as a stripper at a club called The Bayou. That stripper job changed her life forever as she met a man who would also change the course of "The Young and the Restless."

Nikki finally found her man, but not without scandal

When the rich and mysterious Victor Newman saw Nikki Reed stripping at The Bayou, he was immediately smitten and so was she (via Soaps In Depth). That didn't stop Victor from pushing Nikki towards Kevin Bancroft (Chris Holder), because he tried to deny his attraction to the young woman. Nikki did eventually marry Kevin, but not before sharing one night with Victor that resulted in a pregnancy (via Soap Hub). Although Nikki tried to pass her daughter off as Kevin's, the truth eventually came out. Nikki and Victor finally married in 1984 with their little girl, Victoria, by their side.

Of course, it was anything but smooth sailing for the next nearly four decades. Victor eventually found himself attracted to Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) and left Nikki for her, much to Nikki's chagrin. After faking an illness to get Victor to return to her, the pair called it quits seemingly for good, but not before Nikki and Victor shared one last night that resulted in a son she named Nicholas. Soon after Nick was born, Nikki married Ashley's brother, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman), according to

Nikki's many scandalous affairs

Both Victor Newman and Nikki Newman and Jack Abbott and Nikki Newman could never seem to keep it together for long. While Nikki married Jack twice, she married Victor a whopping four times, with the last one being in 2013 (via She also had many affairs and romances along the way, as well as other husbands. Some of Nikki's other men included Cole Howard (J. Eddie Peck), Brad Carlton (Don Diamont), Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan), and David Chow (Vincent Irizarry) (via

In 2017, Nikki and Victor decided to try something new and have an open marriage (via This resulted in Nikki having a Victor-sanctioned affair with Arturo Rosales (Jason Canela). Arturo was the much younger Newman Enterprises handyman who was also secretly romancing her stepdaughter, Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway), Victor's daughter with Ashley Abbott. After the affair with Arturo ended, Victor and Nikki decided they were better off staying monogamous and have been so ever since (via Soaps In Depth).

Nikki killed and killed again, but not really

Nikki Newman started her killing ways as a teenager, but none of her murders were ever really premeditated. When she killed her father, Nick Reed, it was in self-defense (via When she killed Diane Jenkins (then played by Maura West) in 2010, it was also self-defense, according to Soaps in Depth, but there was also some confusion over who killed her. Victor Newman was first arrested for the crime, but then Deacon Sharpe was found to have finished Diane off. In 2022, Nikki and fans learned that nobody really killed Diane off because Diane (now played by Susan Walters) was alive and Deacon had helped her fake her death (via Soaps in Depth).

In 2018, Nikki believed she killed again when she saw Victoria Newman's abusive ex, J.T. Hellstrom (Thad Luckinbill), attacking her daughter. Nikki quickly grabbed a fireplace poker and clocked J.T. right over the head with it, resulting in what Nikki thought was his death (via Entertainment Weekly). After covering up the crime for more than a year, Nikki and her accomplices were being transferred to prison when J.T. turned up alive and well (via Soaps In Depth).