Eric Braeden on Michael Muhney: "I Was Prompted To Get Into ‘Fisticuffs’ With Him Because He Wanted Me Off The Show"

Actor Eric Braeden, who has played Victor Newman on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS for the past 33 years, gave a fascinating interview to RadarOnline.com about the Michael Muhney situation. Muhney was fired in December, and TMZ later revealed it was because he allegedly groped co-star Hunter King's breasts.

"The notion that Hunter King came to me and was coaxed by me to go to the top (and get Muhney fired) is utter nonsense," Braeden said.

Below are a few excerpts from the interview:

RadarOnline.com: Sources have told Radar that your relationship with Michael Muhney was contentious at times. Why was it?

Eric Braeden: I welcomed Michael Muhney when he came here. He is a great actor. We did have our differences, but for anyone to say that I had him fired is a lie. I have always thought he was a very good actor and told him so. Towards the end, Muhney and I did have our differences and had a shouting match, no question.

During that shouting match, all kinds of things were said. I won’t go into detail about it. I don’t remember the specifics of who said what but what I do recall is that I was prompted to get into ‘fisticuffs’ with him because he wanted me off the show, if you want to know the truth. That is about as far as I will go. That is it. It was a campaign to get me off the show. It was Muhney who wanted to get me off the show and he expressed that to various people.

Radar: Why did he want you off the show?

EB: He wanted me off the show because he wanted to be head honcho. In his words, I was the old lion and he was the young lion. He wanted to push aside the old lion. That was in his words to me, at the very end. I welcomed that guy, as I said. (I told him), ‘You are very good at what you do, keep your nose clean and stay out of everyone else’s business and just do your job.’
Radar: There were rumors circulating that your script was taped down for you to read from during scenes. How do you respond to that?

EB: Where do you think Sony would get the money to pay production assistants to do such a laborious task? I do between 10-60 pages of dialogue.= I am known to be one of the fastest workers here. You can ask crew people, who will tell you that. When you have been in the position I have been in for so long, people will obviously will take pot shots.
Radar: Young & The Restless executive producer Jill Farren Phelps has been getting a lot of criticism from fans of the show since Muhney’s firing. Is that fair? What do you think of the job she is doing?

EB: I like Jill Phelps. I have nothing against her. I don’t know what the cast thinks and frankly I don’t give a damn. I make up my own mind. She has been very cordial to me and very nice to me. She has been very supportive to me. For anyone to go after her is wrong. It’s categorically wrong and mean spirited. That woman has been nothing but in support of the show, as far as I can tell.

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