When Jackie Scott was younger and living in Chicago, her father, world renowned stroke specialist Dr. Emmet Scott, introduced her to his newest protege, Dr. Justin Marler who was studying to be a cardiologist. Dr. Scott hoped that his daughter would settle down and marry the young Dr. Marler. Jackie and Justin started dating and eventually a romance blossomed and they were married. Unfortunately, both Jackie and Justin were quite immature going into the marriage and both were into very different things. Whereas, Jackie would love to visit art museums, Justin just as well would want to sit on the couch in the living room and watch a football game. Whereas, Jackie would want to take a shopping trip in Paris, France, Justin would just assume go and take fishing trips to Wisconsin. Not realizing how unhappy Justin was, one day Jackie learned she was pregnant. Soon after, Jackie caught Justin in bed with a reporter named Brandy Schloe. Jackie stormed out and when she returned, told Justin that she aborted their baby to get back at him. Justin was furious and their marriage ended. However, Jackie had lied to Justin out of spite. As her due date approached, Jackie agreed to let the devious Dr. Paul La Crosse give up her son for adoption. Despite Dr. La Crosse's demands, Jackie went ahead and witnessed, in Amsterdam, her newborn son being given to a woman whose child had been stillborn. Jackie then learned that the couple was none other than Alan and Elizabeth Spaulding and they named the child Phillip. When Jackie returned to Paris, Justin was waiting for her. Jackie told Justin she was getting a divorce and she would name Brandy as the reason why. Justin pleaded with Jackie to take him back, but Jackie refused.
Six years later, Jackie arrived in Springfield in order to be close to the child she gave up. While in town, she became good friends with Dr. Sara McIntyre, who was now dating Justin. Needing to speak with Justin about a matter concerning their divorce, Jackie was shocked so see both Justin and Brandy in a state of undress! Appalled, Jackie went off and told Sara about what she had witnessed and the affair Justin had with Brandy Shelloe all those years ago. Meanwhile, Jackie discovered that the Spauldings' marriage wasn't as secure as she'd thought and she started spending more and more time with Phillip. She was also became good friends with Elizabeth and when she saw Alan having lunch with Brandy, she immediately told Elizabeth about Brandy's previous affair. Not long after, the Spaulding marriage fell apart and a fight ensued between Brandy and Alan's mistress, Diane Ballard. The scandal out, Jackie told Brandy to get out of town. Since Alan promptly fired Brandy, and she had no legal recourse, Brandy had no choice but to comply.
Then to Jackie's dismay, she noticed that Phillip was suffering from chest pains and shortness of breath. Recognizing these as symptoms of a heart condition, Jackie referred him to the best cardiologist she knew: Justin. Justin was able to successfully treat Phillip but was suspicious when he couldn't find any history of the same type of heart condition in the Spaulding family. Meanwhile, when Alan & Elizabeth's marriage finally fell apart, Jackie saw her chance to be more involved in Phillip's life by marrying Alan in 1979. Unfortunately, the marriage was not a happy one. Alan was very controlling of Jackie and when she learned that he was sleeping with Hope Bauer, she divorced him. However, shortly before, while she was taking down Christmas decorations, Jackie fell. Luckily, Justin arrived on the scene and saved her life. In her delirium she confessed the truth: Phillip was their son. Later the pair bonded over this revelation and eventually married again. Meanwhile Elizabeth stumbled upon a tape of Justin telling Mike Bauer that Jackie knew Elizabeth was not Phillip's biological mother. Feeling deceived, Elizabeth underwent extensive psychotherapy and subsequently initiated an amicable divorce from Justin whom she had been married to since the previous May. Realizing that Elizabeth knew the truth, when Elizabeth returned, the Marlers felt they had no choice but to sit her down and tell her the entire truth. Soon after, Elizabeth let the Marlers "adopt" Phillip and Jackie would later give birth to a girl, Samantha.
In the summer of 1981, the Marlers found themselves under pressure from Spaulding employee, Diane Ballard. Armed with proof that Alan engineered the illegal adoption (among other things), Diane tried to force Jackie's brother-in-law, attorney Ross Marler into forcing Phillip out of Alan's will. Then one night, Jackie went to Diane's apartment to try to reason with her, only to have Diane tell Jackie that she was a miserable excuse for a mother for giving up her child all those years ago. That night, Diane was murdered! Although the Marlers were suspects, the true culprit ended up being Ross's fiancee, Carrie Todd, who accidentally killed Diane during an argument.
Finally happy, Jackie was shocked in 1982, when Carrie, now her sister-in-law, revealed that she and Justin were having an affair. Though Justin denied this, Jackie was confused and decided to leave town. Weeks later, Jackie learned that Carrie (who had been suffering from split personality disorder) had lied about the affair and Jackie agreed to come home. Tragically her plane went down. Although no body was ever found, Jackie was presumed dead, leaving Justin to care for Samantha alone.