Whitney is the goody two-shoes eldest daughter of TC and Eve Russell, a tennis coach / gym teacher and a doctor. Her dream since she was a small child was to play tennis, which is encouraged by her father, who had dreams of a pro tennis career when younger. Her best friend is Theresa Lopez Fitzgerald, and she is fiercely loyal to her. She has gone to bat more than once for Theresa, continually pulling her out of trouble, especially where Ethan Winthrop is concerned. If not for Whitney, Theresa would certainly have been arrested for stalking Ethan. She does her best to emulate her mother, not knowing that Eve isn't exactly the poster child for perfection.
Whitney was content to let tennis rule her life, never dating or getting seriously involved, until Frank Lomax came to town. The two engaged in a pretty serious flirtation that could have become something more, but Frank was the detective hired to expose Ethan's stalker. Whitney couldn't turn her friend in, and Frank eventually faded out of the picture. A blind date her mother set her and Theresa up on with two guys from the hospital, Mark and Gary, turned out to be equally disasterous.
Whitney pretty much gave up on dating until Chad Harris showed up in Harmony. There was just something about the angry young man that appealed to her. Unfortunately, the same thing appealed to her younger sister, Simone. Even though Chad told Simone he loved her, he thought it was Whitney. Now that both Eve and T.C. are more approving of Chad, he and Whitney have started spending more time together. But there's a problem...Whitney is still trying to protect her friend Theresa, but Chad has had his blinders removed and is trying to help his friend Ethan -- he thinks that Ethan has a right to know Theresa kept the truth of his paternity from him.
Whitney turned her back on a relationship wiht Chad after Simone was hit by a car, swearing that as long as Simone was still in love with Chad, she was never going to actively pursue him. Chad gave up on her, and began spending time with a new girl named Kelly. At a party at the Youth Center, Whitney was slipped some drugs by a man hired by Ivy, and she ended up plastering herself all over Chad. T.C. just happened to walk in and find her, topless, all over Chad, and he blew up. Chad has washed his hands of her refusal to even consider dating him and is moving on...but even though she doesn't want him, that doesn't mean it's okay for someone else to have him!
As time went on, Whitney's heart thawed where Chad was concerned. She still wasn't ready to come out into the open as having a relationship with him, but after Theresa was executed for killing Julian, she couldn't deny her feelings any longer, and she and Chad became lovers that night. Unfortunately Simone doesn't know the truth about the two of them, but after Theresa 'came back' from the dead, Whitney has vowed not to lie anymore...she's seen what it did to Theresa's life, and she doesn't want her own ending up the same way.
Whitney didn't quite keep her promise. Simone only learned the truth when she found the two of them together. Discovering her sister with the man who swore he loved her destroyed the previously close relationship the two sisters had, and when Whitney announced her engagement to Chad, it destroyed her relationship with her father. Only Eve is still by her side. When Whitney learned that Chad had a bride he never bothered to mention to her, and had actually been married for years both before and after leaving L.A., she told him it was over...just as Chad's furious bride aimed a gun at Whitney and shot her!
Whitney was able to recover from her injuries, but her relationship with Chad suffered a serious blow because of all his years of lying to her. She broke things off and returned to Harmony. After a few weeks, Chad returned home, claiming he put an end to things with Latoya once and for all, but Whitney wasn't sure if she was ready to trust him again. They finally got their relationship back together and were engaged when Whitney learned she was pregnant. Before she could tell Chad, though, they discovered they were half-brother and sister! After realising she was unable to abort the child, Whitney decided to take a page out of Theresa's book and drugged Fox Crane so that she could pretend the child was his -- she didn't want her baby to go through life with the stigma of being an incest baby.
At the last minute, Whitney couldn't go through with drugging Fox, so when the two made love they were both fully consenting. Although she finally decided to give her child up for adoption, the cat was soon out of the bag in regards to her pregnancy, and Fox was thrilled. Ivy was not so understanding, and realized that the timing was off. At Ivy's insistence, Whitney went to the hospital where she confessed her problem to Eve, and was surprised when her mother declared that there was no doubt as to the fact that Fox was the father of Whitney's child.
Whitney continued with her pregnancy, but when Gwen left town with Theresa and Ethan's daughter, Whitney convinced Fox, who had signed over his power of attorney to her, to go look for them. She gave birth after Fox had left town, and used his power of attorney to give the baby up for adoption. Whitney hoped that a whole new family could adopt the boy and make sure that he never learned his parents were half-brother and half-sister. She was horrified to learn that T.C. and Liz as well as Eve and Julian planned to legally adopt the baby, and devastated to see how hurt Fox was, but determined to do what she thought was best for her child. Unfortunately, the adoptive parent was Chad Harris.
When Whitney finally realized that she could not deny her love for her half-brother, she decided to join a convent. While there, she began punishing herself for her sins, whipping herself to the point where her wounds became infected. Whitney spent a lot of time praying, and during her prayers she met a mysterious monk whom she viewed to be a messenger of God. She followed the monk to Rome, where he led her on a virtual adventure to find a mysterious chalice. Once they found the chalice, Whitney was horrified to learn that the monk she had been helping was really Alistair Crane. Shortly after, though, Whitney and Chad learned the amazing truth, that they were not brother and sister (merely cousins), and began planning for a life together. Despite her worries that Chad was having an affair, Whitney wed Chad in a beautiful ceremony, their reception marred by the discovery of J.T. Cornell's body in the cake.