To many, a casting call issued earlier this week for "Sally Tate" sounded suspiciously like the role of Lily Winters. With no indication that Emmy winner Christel Khalil (Lily Winters) was exiting the show, rumors began to make the rounds. Now, a statement on the actress' official web site shines some light on what might be going on.
"Rumors can be such an ugly thing so here is the answer floating about the internet: Christel Khalil is indeed leaving The Young and the Restless," a post on the actress' official web site confirmed. "It is not her decision to leave. An agreement could not be reached during contract negotiations."
In an interview with MSN TV, Khalil offered further explanation on the sticking points.
"It would be very weird to see someone brand-new try to come in," Khalil admitted. "It's sad, because this is like my family. I've been here 10 years. I just wanted a few less restrictions, which I feel I deserve. It's mainly about restrictions, and money. I guess they wanted all or nothing. I want to stay. [...] There's something I want that they don't want to give to me. It hurts. I thought I would be worth what I thought I was worth to them, but I guess I'm not."
This isn't the first time that Khalil has been involved in some contract drama. In 2005, the actress stunned fans by announcing that she'd be leaving The Young and the Restless to pursue her ultimate dream of starring in feature films.
"I don't have a mortgage to pay," Khalil said of her decision to quit at the time. "So it's the right time to be unemployed and really go after my dream, which is to be a movie star."
Earlier this week, Y&R released a casting call for the role of "Sally Tate." The description revealed that the part, a contract role, required an African-American actress in her mid-20s to play the "vivacious, energetic, ambitious [...] Sexy, romantic, fun-loving" character. To read the complete casting call, click here.
Earlier this year, Khalil earned her first Outstanding Younger Actress Daytime Emmy. The win came after three previous nominations in the category.
The Young and the Restless hasn't commented on the casting notice or the statement on Khalil's web site. One insider tells Soap Central that there is still some hope that Khalil and show execs can come to terms on a contract.