A grifter since childhood
First arrested in 1978 for writing bad checks
Credit card fraud
Impersonating a police officer
Helped setup various people to be accused of crimes and imprisoned in Myanmar
Chelsea Lawson showed up in Genoa City claiming that Billy Abbott, had raped her in Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia. She showed them that she was pregnant and claimed that it was his. Billy told his wife Victoria that he was picked up by Chelsea in a bar where he had gotten very drunk. He admitted that they had danced together with him dreaming of Victoria, and that they had kissed. Then Chelsea had spiked his drink, and when he woke up, he was surrounded by police with heroin planted in his bag, and had been taken to prison. Billy claimed that he and Chelsea did not have sex, and that she was trying to con him. Chelsea wanted a DNA test as proof. Billy admitted to Victoria that he didn’t remember everything from that night, but if the baby turned out to be his, it was from consensual sex, not rape. Victoria said that she believed him.
Chelsea began parading her belly around town to anyone who would listen. Billy booked her a hospital room and arranged a DNA test, which proved that Billy was the father. Chelsea admitted to Billy that she had worked in Myanmar helping the police fill their quotas, and that she and Billy had had consensual sex. Luckily Billy thought to tape her confession, and played it for Victoria. Billy proposed that he fight for custody of the baby, and Victoria agreed that she would rather raise a child who was Billy's, since she didn't seem to be able to have one herself. When they saw Chelsea ordering a burger and a beer, they asked her to live in their garage apartment where they could make sure ate right to look out for the baby. Chelsea readily agreed, then made a phone call assuring someone that "the rich suckers had taken the bait".
Chelsea began spending more time in the house with Victoria than in her apartment, and was continually upsetting Victoria about her family's brushes with the law, her inability to conceive, and the fact that neither of them had custody of their own children. But finally, Chelsea appeared to realize that she wasn’t going to break the bond between Billy and Victoria. So one day, after they witnessed her ultra-sound and were told that she was having a boy, Chelsea broke down and told them she wanted them to raise her baby after he was born. Minutes later, Chelsea's mother, Anita, arrived at the door and began working her con, claiming that she and her husband were missionaries. Although Victoria and Billy saw through the con, they suggested Anita move in with Chelsea to watch them both. Once in the apartment, Anita told Chelsea that she was taking over the con, and that this baby was going to make them rich.
Anita went to see Victor, but he had her thrown off the property and banned, reminding her that he had given her a phone for communication with him. Anita told Chelsea that they would be getting no more money out of Victor. But since Billy had previously paid two million dollars to a baby broker for a baby who wasn't even his, so she knew they could get even more out of Billy.
Detective Paul Williams and Billy confronted Anita and Chelsea with Paul's discovery that Anita was a grifter who had been involved in scams since she was a kid. Her first arrest in 1978 was for writing bad checks, with others since for mail, wire and credit card fraud, conspiracy, forgery, impersonating a police officer, and felony theft. Anita had also used the aliases of Anita Barrett, Amelia Larson, and dozens of others. Paul found that Chelsea had been scamming people since the age of ten, but had less of a criminal record.
Chelsea later told Victoria that they had met Victor when he had shown up in Myanmar and freed Billy. Then Chelsea had contacted Victor when she found herself pregnant, and he had brought her and Anita to town, giving them a lot of money and promising Chelsea that she could have Billy if she was successful in breaking up his marriage to Victoria.
Billy put Chelsea on the spot by asking Anita to leave, making her choose between staying with them and leaving with Anita. Chelsea, who obviously did not get along with Anita, sided with Billy, and Anita packed her bags and left. Anita later showed up at Gloworm and got a waitress job. When Anita first laid eyes on Jeffrey Bardwell, she dropped her things when she recognized him. Anita later asked Jeffrey, did he not remember her? Jeffrey, who was suffering from amnesia, told her that he had some memory problems. She later told Chelsea that she had located her father, but that she wouldn't tell Chelsea who he was.
Attorney, Michael Baldwin, drew up settlement and termination of parental rights papers and reminded Billy that prenatal custody agreements were not ironclad. Chelsea signed the papers after Billy and Victoria assured her that she would remain known to their child. They assured her that they were also giving her financial assistance so their son could be proud of his mother.
Adam and Chelsea ran into each other at the Athletic Club bar and commiserated about trying to escape their pasts. As fellow pariahs, Chelsea and Adam became friends. After Chelsea told him that her mother had located her father, but wouldn't tell her who he was, Adam did some research and gave her a gift of her birth certificate indicating that Jeffrey Bardwell was her father. Adam accompanied Chelsea to Gloworm where she confronted Jeffrey, but he denied it. Jeffrey told his wife Gloria that his memory did not extend past her, but he thought that he had never met Anita before she began working at Gloworm. Gloria had Anita fired. A DNA test was done which proved that it was true. Jeffrey claimed the test was false, that Chelsea's father must have been his dead twin brother William. But it was disclosed to viewers that Jeffrey was lying and had paid off Anita to disappear and to keep secret that he and Anita were still legally married.
When Billy had to leave Victoria and Chelsea alone when he went to Los Angeles on business, Chelsea got into a fight with Victoria for hovering over her life, and left. Adam became concerned and went looking for her. Knowing her favorite spot to get away, Adam went to Lake Concord and found that Chelsea had fallen through the ice. Risking his own life, Adam managed to pull her out of the lake and took her to a nearby lake cottage when she started to go into labor. Adam did his best to get Chelsea warm, delivered her baby boy, and left them to go for help since his cell phone was getting no reception. Meanwhile Billy arrived home, and he went looking for Chelsea. Victoria had gone to Victor for help, and he allowed her to use his helicopter. They located the cabin, and Victoria found Chelsea delirious and alone with the baby. Billy arrived as Adam returned. But Adam never showed himself or took credit for saving their lives, just walked away alone knowing that Chelsea was in good hands. Chelsea and the baby were fine, and she signed over her parental rights to Billy. When Anita returned to town, Anita accepted a wad of cash from Victor to leave town again, but instead she went to see Chelsea in the hospital.
Adam asked Chelsea not to tell anyone what he had done, but when Victoria began badmouthing Adam again, Chelsea disclosed that Adam had been the hero who saved her and her baby's life. Billy and Victoria began to see Adam had indeed changed, and thanked him. Feeling guilty, Adam disclosed to Victoria that her father had actually paid Chelsea to setup Billy in Myanmar. After much consideration, Victoria thought to name the baby John, after his grandfather, and she began calling him Johnny.
Since their engagement announcement to the Newman clan was not well-received, Chelsea and Adam tried telling Jeffrey. Five months after Jeffrey paid her to leave, Anita showed up at Gloworm supposedly after hearing about Chelsea's engagement. Gloria was delighted and reminded them that Gloworm hosted weddings, and Jeffrey pointedly congratulated his niece. Anita interjected that whether Chelsea's daddy was Jeffrey or the late William, she did recall that he had a heart-shaped mole on his inner thigh. Gloria, who had been married to both, was then able to identify Jeffrey as Chelsea's father. Later Jeffrey took Anita aside and she threatened to tell everyone that they were still legally married, if her support checks did not resume. Anita gloated to Gloria that she was still married to Jeffrey, but Jeffrey was able to convince Gloria that she had lied. Confronted again by Anita that she was a fool to believe him, Gloria set Michael to find out if it was true, and it was. But Jeffrey showed them papers proving that he had once had Anita declared legally dead. But Jeffrey showed them papers proving that he had once had Anita declared legally dead. Once Jeffrey and Anita heard that Adam had married Chelsea and bought her a mansion, they dropped by, obviously schmoozing to cash in, but Chelsea threw them out.
Nine months and one miscarriage later, Anita grilled Chelsea when she found out that Chelsea was pregnant by her now-ex-husband, Adam, but had told lowly bartender/carpenter Dylan that the baby was his. Anita was disappointed in Chelsea's choice when she could have used the baby to win back a rich man like Adam. Anita warned her that everything would blow up in her face when Dylan found out he had been used, and suggested she get out of it before it was too late. Soon Dylan and Chelsea exchanged "I love you's" while Anita attempted to tell Adam that he was the father of Chelsea's baby. But knowing Anita only wanted him with Chelsea because he had more money than Dylan, Adam refused to let her talk. Anita was not pleased to learn that Dylan and Chelsea were engaged.
Dylan surprised Chelsea by inviting Jeff and Anita to their place for dinner. Both were visibly disappointed in the place, and Jeff insulted Dylan as not being able to take care of his daughter. But Anita surprised Chelsea saying that Dylan was a good guy, and everything would be all right. They discussed potential baby names of Scarlet, Emily, or Terry after Dylan's dad. After Jeff made some more judgmental comments, Dylan said that he was not Adam and glad of it, because Adam was smart enough to make millions but smart enough to make Chelsea happy.
Not long afterward, Chelsea went into labor, and Dylan suggested to Chelsea that they get married right away. When Chelsea's labor stopped, Dylan took her home to his loft which was decorated for a wedding. The invited guests Chloe, Jeffrey, Anita, and Stitch arrived, followed by Billy with a cake catered by his restaurant. After some quick alterations to Chelsea's wedding gown by Chloe, the minister arrived, heartfelt vows were exchanged, and they were married using Dylan's parent's wedding rings. During the ceremony Anita flirted with Stitch. Afterward, Chelsea again went into labor, and Dylan delivered Terrance "Connor" McAvoy. But the marriage ended in divorce when Dylan discovered that Adam was Connor's real father, and Connor's last name was changed to Newman.
Anita returned to town from Florida to ring in 2014, finding Chelsea and Connor had taken up residence at Adam's and were falling in love again. Anita spurred her daughter to go after what she really wanted, and Adam and Chelsea ended up engaged. Anita was present at the blessing for Connor, were he was legally renamed Connor Adam Newman.