Victor was very protective of Julia, his young, beautiful wife, and kept her secluded at the ranch with their houseman, Charlie. Victor was so consumed by his work, he was barely there himself. Julia met and became friends with Brock Reynolds. Victor got jealous and had a one-night stand with his secretary, Eve Howard, in retaliation. Julia admitted she was falling in love with Brock, but they were not lovers, and she agreed to break if off if Victor would commit completely to their marriage. But Victor was not convinced and turned to Lorie Brooks for attention. Brock caught Victor and Lorie kissing, so he tried to resume his romance with Julia, but he finally left town because of Julia's inability to end her marriage to Victor. Thinking it would convince Victor of her love for him, Julia told him that she wanted to have a baby. Victor responded by having a vasectomy without telling her.
When offered a job modeling for photographer Michael Scott, Julia jumped at the chance. For once, Victor didn't say no. Michael admired the dark-haired beauty, and they became close friends. While Victor was out of town, Eve Howard suddenly resurfaced. Eve let Julia know that she was there to get Victor back. Feeling vulnerable and confused by Eve's presence, Julia slept with Michael. Julia was immediately overwhelmed with shame. Her friendship with Brock had remained strictly platonic. But now that she had slept with Michael, Julia had actually cheated on Victor for the first time. When Julia began talking about her friend, Michael, Victor became jealous and began following them and taping their conversations. Then Julia turned up pregnant.
Convinced the baby was Michael's, Victor kidnapped Michael and held him prisoner in the bomb shelter under the ranch house. Victor had outfitted it with cameras so he could observe and torture Michael by making him watch Victor and Julia making love in their bedroom above. Victor fed Michael sparingly, and taunted him often. Dinner once even turned out to be a dead rat. Victor hired Paul Williams to feed Michael when he was out of town, and explained to Paul that Michael was a retarded relative who was not allowed out because he was violent and delusional. Eventually, Julia discovered that Michael was being held hostage. She and Paul Williams freed him. When Victor intervened, they had a struggle and Julia tumbled down a flight of stairs. Julia was rushed to the hospital where she miscarried, and Victor discovered that despite his vasectomy, he had actually fathered Julia's baby. Soon after, Julia and Michael both left town, but not together.
Two years later, Eve ran into the now divorced Julia Newman in Paris and heard about Laurie Brooks abandoning Victor at the altar. She told Julia that she was involved with a wealthy Count, Max Siebalt. Eve went to Genoa City to be sure that Victor was going to continue to provide for Charles, and learned that Victor had put him in his will. Max and Eve began to scheme to get Victor's fortune, because Max was broke. Eve convinced Victor to hire her back as his personal assistant, and for a while, everything seemed fine. When Victor's manservant, Charlie, left his employ, Eve offered to cook Victor's meals for him, lacing them with a slow-acting poison that, in small doses, could not be traced. Victor began to lose weight and appeared ill, and after Victor's dog ate some of his poisoned food and died, Victor became suspicious. Julia overheard part of their plan on the phone and warned Victor that he was in danger, but it was too late. An antidote was found and Victor survived.
Julia proved that Eve was involved by having the poison analyzed. Victor realized that Eve had tried to poison him so that her son, Charles, could inherit half his wealth. With the help of Julia and his friend, Douglas Austin, Victor began a scheme to trap Eve into confessing, and even proposed to her, which the greedy Eve quickly accepted. The day of Victor and Eve's wedding, she arrived at the Newman estate to learn that Victor had died. Eve arranged to have Victor's coffin placed in the Newman living room, and took over as the grieving fiancée. Max, sensing that she was losing her grip on reality, quickly married her, since it appeared that Victor had left his estate to Eve. When Julia confided to Eve that she thought Victor was murdered, and that she wanted to exhume his body for an autopsy, Eve sent Max to the graveyard to dig up the corpse. At the cemetery, Max was so shocked to see Victor alive that he fell against a pitchfork and died. Eve tried to stab Victor and was committed to a sanitarium.
In March of 2002 a newspaper article alerted Victor that a hostile takeover was threatening Julia's design firm, so he dropped everything to go to Lake Forest, Illinois. Julia was happy and surprised to see him. He told her that she looked wonderful and that he knew about the takeover bid, then he offered to help. After some reminiscing, Julia told him how she and her late husband Charles had created their successful design business together, and said that she didn't think Victor was the kind of person that could work side-by-side with his wife in business. She joked that he wasn't as controlling as when they were married, but she was young and he was older and set in his ways. She asked about his kids and his love life and was pleased that he was back with Nikki, whom she liked. Julia told him about her daughter, Jamie, who was in college.
They met with Maxwell Hollister who refused Victor's offer to buy all the stock in Julia's company, even at ten percent over the value. Before Hollister could leave, Victor promised to create a similar design division at Newman Enterprises, put Julia in charge of it, attack Hollister's company at its weak spots, and run him out of business. Thwarted, Hollister signed Victor's purchase agreement, and left. Julia thanked Victor for saving the company that meant so much to her. After a few more reminiscences, Victor asked her what she thought of their time together when she looked back. She said that he was domineering and always in control of any relationship that he entered. They hugged and even kissed -- then said goodbye. She seemed sad to see him leave. Max Hollister tracked down Leanna Love. He told her he'd read Ruthless and knew she was once married to Victor, then told her how Victor humiliated him, and that he wanted revenge. Leanna explained that it was more than just business, that Julia Martin was Victor's first wife. Max agreed to do Leanna's TV show and give her the scoop on Julia and Victor, in exchange for some recent photos her photographer shot of Victor and Ramona. Nikki saw the show and was upset that Victor had visited both Ramona and Julia without telling her. It wasn't long before Max approached Nikki, and suggested she join him against Victor. Victor tried to explain to Nikki his soul-searching visits to Julia and Ramona, as well as Hope. He said that he didn't want to repeat his mistakes of the past, and proposed to Nikki with an engagement ring. Nikki was also reluctant to try again, and said she would give him an answer when she returned to town in two weeks. Max went to Victor and let him know that he was courting Nikki for revenge.
As he left, Victor phoned Hope, Julia, and Ramona, and they convinced Leanna to do a retraction of the story. When Nikki returned, she accepted Victor's proposal. Then Lorie Brooks showed up in town looking for Max to sign their divorce papers. When Max found out that Lorie was once a love of Victor's, he tried to get her to join him in his revenge. Lorie went to see Victor while she was in town, which resulted in Nikki warning her to stay away from him. They exchanged barbs about the past and Nikki accused Lorie of working with Leanna. This incited Lorie to want to get back at Nikki, but even though Lorie was the one person to one-up Victor by leaving him at the altar after signing over Prentiss Industries, she was not proud of it, and really didn't want to hurt Victor again.
Still they enacted their plan with Lorie inviting Victor to her hotel room with a sexy note signed by Nikki. She had seduction in mind-and a camera feeding the television in Max's adjoining room where Max was treating Nikki to a private farewell lunch. Lorie and Victor reminisced, and he ended up apologizing to her for the way he treated her. Lorie was so overwhelmed by his sincerity after what she had done to him that she couldn't even turn on the camera. Max got tired of waiting and dragged Nikki into Lorie's room in time to catch Lorie and Victor in a parting hug. Nikki and Victor both realized it was a setup. Nikki walked out, leaving Victor to threaten them both. After Victor left, Max and Lorie fought, and Lorie felt ashamed that she ruined her relationship with Victor for nothing. Lorie left town as Max was sending flowers to Victor and Nikki's wedding.