Committed juvenile crimes like putting sugar in gas tanks, burned down a garage, poisoned a dog and was never caught
Sexual Harassment of Hilary Lancaster years prior to his appearance in Genoa City
Paid "Rebecca" to drug Danny Romalotti and take compromising photos with him
Sexual Harassment of Christine Blair – censured by state supreme court
Appeared to have murdered "Rebecca" - never charged
Kidnapped Christine and attempted murder of Paul – sentenced to prison
Blackmailed into committing commercial bribery by Victor Newman - made a deal to turn state's evidence against Victor
Framed Tom Fisher by having Ashley plant the makings of crystal meth in Tom's motorcycle saddle bags - never discovered
Held Christine Blair captive and attempted rape
Shot Paul Williams when he tried to rescue Christine - served 4 years in prison
Aided and abetted his mother Gloria by concealing knowledge that she was the one who tainted the Glo By Jabot face cream
Aided and abetted his brother Kevin by concealing knowledge of illegal hacking into security surveillance and computer systems
Met with this father Lowell knowing he was wanted and lied to police that he did not know his whereabouts
Aiding and abetting Victor Newman on many illegal schemes
Arrested for attempted murder of Carmine Basco, charges were dropped 
Arrested for the murder of Carmine Basco, sentenced to 10 years in prison – conviction was overturned 3 weeks later 
In 1991, Christine "Cricket" Romalotti went to work at a prestigious law firm, for hotshot lawyer Michael Baldwin. The charming Baldwin took her under his wing, guiding and training her. At first, Chris was appreciative -- until he kissed her one day after a court victory. When he suggested a more "friendly" relationship in exchange for her moving up in the hierarchy, she began making inquiries at the firm about sexual harassment. The promotion disappeared, and Chris filed a sexual harassment lawsuit. She also learned that he had done the same to several other women, including her neighbor Hilary Lancaster.
To make himself look better, Michael wooed and married his old flame Hilary. But he still had his eye on Chris, and when she and Danny Romalotti broke up, he asked her to accompany him on a business trip to Los Angeles. Once there, he made sexual advances. Chris (whose breakup with Danny was staged) caught his behavior on audio tape, he was fired, and Hilary left him. He quickly got a job at another prestigious firm, but Christine went to their disciplinary committee, who agreed to hear a case against him.
Michael wasn't going to go down without a fight. He claimed Chris had entrapped him by continuing to work at the firm after leaving his employ. He paid a woman named Rebecca to drug Danny's tea and get photos of her and Danny appearing to be having sex to show that Danny and Christine's marriage wasn't as happy as they claimed. Later Rebecca was found dead in her apartment just after we saw Michael threatening her not to blackmail him. But all was for naught, because Michael was found guilty of sexual harassment, lost his job, Hilary divorced him and left town.
Michael apologized to Christine, announcing his plans to leave town, but his real plans were much more sinister. While Danny was out of town performing, Michael bluffed his way into Hilary's empty apartment and got into Christine's apartment by digging a hole in the wall where he hid in the closet, waiting to attack her. Fortunately when he made his move, Paul Williams raced in and caught him on top of Christine in her bed. Michael turned, tried to shoot Paul and missed, Paul shot Michael and he fell limp and bloody, pinning Christine to the bed. Michael was sent to prison, and even though he claimed insanity, stayed there for four years.
In 1997, Michael was up for parole. Despite Christine testifying that they had no way of knowing how he would behave when returned to a world with women, the board believed Michael had reformed, and freed him. He couldn't get a job as a lawyer, and had to take one as a paralegal. His fist case involved a custody suit between Danny and his unbalanced, fiery ex-wife, Phyllis, with Chris acting as Danny's attorney. Michael discovered just how fiery she was when he and Phyllis fell into bed together.
Although Danny won sole custody, Michael was delighted by his return to the law. He constantly asked and pleaded with Chris to help get him his law license back. After he donated a kidney to Danny (who had been badly beaten and was near death) Christine agreed, speaking up for him at the hearing despite her doubts. Michael got his license back, and Chris was his probation officer for a year.
Michael immediately jumped into Diane Newman's case against husband Victor Newman, who had gotten a quickie divorce from her for a deathbed marriage to his former wife Nikki - a marriage that continued after she unexpectedly recovered. Michael wasted no time in being a formidable foe to the ever-superior Victor, encouraging Diane to go for the jugular and booking her on a trashy talk show hosted by another of Victor's ex-wives Leanna Love. But his live-in lover Phyllis became increasingly paranoid over his tight bond with Diane. She finally had Michael kidnapped and held bound and gagged as punishment. After he escaped, he believed it was Victor's doing, but after learning Phyllis was responsible, he broke it off with her, although they became best friends again later on.
With Diane's case against Victor settled, Michael worked for Katherine Chancellor during her fight with Jill Abbott over the Chancellor mansion, and also advised Jack and Brad on the perfect hostile takeover of Newman Enterprises. Later in 1999, he represented Alice Johnson in her custody fight with Sharon and Nick Newman. Again, he faced off with Christine. Grace Turner got involved with Michael about this time, running into him several times at a bar, where they discussed her hatred of the Newmans, and they would banter and flirt. At one such meeting, Michael surprised Grace by presenting her with a picture he sketched of her, and enlisted her help in finding out if Alice would really rather be paid off than get custody of Cassie. Grace realized they had a mutual evil streak, and gave him a quarter as retainer to become her lawyer. During one of their meetings about the case Grace kissed Michael as a reward for his efforts, and they ended up having sex on Michael's desk. One of the reasons Grace left town after the trial was that she felt betrayed when Michael won the custody case for Alice despite her efforts.
Michael and Christine's relationship continued to change as she accepted his advice and opinions, and finally agreed to go into practice with him. As they worked on cases together and establishing their firm, Michael listened to her marital problems, and found himself falling in love with her.
In late 2000, Christine's marriage to Paul continued to worsen due to his insistence on wanting a baby. She went to Hong Kong to work on a case which was drawn out for many months, always finding excuses for not staying in touch. Next Christine was offered a case in Australia, but she turned it down and was determined to go home to Genoa City and try to mend her shattered marriage. She arrived at their apartment only to find Paul in the arms of his new client Isabella. Without a word to Paul, she accepted the case in Australia and filed for divorce.
Isabella didn't want to tell Paul that she was pregnant because she felt that he was too hung up on Chris, so she had a brief affair with Michael and told him that he was the father. Michael was outraged at first, even drew up legal papers for her to sign. But Isabella had something on Michael from the past, so he backed down and went along with her demands of rent, baby furniture, and everything she needed to live until the baby was born. Michael also arranged for a job for her in another town for afterward. Just as Michael was softening to the idea of a child and a future with Isabella, and Paul was getting involved with former wife Lauren Fenmore, Paul found out that her baby was his and wanted to be a father to the child. With this major lie Isabella fell out of grace with both Michael and Paul's mother Mary. Isabella and Paul's baby boy, Ricardo Carl Williams, was born.
Diane Jenkins asked Michael to represent her in a custody dispute against Jack Abbott over her child Kyle. Michael was torn between his long time friend and former lover Phyllis, who was now married to Jack, and loyalty to newer friend and former client Diane. Although Diane retaining custody of Kyle was what both women wanted, Michael decided to only advise her and brought in female attorney friend Sydney to handle the case. Phyllis was keeping up a front of loyalty to Jack because she loved him so, but she didn't want Diane or "her kid" in their lives forever. So in a last ditch effort to win, Michael took over from Sydney when Phyllis got on the stand. In his masterful way, he browbeat Phyllis about her real feelings and her son Daniel who was taken away from her as a toddler, until she broke down. Diane won custody, and Phyllis was ready to hate Michael for what he did to her until Michael convinced Phyllis he did it for her own good.
Christine spent long hours working with Michael and they became closer, sharing dinners and their feelings together. They finally broached the subject of their past, and although Chris agreed Michael was a changed man, said it still haunted her. That and her still lingering feelings for Paul made it rough on Michael, but Christine decided to put the past behind her and accepted Michael's marriage proposal. Paul invited Isabella's estranged father Ricardo to Ricky's Christening, and they happily reunited. Michael showed up, asked Ricardo not to mention they knew each other or Isabella's past, then announced his engagement to Chris, enraging Paul! Paul slugged Michael, who left with a black eye. Later Paul showed up at Chris's apartment and forced himself on her. At one point she reciprocated, (cut to commercial), then we saw Paul leaving a devastated-looking Christine, saying he was sorry about everything. Was it rape? Or was it two people who love each other, but have screwed up their lives to the point where they could not be together? The next morning Christine disappeared, leaving both Michael and Paul confused. Chris was gone for months before Paul, consumed with guilt, told Isabella that he and Chris had sex that night. Isabella left him, only returning occasionally to see Ricky.
Chris returned in disguise as the dark-haired mysterious Kelly Simmons bent on getting the goods on Isabella. Paul saw through Chris's disguise, and they came to an understanding about the "rape", but Paul chose Isabella and his son. Paul took Ricky to Isabella's parents in Los Angeles, leaving her to finish packing for their move there. Just before their marriage, Michael confessed to Chris that he set up Isabella to meet Paul so that Chris and Paul would split for good and he could have Chris. But Chris exploded, walked out on Michael, and flew to Los Angeles to tell Paul the whole story. She found Paul camping on a beach, told him the truth, and they ended up making love. Upon their return to Genoa City, Paul moved back into their former apartment with Chris, while Isabella plotted revenge
One night Isabella called Michael, who was with Diane, telling him someone was breaking in, then screamed. When Michael arrived he found what appeared to be a bloody murder scene and Isabella missing. Then Christine woke up unconscious in her car in the woods and told Michael and Paul of her only memory of Isabella screaming not to hurt her, of blood and a boat. Michael tracked down the boat, which was covered in blood, and destroyed the evidence against Chris. The night before Chris was to be arrested, she was attacked in her bathtub by a very much alive Isabella who had drugged her wine. She told Chris how she had set her up while wielding a butcher knife. Paul arrived in the nick of time, slugged and knocked out Isabella. As he was reviving Christine, Michael arrived and saved them both from the crazed Isabella. The cops arrived and hauled Isabella away. She was committed to a mental hospital, Rickey stayed with his grandparents in Los Angeles, and Paul and Chris were free to be together once again. Michael apologized to Chris for all the misery he'd caused her, she forgave him, and they stayed close friends.
Victor found out about the cover-up Michael did for Chris and blackmailed him into paying off large retailers to give the Newman cosmetics line Safra the prime shelf space normally held by Jabot. This caused Safra to sell like hotcakes and finish an unexpected close second to Jabot's Tuvia line. Since Chris did not do the crime, Michael was out from under Victor's thumb, but asked Victor to stay on working for him. Victor reluctantly agreed, and asked Michael to keep his daughter Victoria away from Damon Porter because he worked for Jabot. Michael took the job but began falling for Victoria. Then Nick uncovered the bribery and took his findings to the Federal Authorities.
Kevin Fisher showed up at his long lost half-brother Michael Baldwin's office expecting help. Poor Michael. As if he didn't have enough to worry about with his involvement in the Newman Enterprises bribery scandal. It was disclosed that Michael's father Lowell was a former hippie turned boozer, Michael was 10 years old when his mother remarried Tom Fisher, then Kevin was born. Michael described him as a great kid, funny and full of potential. But Kevin's father, who they called "Terrible Tom", was a drunk who took out his frustration and anger by abusing and beating Michael, who escaped from Detroit as a teenager. Then the beatings fell on Kevin. He was repeatedly abused both physically and verbally then locked in a closet. Later Kevin went to live with Michael while he was a struggling Law student on partial scholarship. Kevin became an apprentice electrician, but he ripped off Michael and his friends, and started a fire at a neighbor's while replacing some switches, and the house burned down. No charges were ever filed, but Kevin was fired, and Michael sent him packing.
The Federal Authorities questioned Michael about the Newman bribes, but eventually turned the case over to the DA's office where it became the case of new Assistant DA, Christine. Although Michael offered to take the rap, Victor insisted Michael make a deal to hopefully save his legal career. Michael did, and Victor was arrested and jailed the day before Christmas. Michael and Victoria were getting very close when Victor's illegal activities came out, but she was so devastated and disappointed in her father, she left town.
When Kevin's boss Bobby Marcino was tipped to Kevin's illegal activities including arson, statutory rape, and attempted murder, he fired Kevin. Shortly afterward, stripper Brittany Hodges was electrocuted during her act by contact with the dancing pole, and suffered severe burns to her face. Kevin was one of the suspects, his motive revenge toward Bobby for firing him, and toward Britt for rebuffing his advances. Kevin fell hard for older woman, Lauren Fenmore, so she accepted an invitation to be his date for the Valentine dance at the Athletic Club, hoping Kevin would admit some of his misdeeds. Instead Kevin found out he was being setup and ended up holding Lauren captive at this apartment. Lauren was shocked when Kevin turned his gun from her to himself, just as half-brother Michael came pounding on his door. Michael managed to talk Kevin into letting Lauren go, and got the gun away, promising to never run out on his brother again. Not long afterward, Kevin was arrested for Brittany's electrocution and panicked over spending the night in jail, reminding him of those long dark punishments in the closet as a kid. Lauren took pity, bailed him out, and he moved in with Michael as part of the deal. Finding out that Lauren was the one who bailed him out, confirmed to Kevin that Lauren really cared for him. He went to the Jabot Boutique to thank Lauren and ended up confiding in her his Genoa City crimes, but claimed that he did not hurt Brittany. Lauren swore she wouldn't tell anyone. Paul guessed from Lauren's demeanor that Kevin had confessed, so went after Kevin and stupidly pressured him, inferring that Lauren had told, causing Kevin to flee Genoa City for his mother's apartment in his and Michael's hometown Detroit. Kevin awaited his mother Gloria's return, opening that same closet door and reliving the terrifying experience of being locked inside as punishment as a child by "Terrible Tom." Gloria arrived, shocked to see him, and hugged and rocked him, begging him to love her now after she had turned her back on the abuse all those years. Michael showed up just before the Detroit police knocked on the door wanting Kevin. Michael called Detective Weber back in Genoa City, and convinced him to let him bring Kevin back. Gloria and Michael hadn't seen each other in many years either, and Michael was obviously resentful of her. But Gloria talked Michael into letting her return to Genoa City with Kevin. Kevin ended up in jail, and when the prisoners labeled him as a child molester, they beat him up with a "blanket party." Kevin went to the hospital, then was released when Bobby got his mobster pals to admit they had fried Brittany.
Michael laid down the law to his two unwelcome houseguests to not touch anything and give him his space, but allowed them to use his membership at the Athletic Club and charge their needs to him. John Abbott was bedazzled by the much younger Gloria Fisher, unaware that she was the mother of unscrupulous Attorney Michael Baldwin and Kevin Fisher, the guy who tried to murder John's granddaughter Colleen and burned down Gina's restaurant. Ashley and Jack were both shocked when John and Gloria returned from a cruise announcing they were married. Convinced that the low class Gloria was a gold-digger, Ashley disapproved of their relationship and vowed to end it, while Jack was content if Gloria made John happy. After John found out that Gloria was mother to Michael and Kevin, he was ready to end the marriage. But a fall down the stairs caused John to break his hip, and Gloria managed to weasel her way back into his good graces while he recuperated from hip replacement surgery.
Kevin continued his infatuation for Lauren, but Michael was drawn to Lauren himself as they met often to discuss Kevin, and eventually ended up lovers. Mackenzie Browning was able to get Kevin to open up to him, and convinced him to go to a psychiatrist. Kevin began learning how to deal with his past and handled it well when he realized that Mac was not interested him as more than a friend. Michael and Kevin grew close, and Kevin bought Michael a lottery ticket. Wouldn't you know, the ticket won. Michael shared a good portion of the winnings in a trust fund for Kevin. Michael eventually popped the question to Lauren after dinner in the Private Dining Room at The Genoa City Athletic Club which he had set up like a gambling casino. After some hesitance by Lauren over Michael's lack of communication about his personal life, Lauren did say yes. Gloria was thrilled with the impending marriage, and took over the wedding plans. Michael quizzed Lauren about her rarely-mentioned son Scotty, hopeful that he would attend the wedding and they could finally meet, but Lauren was evasive. After an Internet search turned up nothing but a last name for Scotty, Kevin asked to borrow Lauren's cell phone, and they traced him by his phone number to Toronto. Michael went there and met Scotty, now 24, and a college student/Teaching Assistant, working on his Masters in Education with a specialty in creative writing. Scotty disclosed that he'd never been back to Genoa City since he was a toddler, and grew up in boarding schools around the world. But wherever he was, Lauren visited often and kept an apartment nearby. Scotty always wondered why his mother was so secretive, but gave up asking about it back when he was a kid. Not long after Michael returned to Genoa City, Lauren decided it was time to tell Scotty about her impending marriage, but Scotty admitted he'd already met Michael. Lauren felt betrayed, but Michael later reminded her about how she disliked HIS family secrets. After Lauren left Scotty's, who should walk out of Scotty's bedroom, but Sheila Carter! Sheila (as "Brenda") was taking college courses and being tutored by Scotty, who was the spitting image of his father. Sheila gave Scotty an idea for a novel. Unknown to him, the story was of Sheila and his mother Lauren, but Sheila made Lauren out to be the evil-doer who stole Sheila's baby when the opposite was true. Meanwhile, Michael discovered their history, and visited another "Sheila" in a California prison for the criminally insane who had turned herself in after a two month's escape. She had gotten plastic surgery to look like Sheila and was being kept drugged.
Scotty decided to attend his mother's wedding in Genoa City and moved into the loft apartment with Kevin. Brenda soon followed and took up residence in the same seedy hotel where Tom Fisher was staying. The evil Tom and "Brenda" hit it off, and joined forces against Michael and Lauren. Scotty visited "Brenda" often to work on their book. Sheila felt free to move about in Genoa City disguised as the dark haired British accented "Jennifer." She even ended up saving Gloria's life while she was waitressing a party at the Athletic Club. When Scotty bought his mother a silver pendant, Sheila saw her chance and dipped it in poison. The more Lauren wore it, the more she started getting sick and having hallucinations. The night before their wedding Lauren awaited Michael to join her for a romantic dinner on the roof. She began hallucinating that Sheila was tormenting her. But Sheila was there for real, talking her into jumping off the roof. Michael arrived just in time to save her, though never saw Sheila. Lauren was admitted to the hospital where they discovered the poisoning, but "Brenda" talked Tom into stealing the necklace before it could be checked for toxin. The wedding was postponed while Lauren recovered. Michael and Paul discovered it was the necklace, but Sheila managed to get it cleaned and returned to the hospital laundry. Scotty got a book deal for "One Stolen Heart", but "Brenda" was livid. She decided it was too risky to remain in Genoa City as "Brenda", so "Brenda" returned to Toronto, but Sheila actually stayed on as Jennifer, intent on getting back at Tom who knew too much in addition to Lauren.
Ashley Abbott began dating Paul Williams but was also being pursued by a mysterious man named Tom Callahan. What she didn't know was that he was Gloria's ex-husband, and Kevin's child abuser father, "Terrible Tom" Fisher. Gloria didn't know if he was even alive, but Kevin's first encounter with him turned him back into that cowering child he once was. Michael paid him off to leave town, but that obviously didn't work. In trying to figure out what Tom was up to, Michael discovered that Gloria's divorce from Tom was never filed. He assured Gloria that her marriage would be seen as legal, but could be voided should John decide to. Tom was seeing a lot of Ashley, always just missing encountering Gloria or John at the Athletic Club or the Abbott mansion. One day Tom's luck ran out, as they ran into Michael at the Abbott's. Amazingly, Michael did not expose him to Ashley, but afterward, he suggested Gloria have Tom declared legally dead. After witnessing a bit of his temper, Ashley asked Tom to back off, that she only wanted to be friends. After Tom discovered the ad in the paper to declare him dead, he went to the Abbott mansion and confronted Gloria who was shocked and terrified to see him. She was free and clear with John, but further indebted to Tom, and Michael was on the spot. They told Ashley, who later slugged Tom at the Athletic Club. Because Gloria continued to pay Tom blackmail money stolen from John, Michael formed an alliance with Ashley. They planted drugs in Tom's motorcycle saddle bags, and arranged for him to be caught. But Tom pressured Gloria through Sheila (disguised as Jennifer) to pay his bail. Ashley began dating Tom as part of the plot to bring him down, but Tom found out and out for revenge!
Not realizing that Sheila was intent on murder, Tom was conned into joining her plot to get back at Lauren, by planting a bomb on Lauren and Michael's honeymoon yacht. Michael watched in horror from shore as the yacht blew up. Lauren was not found, and was presumed dead. But Tom had rescued Lauren and carried her and Sheila back to a farmhouse in Genoa City where he held them in the basement fallout shelter. Lauren convinced Tom that Sheila was the "bad guy", so he contacted Gloria to arrange a deal to turn over Lauren. John overheard the phone call, grabbed his gun, and met Tom in an alley. During a struggle the gun went off, and Tom was killed. John dropped the gun and took off getting into a car accident, but Ashley arrived in time to witness it. Ashley confessed to the shooting to save her father and was arrested with Michael as her lawyer. The morgue attendant handed over Tom's effects to Kevin, which included a key to a safe deposit box which Michael later traced to a bank in Cleveland. Meanwhile Lauren and Sheila fought and Lauren broke Sheila's ankle. Eventually, realizing Tom was not coming back, they joined forces to attempt an escape. As they were almost out, Paul arrived and pulled Lauren to safety while the shelter caved in on Sheila. Sheila was not found in the rubble, but was later seen at a plastic surgeon requesting a new face. Michael and Lauren enjoyed a tearful reunion, and everyone in Genoa City was relived she was back among the living. After recovering from the accident, John regained his memory, and confessed to killing Tom. John got Paul to help him convince the DA that he was guilty, and took a plea bargain to get Ashley exonerated of all charges, and he was sentenced to seven years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
With John in prison and not at the mansion to protect her, Gloria grew tired of the way Jack and Ashley treated her and vowed to get even. She managed to get hold of the new product Ashley was developing in the lab and compromised it with cleaning solution to make trouble for them. Gloria even asked for a sample, then used it on herself getting major facial burns to show everyone that Ashley's cream was a hazard. Unfortunately samples had already been distributed to select people, and a woman ended up dying after using the cream. The cause of death was a bit suspicious, but the husband was paid off by Jabot to avoid a lawsuit. Jabot's reputation was further ruined, and Jack was fired by Katherine as a result. Gloria then invited Kevin to live at the Abbott estate, ingratiated herself to Kay and Jill and landed a job at Jabot as Fashion Consultant, then managed to get Kevin hired on as Director of Internet Affairs to replace Phyllis. She let both Kevin and Michael in on her schemes and they reluctantly helped to keep her secrets.
Much to her surprise, Lauren discovered she was pregnant, and Michael was elated to be having his first child. Because of her age, Lauren had an amnio to be sure the baby was all right, and it checked out fine. But concerned about the fact that they knew so little about Michael's father, they began a quest to track him down. Michael took a trip to New Orleans, the last known location of Lowell Baldwin and his Grandmother Florence. But in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Michael found their house destroyed and returned with only a water-soaked diary he found in their yard. Lauren had an expert restore parts of the diary, they found it did indeed belong to Michael's grandmother, but got few clues from it to locate them.
While in prison John started getting into fights with inmates and having spells where he believed his first wife Dina had just left him. Jack, Ashley and Gloria were made aware, and Jack got permission for John's doctor to look at him, and it was discovered that John was being over-medicated. Before that was corrected, Jack took this opportunity to get John to hand-write a new will cutting out "his evil wife" whom John thought was Dina. Six months after his incarceration, John was about to be released early due to ill heath when he had a stroke and was rushed to Genoa City Memorial in grave condition. The doctors made the family aware that John would never come out of his vegetative state and had signed a DNR. After much bickering between Gloria and Jack, Gloria decided to use her authority in the DNR to allow John to die. Billy and Traci returned to say farewell to their father, as did old friend Kay, and ex-wife Jill. Jack and Ashley, who wanted a small family-only memorial service for John, over-ruled Gloria who wanted a huge lavish funeral. As the feud between them heightened, Jack made sure that Gloria had the wrong time so that she missed the memorial service where each of John's children, plus Kay and Jill, gave a heartfelt eulogy. Gloria, Michael, Lauren and Kevin arrived to find it over, so held their own service for John including Gloria's eulogy.
The Fishers were jubilant and the Abbott's were appalled to discover John's will left Gloria 50% of his billion dollar estate, with the rest including the Abbott mansion to be divided among his children. But when everyone arrived in probate court, the prison chaplain turned over the hand-written will he had been given for safe-keeping by John which divided the estate among only his children. It was also exposed that John's attorney had never gotten around to making the marriage between John and Gloria legal. Afterward, Gloria arrived at the Abbott Mansion to find her belongings in trash bags on the front porch and the locks changed, with Jack gloating behind the glass door. The next day, as dead-John looked on in the guise of Jack's guilty conscience, the judge decided in the end that the hand-written will would stand, so Gloria was cut out. Assuming that Jack was somehow behind this, Gloria was livid. She and Kevin moved in with Michael and Lauren. Jill and Kay promoted Gloria to Vice President of Creative Affairs for Jabot, further infuriating the Abbotts. But Jabot was sold to House of Kim, and Gloria had to prove herself all over again.
When Lauren discovered that Michael had been working with Gloria in her shady dealings with Jabot, she went into early labor and delivered their baby boy prematurely. Baby Fenmore Baldwin was finally able to go home, but the Baldwin household was frantic due to the bickering between Lauren's mother Joanna and Gloria, a colicky baby, and Michael's being too busy defending the Winters family in the Carmen Mesta murder case, plus working with Victor to expose Jack Abbott for secretly buying Jabot in the guise of House of Kim.
Paul Williams managed to track Sheila to Argentina in October 2006 and discovered that she had undergone plastic surgery to look like Phyllis Summers, then had killed the plastic surgeon. Paul, later in October, discovered her buying baby things in Genoa City, and followed her to a warehouse where he trapped her in the cell she had constructed with the intention of imprisoning Lauren and stealing her baby Fen. Paul made her pose for a death photo at gunpoint and made up DNA samples to convince Lauren and Michael that she was killed when struck by a car in Argentina. Paul also let Phyllis and Nick know that Sheila now looked like Phyllis. Paul kept her imprisoned there undetected until December when Michael put a tracking bug on Paul's car and caught Paul bringing her food. Michael picked the lock and was shocked to discover "Phyllis" behind the bars. Paul appeared and tried to convince Michael that it was really Sheila, but it took a cell phone call to the real Phyllis to convince him. Knowing the authorities could never keep her contained, Paul and Michael shared the secret and the dilemma of what to do with her. Meanwhile Lauren and the real Phyllis were bonding through their pregnancies as she helped Lauren get through her post partum depression and anxiety attacks.
Police Detective Maggie Sullivan and Paul Williams began dating, and in her curiosity about Paul's frequent absence "on a stakeout" she tracked him by his cell phone to the warehouse. Sheila conned her into believing she was Phyllis, Maggie let her loose, then Sheila shot her with her own gun. Paul arrived later and was trapped in the cell too by Sheila when he came to Maggie's aid. Sheila then went to Phyllis's, tied her up and waited for Lauren and baby Fen to arrive, taunting Phyllis about how great it would be to take over her life with her hot husband and new baby. After Lauren arrived she was tied up, and Sheila took Phyllis and babies Fen and Summer to a retirement home where she had an apartment. Michael eventually rescued Paul and a near-death Maggie from the warehouse cell. While Michael and Paul followed Sheila's walkie-talkie signal which she planted to lure them elsewhere, Nick and Lauren with the aid of Kevin enhanced the background noise from her latest taunting call. Nick realized where they were and while they tried to find Paul, Lauren sneaked out with the gun Paul had given her for security. Lauren found the apartment, broke in, and confronted the two Phyllises. Phyllis managed to convince Lauren she was the real one, and Lauren shot Sheila dead! Her dying words still taunting Lauren that she would never be rid of her and she had shot the wrong one, led us to believe that this may have yet been another pawn of Sheila and she may still be out there and a threat. Phyllis was livid with Michael and Lauren for endangering her and her baby Summer, and refused to reconcile. Maggie recovered from her gunshot wound and did not tell the police about Paul or Michael holding Sheila in that cell, so they were not charged.
Since his brother Kevin and his mother Gloria arrived in town, Michael spent way too much of his time away from his home, family, and clients trying to keep them out of trouble and jail. Gloria went from one rich husband to another who just happened to die, and one scheme after another, while most of the time living with Michael and his family. When she was not in trouble, then Kevin usually was. Kevin seemed to have settled down with Jana, and he and Michael finally cut Gloria off so they could live their own lives.
The Fishers were celebrating Michael's first Father's Day with son Fenmore, when Michael insisted Gloria tell him more about his own father, Lowell Baldwin. Gloria told her story of how they were young idealistic hippies, omitting the activist group that they belonged to and changing the ending that Gloria discovered she was pregnant with Michael about the time Lowell got drafted and fled to Canada. She told them rather than raise an infant in a commune, she let Lowell go alone and never saw him again. She guiltily admitted that they had never been married like she had led everyone to believe.
Paul Williams located a "River" Baldwin wanted for murder after setting up a bombing of a bank as a leader with the 60's activist group “The Weathermen”. He had the same social security number as Lowell, and was also born in New Orleans. Records also showed that a Gloria Simmons paid his bail. Gloria again lied in response to Michael's confrontation, claiming that Lowell used her, convinced her he was innocent, and disappeared after she bailed him out, leaving her and baby Michael penniless. Paul also later discovered that a Richard Gerick had switched identities with Lowell in 1993 after Lowell, then a College professor in Southern California, was kicked out and disappeared because he slept with student. Michael began having second thoughts about finding his long lost father.
Although Jana was originally planning her wedding to Kevin in "Goth" style with Amber designing her gown, then influenced by being maid of honor for Sabrina began dreaming of a more traditional wedding, they ended up with a hippie style wedding at an ashram in Malibu. All in hippie attire except for Jana's white lace gown, Amber was her maid of honor and Daniel Kevin's best man with Michael as groomsman. Lauren, Gloria and Jeffrey attended, and Colleen tagged along as Daniel's date. To everyone's shock, the guru officiating turned out to be Michael's long lost father Lowell "River" Baldwin. Gloria and Michael gave him a tongue-lashing over his abandoning them before Michael was born, and Lowell retorted with cosmic gibberish about fate and the universe, and asked them not to turn him in to the FBI. Michael gave him hell with tears of hurt in his eyes, but left saying he would not turn him in. Jana and Kevin honeymooned driving a 69 Dodge Charger on the California coast.
It wasn't long before River turned up at Michael's door trying to explain and make amends for the past to Michael and Gloria, claiming he was not guilty of the death in the 60's. Gloria had a very touching reunion with Lowell, and she and Michael both made peace with him. Just as he was about to leave town, Lowell was apprehended by the FBI. Gloria’s current husband Jeffrey later admitted that he turned Lowell in. Not long afterward 15 year old Eden showed up at Michael’s looking for her father, River. Lowell explained to Michael that when he was teaching in California he got a grad student pregnant, and was fired from the university as a result. Eden's mother had a drug problem, disappeared after Eden was born, and she died. Lowell raised Eden to be self-sufficient in case he got caught, home-schooling her to be far advanced for her age. He asked Michael to take her in, and Lauren convinced Michael they should give it a try, but Eden was sullen and belligerent. Attorney Dick Dentner, a former activist himself, saw Lowell as a hero and took his case with plans to "stick it to the man". Michael attempted to help, but Lowell was not interested. But when Lowell was about to be extradited back to Michigan, Michael acted as his lawyer and got his trial held in Genoa City, Lowell finally accepted Michael to defend him. Michael spent days pouring over four decades of files from the 1960’s trial of Lowell's cohorts. He found and met with a buddy of Lowell’s, Howie “Kite” Sullivan, who told him that he was with “River” the day of the bombing, and that “River” was not responsible for the janitor who was killed. He said it was meant to be only a confetti bomb, but someone substituted a real one, and River was only there to try to stop the protest. Howie claimed he was an FBI informant who, when he refused to testify against Lowell, ended up doing time. Meanwhile Gloria located a note in the files saying that the prosecution had scrapped Howie’s testimony because he refused to cut a deal, which verified his story. Back at the jail, after a visit from Jeffrey that convinced him that freedom was hopeless, Lowell took a capsule that would make him sick so he’d be taken to the hospital. He left a note for Michael, and with Eden causing a distraction, Lowell escaped out a second story window hurting his ankle. Eden met Lowell at a warehouse, but he convinced her to stay with Michael to have a decent life. Not long after she left, the police surrounded the warehouse. Michael arrived and talked Lowell into surrendering. While working on Lowell’s case, Michael found a photo of the activist group, and Lowell identified everyone, including Gloria. Michael was particularly interested in finding Lowell's former best friend Marshall. He suspected he was the one who substituted the real bomb, but he turned out to be deceased. Also among the old evidence was a tape of a witness named Tonya condemning Lowell as a violent ringleader, the voice undeniably Gloria’s. When Michael confronted her with it, Gloria broke down and admitted she was coerced into it by the police under threat of Michael being taken away from her. When Michael told Lowell, he said he had known all along, understood the circumstances, and forgave her long ago. Gloria walked in the visiting room, overheard, and they cried and embraced.
Months later in court, thanks to Michael's expertise and Gloria's last minute testimony, River's charges for the bombing of the Michigan bank building and resulting death of the janitor were dropped. Then a California tax bill for the ashram which was in Eden's name arrived, causing Michael to realize the only way River would have had the 4.5 million dollars to buy the ashram was if he had stolen the 4.5 million the bank claimed lost in the bank during the bombing. Confronted by Michael, River admitted he had gone there for the money, not to stop the bombing as he claimed, and that he had conned everyone since. River left town, stopping only for Eden's teddy bear which he had stuffed with the $60,000 he had stolen from Crimson Lights. But Eden caught and confronted him. River told her she was better off with Michael and Lauren and left her behind. Eden was crushed to realize he was a conman all along, but glad that she and Noah had discovered and hid the money, so he had only a bear full of paper.
Because Gloria went against Jeffrey forbidding her to testify for River at his trial, Jeffrey retaliated by burning his own face with the tainted cream so that Gloria would be discovered as the culprit. Gloria was arrested and jailed for tainting the face cream, and the Abbotts tossed Jeffrey out of the pool house and sued for the Jabot shares and damages. Michael was so distraught by being played for a fool by both his parents, he wished he'd never been born. In an amazing Christmas episode, Paul playing "Marley's ghost" showed Michael how life would be had Michael never been born. Danny would have died without Michael's donated kidney, resulting in Phyllis being unable to stop Daniel's real father from gaining full custody and her never seeing him again, then ending up alone and demoralized picking up men in bars. Paul and Christine would both have been killed by Isabella had Michael not saved her life, leaving Lauren a mean woman like she was in her youth and pining for Paul. Gloria would have been sued penniless by the Abbott's and scrubbing floors at Jabot, and Victor still in prison for Ji Min's murder. Kevin would have been in a padded cell after a failed suicide attempt in jail, leaving Jana a bitter woman in Goth running the dive Crimson Lights had become. Michael returned home to Lauren, Fen, and Eden a grateful man.
Shortly after Jeff visited Gloria in jail to tell her he was divorcing her again, Michael arrived with some good news. Paul investigated Andrew Gibson, discovering that Emma had a child by a former husband who was institutionalized with anaphylactic shock from a severe food allergy. Emma’s tests were compared with the son finding six points of correlation, proving Gloria innocent of causing her death. Although the judge was appalled at Gloria’s product tampering, he had to set her free of charges in the death of Emma Gibson.
The end of 2009 found Michael representing Daniel Romalotti who was setup and charged with murder. Unknown to everyone else, Deacon, Ryder and his twin sister Daisy discussed their plot against Daniel which was masterminded by an unknown woman, their next target being Lauren who started getting visits by dead and live rats. College girl, Daisy, convinced Lauren to hire her at her boutique and that she was a sweet, hard-working girl who had no family. When Eden began seeing through Daisy's con job, Daisy set the Carlton house on fire while Eden and Noah were upstairs making love. Noah's uncle Adam arrived in time to save them and Noah's dog Fisher. Eden confronted Daisy with a Fenmore's card found at the scene, certain that Daisy set the fire. Not long afterward, Eden was contacted by an Aunt in Paris, asking her to live with her for awhile and attend a prestigious school there. While she hated to leave Noah, she persuaded Michael and Lauren to let her go. Once Eden got to Paris she told Noah she was confused that her Aunt thanked her for contacting her and requesting to come. Noah soon got permission to join her there.
Daisy got Lauren to feel sorry for her and allow her to live in Eden’s room. While packing up Eden’s things, Michael found a receipt for the purchase of a rat from a pet store. The clerk remembered selling it to a young dark-haired girl with an attitude. Michael phoned and confronted Eden, who swore she was being setup and suspected Daisy. Lauren began having terrible headaches and being short-tempered with everyone, refusing to believe that Daisy was not the sweet helpful girl she appeared to be. Jana was suspicious of Ryder, suspecting he and Daisy were more than new acquaintances. After convincing Kevin, Ryder was fired from Crimson Lights and asked to move out of their apartment. Ryder began living on the streets by day, and sleeping at the boutique at night, then later at the homeless shelter. One day Ryder watched some young trick-or-treaters and gazed at a ripped photo of himself as a young boy. Ryder recalled arguing with another boy about costumes. As Ryder remembered the boy taunting and calling him "chicken boy," he wiped a tear from his eye, saying, "I didn't mean for it to happen." Jana found a photo of Daisy with a kid named Max Potter, and discovered on the Internet that he had disappeared from camp one Halloween night. During a date at the Athletic Club, while Kevin was trapped in the elevator, Jana found a card on her plate inviting her to a movie theater to finish their date. On her theater seat was a scrapbook with photos of Daisy and Ryder as babies. Realizing they were twins and who their mother was, Jana screamed, then was abducted. Kevin began frantically searching for Jana, finally enlisting the help of Michael and Detective J.T., convinced that Ryder and Daisy were behind her disappearance. Meanwhile Jana was being held in a cage in the zoo next to an abandoned amusement park near Twin Lakes, attended by a reluctant Ryder, and Daisy plotted to get rid of Jana by leaving a trail to convince everyone that she had left Kevin and disappeared.
Lauren's headaches got worse, and she was taking medication, but Daisy was lacing her water with a drug. One day Daisy slipped her some ecstasy which made Lauren euphoric and amorous. When Michael was too busy, Lauren was photographed by Daisy making out with Paul. She slipped the photo in Michael’s briefcase – all to stir up trouble at the direction of her mother whom they called “Mama Bear”. Michael, Paul, and Lauren realized that Daisy was behind the photos, had put a toxin in the paste for Lauren’s new office wallpaper to cause the headaches, and was probably behind the disappearance of Jana. With Chance’s help they arranged for a text message to be placed from Daisy’s cell phone to get Ryder to go to the Baldwin apartment, and when he arrived, both Daisy and Ryder were arrested. Sarah Smythe, posted their bail saying she was their mother, and all three showed up in costume at the annual charity ball where they kidnapped Lauren. Paul later found that in 1993, Sarah Smythe was a night nurse in a hospital in Green Bay who was cleared of charges when elderly patients died in her direct care. And the police said she looked just like Lauren. Ryder had second thoughts and sent Kevin a text message with a clue to find Jana, but Kevin did not find her at the amusement park. Lauren ended up in a cage near where Jana had been placed in a crate after she tried to escape and they were able to talk. Daisy confronted Lauren, admitting to being involved in everything from framing Daniel for murder, sending Eden to Paris, planting the rats and the toxin in her office wallpaper. Daisy claimed that she and Ryder were twins were raised by someone else because the ongoing feud between Lauren and their mother Sheila Carter stole her away from them, and inferred that Sheila was still alive and there with them. Lauren demanded Sheila show herself, and “Mama Bear” appeared –- with Lauren’s face. Lauren and Jana ended up together in the cage where “Mama Bear” told them she was Sheila’s sister Sarah, and that she intended to avenge Sheila’s death. Sarah then took Lauren’s wedding ring, and left in Lauren’s clothes, and stepped into Lauren’s life. Michael’s joy at “Lauren’s” return was dashed when she told him she had awakened that morning in a strange man’s bed, and began acting very abnormally. Michael got her an appointment with Psychiatrist Dr. Emily Peterson. When Sarah passing for “Lauren” met “Emily” she recognized her immediately as Patty Williams. Sarah had been Patty’s nurse at the surgical center in Argentina where they both had their plastic surgeries. Sarah made a deal with Emily who was tired of Jack continually going to Phyllis for solace, that Sarah would kill Phyllis if Patty would kill Michael. Sarah, impersonating Lauren, visited Phyllis while Daisy waited outside ready to strangle Phyllis. But when Lauren heard that Daniel was on his way there, she called Daisy and told her to stop him. Sarah attempted to kill Phyllis herself but Phyllis got away and barricaded herself in another room. Meanwhile Daisy kept Daniel at his apartment by drugging him, and was having sex with him when Amber and Little Eric walked in on them.
Back at Crimson Lights, Kevin decided to get help to find Jana from her Ouija board with Kay and Murphy. It kept pointing to letters that spelled out zoo, so Murphy helicoptered the three of them to find Jana with a heat locator. Once on the ground they searched separately, and Kevin found Jana suffering worse headaches than when she had a brain tumor. After Michael found Phyllis barricaded in her room, they drove to the zoo and arrived to find the real Lauren and Sarah having a gun standoff in the fun house mirrors. Meanwhile Daisy held Kevin and Jana at gunpoint, but Ryder stepped between them and convinced Daisy to give him the gun and run away with him. Kevin picked up the gun where Ryder had dropped it, but Ryder convinced him to let them go. Michael was able to tell them apart, and tried to convince Lauren to drop the gun, that the police would take care of Sarah. But Lauren was well aware that police never could contain Sheila either, so started shooting. A ricocheting bullet hit Phyllis in the cast on her broken leg, and she and Michael were caught between the two Laurens, each with a gun. Phyllis gave the password “karma” which she had been given by Jana, and Lauren confirmed herself as the real Lauren with the response “is a bitch”, then Lauren shot and killed Sarah. Daisy and Ryder left together by car, and Daisy promised she would be back someday as her mother Sheila would want.
Murphy rushed Jana to the hospital in the helicopter where she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. At her bedside, Kevin told Jana they were two misfit toys stuck with each other for eternity, that he had never given up on her, and never would. Her surgery went well, but to Kevin’s dismay, Jana woke from surgery with no emotions, possibly due to brain damage. Jana went back to work at Crimson Lights but was so unlike herself, she even cut her hair into a bob.
Lauren was still having nightmares of Sarah. She and Michael entered Crimson Lights and were shocked to find Ryder there ready to turn himself in to the police. Ryder apologized to Kevin, Jana, and Lauren for his actions saying that he spent his whole life taking orders from Sarah and Daisy, and even if he spent the rest of it in prison, he would finally be free of them. Kevin called the police and Chance took him to jail. Jana later visited Ryder telling him how much she could relate to his situation. Heather was reinstated as an Assistant D.A. thanks to Chance’s recommendation and the capture of both Ryder and Patty.
Adam’s pre-trial conspiracy hearing was held with him making Vance promise not to question Sharon’s credibility. Vance did not, but he brought up Ashley’s past mental breakdowns, and the Newman’s vendetta against Adam to win, and the evidence against Adam declared insufficient to take to trial. Richard Hightower’s young son, Justin, attended, and Victor assured his guardian that he would take care of Justin for the rest of his life. Victor gathered the Abbotts and Newmans together and very un-Victor-like, told them all to let it go, that karma would pay Adam back in the end. They each were served with a summons later for a civil suit for holding Adam against his will – all except Sharon. Michael met with Vance, called it frivolous, but Vance said they would accept nothing less than twenty million dollars in damages.
Skye warned Adam that he was risking the success of their hedge fund by filing the lawsuit, and damaging their relationship by always favoring Sharon, reminding him that Sharon was never going to forgive him for stealing her baby Faith. Victor arranged a settlement meeting with Adam and his lawyer Vance. Victor persuaded them to drop the lawsuit against the Newmans when he presented Skye as his star witness saying that she was ready to testify that Adam planted the ring to fake Skye’s death and disclose that she knew all about Adam’s dirty dealings with Dr. Taylor, Sharon and Ashley. As they left, Skye warned Adam that she was in control, and not to screw her over again. Unfortunately, the Abbotts had legally separated their lawsuit from the Newman’s, so theirs was not settled.
Victor felt guilty over Heather being fired and asked Michael to consider hiring her to help with the workload that Victor was continually piling on him. Michael offered Heather a contract with an opportunity to be made a partner after two years, and she accepted.
Six months after Noah had joined Michael's half-sister Eden in Paris, Noah returned saying only that he and Eden had broken up, and that he was home to stay. Michael had apparently been in regular contact with Eden, then after not hearing for her for a few months, Michael called Eden's aunt Juliet in Paris expecting to speak to Eden. Juliet told Michael that Eden was traveling, but she was unsure where. Meanwhile, Abby Newman was surprised to discover that Eden was back in the United States, and a resident of the same Connecticut rehab facility as Abby, and was a bulimic.
Eden and Abby came to understand each other, and the day that Eden was to be released and return to Paris, Abby had a surprise visit from Noah. Noah told Abby that the attempted murder charges had been dropped against Ashley, so Abby decided to check herself out and return home with Noah. Although Eden had been adamant that she would not return to her past, she changed her flight plans for Genoa City instead of Paris. Noah, Michael and Lauren were surprised to see Eden again, and she had a heart to heart talk with Noah, apologizing for all that she had put him through in Paris, and she told everyone that she was a different person thanks to rehab.
Michael, as Victor Newman's personal attorney, makes his career out of attempting to keep Victor out of trouble with his many schemes and manipulations. After Victor was sentenced to 25-to-life for the murder of Diane Jenkins, Adam Newman took over Newman Enterprises. His first act was to fire Michael as lead counsel, promising to hire Vance Abrams in his place. But Victor assured Michael that it was all part of Victor's plan. Michael continued to be Victor's personal attorney.
Months later, video evidence showed Nikki hitting Diane over the head with a rock in self-defense, after Diane tried to stab Nikki with a syringe. Ronan showed the film to the D.A. and Victor was released from prison. All charges were dropped against all suspects, including Nikki, once Ronan was able to convince the DA that Nikki was not responsible.
Michael's brother Kevin had been missing since he left his fiancée Chloe at the altar. Michael, looking for Kevin, discovered that Kevin's credit card had been used in Niagara Falls to buy lingerie, but was too busy helping Victor get out of prison to look any further. Weeks later, Angelina tweeted that she and Kevin had gotten married and were on the way home, so her father Angelo and Kevin's family were at Gloworm waiting for them with a reception. Kevin played along as Angelo congratulated them, but looked miserable. He tried and failed to be alone with Michael to explain, and then Chloe and Daniel arrived. Chloe waltzed up to Kevin, slapped him hard across the face, then she and Daniel left without a word.
Phyllis' estranged sister Avery, a lawyer whose specialty was freeing the innocent, showed up in Genoa City and took on Daisy Carter as a Client, knowing it would hurt Phyllis. Lauren visited Daisy in prison and warned her that they were going to fight her release, and not to mess with her again. Daisy's hearing for a reduced sentence began, with a key piece of evidence, a video which Ryder had made of Daisy pleading with Sarah Smythe for mercy for Lauren and Jana when they had held them captive. Michael cross-examined Daisy, asking why Daisy never called for help or let them go when Sarah wasn't there. Daisy said she was afraid that Sarah would kill her. In his closing statement Michael begged the judge not to fall for Daisy's supposed rehabilitation. But Daisy was given time-served and put on parole with psychological counseling. Avery and Daisy's next goal would be for Daisy to get custody of Lucy from Phyllis.
Lauren went from court to a gun range to practice shooting using a photo of Daisy as a target. She later confided in Jill, after Jill spotted the gun in Lauren's purse, that she would never let Daisy torment her again. Michael was concerned that Lauren appeared to be handling the Daisy situation too well. After realizing that Daisy had moved into Heather's former apartment in their building, Lauren made plans for Fen to stay with her son Scotty in Toronto for his protection, and they moved out of their apartment and into the Chancellor estate. Daisy boldly entered Fenmore's intending to spend a gift certificate on clothes for Lucy and taunted Lauren. Lauren freaked out and pulled her gun on Daisy, and was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Michael went to Lauren's rescue, forgetting the note with the SEC contact that he was supposed to see to help Victor. Meanwhile Avery took over his cases including Daniel's custody hearing for his daughter Lucy. By the time Michael remembered Victor, it was too late and Victor fired him for causing the loss of millions of dollars. Avery went to work for Victor instead.
Knowing it would help Michael and Lauren to move back into their own place, and with nowhere for him to paint living at Daisy's apartment, Daniel suggested that Daisy and Lucy move into his garret with him. Lauren and Michael had no more moved back home, when Michael was offered the position of interim District Attorney. Lauren objected, afraid of retaliation and interference in their lives by the press. Michael told Avery and Lauren that he had been career-oriented at any cost until he met Lauren and they had Fen. But now that he had made a name for himself and made his money, he wanted to make his son proud and make a difference. Lauren and Michael talked it over, and they decided to give it a try. Michael accepted, and insisted on bringing back Heather Stevens as an ADA. When Phyllis found out, she congratulated Michael and wondered what had happened to the unethical scoundrel he use to be. Avery agreed to take over Michael's practice. Michael was sworn in while friends and relatives wondered if the day would come that he would be prosecuting them. At their celebration of Michael's new job, Lauren surprised him with the return of their son Fen, who had become a teenager.
As the new Genoa City D.A., Michael began experiencing one conflict of interest case after another as Daisy Carter disappeared and his best friend Phyllis' son Daniel was arrested for suspicion of murder. Then Paul Williams was arrested for killing his son Ricky, allegedly protecting Michael's half-sister Eden from being murdered. Then Lauren admitted to Michael that the unregistered gun that Paul had used had been hers which Paul had taken away from her. So FBI man Ronan Malloy was brought in to do investigating for Michael, and A.D.A. Heather, as Paul's daughter, was unable to work Paul's case either. Daisy's wallet and cell phone were found to have been dumped by Ricky, but it still did not exonerate Paul. Christine arrived and offered to take a sabbatical from the FBI to defend Paul, and he accepted her offer.
Paul was released to attend Ricky's funeral. Afterward, Paul arrested by Ronan for first degree murder and jailed without bail. Michael and Ronan secretly vowed to work to get Paul exonerated.
Among Ricky's belongings Christine found Phyllis' psychiatric file from Dr. Tim including the rental car receipt, and realized that Phyllis had been the driver of the car who run them down in 1994. She showed it to Paul, and Paul told Nina and Heather who were shocked. Roman and Michael found a copy of the receipt in Daisy's wallet, and verified that the VIN number matched the rental car used in the hit and run. Both Chris and Michael confronted Phyllis, who denied trying to kill them. Although the statute of limitations had run out, Christine remembered that she had been working on a federal case at the time, therefore Phyllis was charged with attempted murder of a federal agent. Avery became Phyllis' lawyer.
Phyllis was arrested at Crimson Lights in front of her family. Avery offered a deal for aggravated battery with two years probation, but Christine refused to consider anything without prison time, and offered five years. Avery got Phyllis released on bail. Ronan tracked down Tim from Tim's landlady Beth's phone records, and found Tim lying on a beach in the tropics. Tim admitted that Phyllis had paid him to leave town, and that Ricky had stolen Phyllis' patient file. A few weeks later, just before he was to be deposed, Ronan found Tim dead of a heart attack on the floor of his apartment. The coroner determined that the body had been moved after death, so Phyllis became the prime suspect.
Phyllis confessed to Ronan that Tim had died in her apartment and that she and Kevin had moved the body to Tim's place. Then Michael showed up to seize Phyllis' computer, and when she refused, he sent Ronan for a warrant. But Ronan returned without it, and instead gave Phyllis an alibi saying that she was with him the night of Tim's death, because they were having an affair. To keep Michael from telling Nick about the "affair", Phyllis told Nick everything, and he played along by later publicly slugging Ronan.
Michael guilted Chloe, then Kevin, into telling all they knew about Phyllis and Tim, which also incriminated Ronan. The judge was taken ill as Phyllis' trial began, and he was replaced. After looking over the case file, the new judge dismissed the case, citing the fact that Christine was not a Federal agent at the time, but just working as a consultant on a federal case; therefore the statute of limitations had run out, and Phyllis was set free. Michael accused Christine of a going on a witch hunt. Christine tried to enlist Paul's help in getting even with Phyllis, but Paul wanted to let it go and let everyone get on with their lives. After the trial ended, Michael confronted Ronan with all the illegal things he had done concerning Phyllis, but said he wouldn't turn him in, that he understood that Ronan actually loved Phyllis, and told him to never do it again. Michael and Lauren discussed Michael's future as D.A., and how much he regretted taking the job and having to prosecute all of his friends. They agreed that Michael's legal and moral compasses were spinning in opposite directions.
Ronan Malloy went back to Washington D.C. to accept a Homeland Security detail job. He asked Paul and Michael to look out for Jamie, a young boy he had been mentoring who was being cyber-bullied (as it turned out, by Michael's son Fen). Jamie's father was arrested for a hit and run DUI, and causing an injury. Once his father went to jail, Jamie would have no one to live with, and would be headed for foster care. Hearing about this, Fen became jealous, sure that his parents would take the kid in.
Celebrating their anniversary, Michael gave Lauren her favorite romantic dinner, music, and champagne in their living room, followed by her favorite bath salts from Tuscany, and a handwritten love letter which he spoke to her.
Fen's burner-phone fell out of his backpack, but Fen claimed to Michael that he had it to cover his relationship with Summer. Jamie was put in a group home, and Michael discovered Jamie had been beaten up by his roommates, but was unable to persuade a judge to intercede. Michael confided in Paul how concerned he was that Fen was heading toward becoming another Ricky or young Michael or Kevin, being so full of rage. Paul tried to reason with Fen and convince him that Michael loved and wanted to help him.
Fen agreed to back off, and Jamie said he wouldn't tell Michael about Fen's texts. When a valuable glass box and $200 disappeared out of Lauren's purse, they asked Jamie if he took them, but Jamie was affronted and left. Jamie was later found by Paul where he had fallen from one roof to another below. While Jamie laid in the hospital unconscious, Michael accused Fenmore of setting Jamie up, but Lauren refused to believe it. Jamie regained consciousness and was released, but he refused to tell anyone what had happened. Jamie told Summer that she and Fen were both responsible for everything that had happened to him. Summer apologized, explaining that by bullying him as Britni she had only been trying to get back at Ronan, but now realized it was pretty dumb. Michael confronted Fen, and Fen accused Michael of choosing Jamie over Fen, and he would never forgive him. Then after a verbal fight between Fen and Jamie, Jamie decided to press charges against Fen.
Fen was arrested for assault in his home. Lauren followed him to jail and got him out on bail Lauren followed him to jail and got him out on bail after he spent the night in "juvie". Both Lauren and Fen were resentful of Michael for not supporting his son. Lauren began hanging out at the Athletic Club bar with bartender, Carmine Basco, coming onto her. He took her home one night when she had too much to drink, and another night he kissed her. Fen found out about Michael's past on the Internet and threw it in his face. Michael failed to convince Fen that it was because of his own past that he didn't want Fen going down the same road. After Paul found Jamie attempting to jump from the same roof, he convinced Jamie that he would help him make things better. Jamie admitted that he had lied and had been attempting suicide that night on the roof with Fen, and the changes were dropped against Fen. Much to Fen's relief, Ronan was granted guardianship of Jamie and he moved to Washington, D.C. to live with Ronan after apologizing to the Baldwins for all the trouble he had caused them. But Fen still refused to forgive Michael, and Lauren still resented Michael for not believing in their son as she had, and moved out.
Fen went to Kevin asking to live with them, but Kevin refused and told him to go home. Fen questioned how Christine and others could forgive Michael for the things he had done to them. Kevin told Fen that people change and prove themselves worthy of forgiveness. Christine confirmed her forgiveness, telling Fen that Michael had become one of finest men she knew. Feeling remorseful, Fen confessed to Michael everything he had done to Jamie, apologized, and said he wanted to make it up to Jamie who had nearly died because of him. Michael asked Christine to become DA, and he stepped down.
Carmine noticed that Lauren had taken a room at the Athletic Club, but she set him straight that she was married. Carmine followed her up to her room one night, and Lauren, who had been fantasizing about Carmine, ended up spending two nights with him. The second morning they were interrupted by Michael pounding on the door, and failing to talk Lauren into forgiving him and returning home. But Kevin tricked Lauren into going to their apartment by telling her that he was afraid Michael was going to do something desperate. Michael awaited with candles, explaining that he and Fen had reconciled, that he had quit the D.A. job, and he was able to coax Lauren back into his bed. But later they fought when Michael realized that things were not back to normal. Lauren left, and ended up back at the athletic club in bed with Carmine. The next time Lauren returned home, Michael attempted to get her to talk and suggested seeing a counselor. When Lauren refused, Michael left, telling her that he was not going to put up with it anymore and was drawing up a legal separation document. Lauren then told Carmine that she loved her husband and didn’t want Carmine getting in the way, no texting, and no more rendezvous. Carmine begged her for one last night together, and Lauren relented.
Michael and Lauren were enjoying a romantic evening until Michael hugged her, and she had a flashback to Carmine and flinched, causing Michael to leave. Michael went to On the Boulevard where Carmine was bartending, and Carmine proceeded to get Michael drunk while texting Lauren. Barry, an old gambling friend of Billy's turned out to be the owner of the club, and Barry talked Michael, Billy, Adam, Mason, and Carmine into a poker game. Michael got more and more drunk, while Carmine taunted him about taking something else from him tonight if not money. Carmine left the game and went to Lauren's home. Lauren told Carmine to leave, that she had promised Fen she would save her marriage. Carmine walked out her door, narrowly missing Michael coming home.
Michael decided their reconciliation was not working and that he would move out. Fen accused him of giving up. Lauren left for On the Boulevard, where she laughed, flirted and made plans to go somewhere tropical with Carmine, while Michael wept at their apartment. Paul caught Lauren and Carmine talking together in her apartment, and he begged her to tell Michael that she was having an affair with Carmine and end it. Instead Lauren went to Lake Geneva with Carmine. When Michael overheard Carmine in the background of a phone call, and put together other clues, Michael finally became suspicious. Michael confronted Lauren who would not admit to having an affair, but said that no one would blame her if she did. Michael yelled at her and left.
Michael discovered the same Geneva Pines Inn matchbook at On the Boulevard that Lauren had, and called Carmine a son of a bitch. Michael confided in Phyllis, who told Michael to go home and fix things. Lauren finally admitted the affair with Carmine, called it a mistake, and wished that she could take it back. Michael said it could not be undone, and that she had broken his heart. Asked if Michael could forgive her, he said he did not know. Afterward Lauren told Carmen to stop calling and texting, that she never wanted to see him again. Michael overheard Lauren tell Carmine that there was no future for them, that she would always want Michael. After Lauren left, Michael attacked Carmine choking him until Kevin broke them apart. Michael went home to Lauren and told her that he was ready to try to forgive her. But when they kissed, Michael pictured Lauren kissing Carmine. In tears, Michael asked Lauren to just leave him alone, and moved out. When Carmine discovered that Michael had moved in to the athletic club, he went to Lauren, telling her that they could finally be together. Lauren again told Carmine that he was wrong, they had been just a fling, and it was over. As Carmine left, viewers saw him looking at a photo on his cell phone of Lauren in bed, and realized that Carmine had become obsessed with her.
Carmine began befriending Fen who was having tough time dealing with the part he played in his parent's breakup, and why he could not get Summer Newman to fall for him.
But after Michael had a heart to heart talk with his best friend Phyllis, he agreed to return to Lauren and give it a 30-day trial. Knowing they were back together again, Carmine then sent Lauren a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries as a reminder of their time together in Lake Geneva. Lauren returned them to him in person, and again told him it was over. When Michael got home, Lauren told him what had happened, and they agreed to be honest with each other. Meanwhile, Carmine was listening to his "new best friend" Fen wonder why his parents were so far apart, and spilled the truth, saying that Lauren just needed to come back to him instead. Unfortunately, viewers were not shown his response. Next, Fenmore graduated from high school and was given a new car by his parents. His grandmother Joanna and half-brother Scott attended, but were unseen by viewers.
With kids still bullying Fen, he ended up at a graduation party held by the kids that don't fit in, where he met a punked-out girl named Raven, and got high. The next morning, Michael found Fen passed out on their living room floor. Michael brought him around, and he lied that he had gone to a party with Summer. Fen told Michael that he got high because he saw no future for himself, and that he was always angry. Michael told him that he spent a good deal of his life like that himself, but that finally someone had loved him enough to pull him out of it, and he had changed because of Lauren.
Later Fen caught Carmine kissing Lauren, as Lauren tried to push him away. Fen pulled him off, and Lauren told Carmine to get out. Fen asked Lauren if they were having an affair, and she replied no, not anymore. But when Michael got home, Fen told him what he had seen, and Lauren explained to Michael that Carmine had just showed up and kissed her. Fen attacked Lauren for disrespecting his father by screwing around with some bartender, and wondered how Michael could even look at her since. Michael said he defended Lauren because she was his wife, he loved her, and that she deserved a chance to make things right. Fen asked, "Why bother?" and left. Fen went to Carmine and accused him of getting off by messing with people's families. Fen told him he saw through his friendship, in that he just wanted to get close to his mother. Fen left Carmine, saying he felt betrayed by everyone. Michael later accused Carmine of following them, and warned him to stay away from his wife and son, saying there was nothing he wouldn't do to protect his family.
Michael and Lauren decided to follow their therapist's advice and go on a first date at On the Boulevard. Lauren was shocked when Carmine sent over a bottle of champagne, thinking Michael had made sure that Carmine was not working. Dumping out the champagne, Michael explained that rather than get violent with Carmine, he had decided to convince him that they were happy together despite his presence.
On the thirtieth day Lauren begged for more time, but he said it was not necessary. Michael told Lauren that he loved her, tore up divorce papers, and they went to their room to re-consummate their marriage. The phone rang, and it was Carmine telling them that he was with Fen in the hospital. They kicked Carmine out of the room on their arrival. The doctor told them that Fen had ingested a powerful methamphetamine which had caused cardiovascular collapse. When Fen woke up, he told them Carmine was responsible. Michael went ballistic and pressured Paul to arrest Carmine. Michael was at the police station when Carmine was brought in for questioning. Carmine taunted Michael, and Paul had to hold Michael back from attacking Carmine. But Carmine's lawyer, Leslie Michaelson, got him off, explaining what really had happened, and pointed out that if Carmine wanted to hurt Fen he never would have called 911. Carmine smugly walked out, and went to Crimson Lights where he sat drooling over his laptop, watching the video of him and Lauren making love.
Carmine then sent the video to the GCBuzz website, and forwarded the link to Fen's phone. Fen was repulsed and showed it to Michael and Lauren. Michael threatened Buzz of GC Buzz, who replied, "Bring it on, dude." Afterward, Carmine taunted Michael, saying, "Seen any good videos lately?" But Kevin found out about it, and managed to hack into the site and take it down. Michael caught Carmine in the alley and held gun on him. Carmine just taunted him with, "You're not man enough, just like you weren't to satisfy your wife." Michael was about to shoot when Lauren interrupted, which Carmen interpreted as caring for himself to have saved his life. But Lauren set him straight, that she was only saving Michael from doing time for killing him. So Carmine called 9-1-1, and Paul had to arrest Michael for aggravated assault. Afterward, Billy fired Carmine for being a troublemaker.
Fen and Raven left Crimson Lights to get high, leaving Fen's cell phone behind. Then Lauren received a text from Fen asking her for help at a remote cabin. But when she arrived, she found only Carmine. Carmine got Lauren to agree to stay an hour, if he would drop the charges. But when Lauren resisted Carmine's advances and tried to leave, he took away her purse and locked the door. Carmine got rough with Lauren and tied her to a chair, so Lauren tried playing along that she really cared about him. Lauren tried to seduce him, claiming to have only returned to Michael for her son's sake. Lauren persuaded Carmine to let her loose, and stabbed him in the arm with a fork. Meanwhile at the GCPD, Kevin tracked Lauren's phone to the landfill. Fen turned up, explaining that he had lost his phone, so everyone realized that Carmine had used it to lure Lauren, but they were unable to track it because Fen had disabled the GPS. Kevin figured out that they were probably at the same remote cabin where Angelina had taken him. Kevin caused a distraction which allowed Michael to escape. Michael broke in the door of the cabin, finding Lauren gagged and tied to the bed with Carmine ready to rape her. Michael slugged Carmine who ran into wall and hit his head, knocking him out. Paul kicked in the door to find that Carmine had escaped while Michael was untying Lauren. The charges were dropped against Michael, and Fen promised to go straight, admitting to Michael and Lauren that Carmine did not buy him drugs. But Fen was later arrested when he was caught on camera stealing drugs from a cart when he went to the hospital to be with Summer, whose mother Phyllis was in a coma. Thanks to Paul and D.A. Christine, Fen was given no jail time if he went to rehab.
Lauren was upset to receive flowers from Carmine, and Michael was livid. Viewers saw a heavily-bearded Carmine holed up in a motel room obsessively watching the sex video. After Lauren received a phone call from Carmine, the police tracked it to the motel, but found "You can't erase me" scrawled on the wall and a video on a laptop of Carmine saying, "Nice try, counselor." Back in Paul's office, Michael threatened to kill Carmine, and Paul had to handcuff him to a chair to stop him from leaving.
Michael and Lauren went home and found their apartment filled with gas fumes. While Lauren opened windows, Michael shut off the stove, but he was knocked out by Carmine. Carmine grabbed Lauren, telling her that they were going to die together. Although the FBI claimed their investigation of Carmine's laptop proved that he was in Chicago, Kevin did more digging and found that Carmine had used an ATM in Genoa City. Paul arrived at the Baldwin's to find Lauren holding a gun on Carmine, and Michael begging her not to shoot. Carmine was taken into custody, and put back in jail. Carmine was charged with stalking, kidnapping, attempted rape, breaking and entering, and two counts of attempted murder. But he escaped custody during transport to the courthouse jail pending trial. While Michael and Lauren were being put under 24-hour police surveillance, Carmine was plotting to get to Lauren during her presentation as business woman of the year.
Fen got out of rehab on a pass to see his mother accept the award at the ceremony which was held at the athletic club. Carmine skulked around the sidelines, dressed as a cop. Gloria was the M.C. and announced a video of the highlights of Lauren's career, but the one of Lauren and Carmine in bed played instead. Fen ran out humiliated, and began kicking trash cans around in the back alley. Carmine went out to the alley and texted Lauren that he had Fen, so she snuck away to the alley. Carmine called Michael next, but Michael heard Carmine say, "No. Don’t", then heard a gunshot. Michael found a distraught Lauren standing over Carmine's dead body, Fenmore's sobriety chip and a gun on ground. Michael asked Lauren if she did it. She responded that she wished that she had. Michael, assuming that it had been Fen, shot the gun into a wall to take the rap for Fen. Detective Chavez showed up and arrested Michael, but he was suspicious of Michael and Lauren's answers and Michael's willingness to confess. Meanwhile Fen had been seen leaving the coffee house with Raven. Lauren hired Avery to represent Michael, but he was uncooperative, even after Paul confronted him about the bullet he had dug out of the wall. When Fen admitted to Lauren that he had been high and did not remember what had happened that night, she would not let him confess to free Michael. Michael was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but Fen broke into the sentencing hearing, and confessed to killing Carmine. No one believed him, and Michael was taken to Walworth prison. It was not long before someone recognized Michael as the D.A. who sent him to prison and Michael was beaten, suffering a black eye and broken ribs. Christine then arranged for him to be put in a more secure section of the prison.
Meanwhile, Fen met with Raven and bought a lot of drugs from her, then made sure that he was caught and arrested for possession with intent to sell. Fen confessed and was sentenced to 30 days in Walworth as well, somehow expecting that if he was in prison Michael would be able to admit that he was covering for Fen and be released. Running into his beaten father, they were both shocked to see each other. Michael told Fen how to stay out of harm's way, and not to admit that they even knew each other. An inmate named Womack began trying to befriend Fen in a threatening manner, offering him drugs once he found out what Fen's crime was. When Michael tried to intervene with the Warden for Fen, he was thrown in solitary confinement. Michael then offered to be put back into the general population and become an informant. But Christine and Paul worked behind the scenes getting Michael's conviction overturned and reopened the case. Michael protested being released and no longer there for Fen, but he was freed in time to show up at the Chancellor estate to surprise Lauren on Thanksgiving. Fen was released the following week after threats from Womack that he would not be out of his reach on the outside.
Studying the Basco murder evidence day and night, Paul pondered Fen's sobriety chip which had been found on Michael. Michael told Paul that Fen had given it to him when Fen was in rehab, but Fen said he had given it to Michael the night of Carmine's murder. After Paul got the test results from the suit that Fen had worn that night showing gun residue and Carmine's blood, a warrant was issued for Fen's arrest. Fen fled, but Summer helped Michael trick Fen into returning to the GCPD, where Michael claimed that Fen was turning himself in. Fen accepted a plea bargain and was to be sentenced by a judge. A cake iced to say "Forget Me Not" was left at the Baldwin's door. Lauren was sure it was from Carmine, but Fenmore admitted it was likely a reminder from Womack. Michael was convinced by Womack that it had not been from him.
While investigating the Basco murder to help Fen, Michael discovered that the crime scene photo had disappeared, body cremated, and the medical examiner had been on loan then went to work undercover for the FBI, so he called Ronan for help. Michael put it all together, and managed to track down Carmine in a dingy room in a nearby town. Carmine admitted that all the charges against him had been dropped to turn state's evidence to put a guy named Richard Womack away, and that the FBI had rescued him after Fen had shot him. He also admitted that he had been sending Lauren the gifts. With the threat of telling Womack who had testified against him, Michael coerced Carmine to make a video of Carmine holding that day's paper, admitting that he was still alive. Because Womack was due to be released on a technicality, Carmine said he was going on the run. Michael played the video for the judge, Christine dropped the murder charge, and Fen was released, and decided to straighten up and go to college. It turned out that Carmine had turned state's evidence against Womack, so the government had been protecting him, which was how he was able to escape and get away with everything. Once Womack was released from prison, the Baldwins were confident they would never hear from Carmine again or Womack would have him killed, even after Womack himself was later killed. Refusing to be forgotten, Lauren received a postcard from Carmine, addressed from Puerto Rico.
Months later, Lauren shocked Michael by telling him that she thought she might be pregnant, and then the test came out positive. Both were very apprehensive about restarting a family so late in life. Lauren admitted to Paul that feared she wouldn't love the baby if it were born damaged due to her age. Paul felt that it was a gift of life as a reward for all they had gone through. Michael rushed her to the emergency room when she nearly passed out, and tests showed she was not pregnant, just run down from lack of sleep and food.
Michael and Lauren's marriage was back on track, but Michael became unable to perform sexually, finding less and less time to relax and spend time with her due to his hectic law practice. So when Leslie resigned from Avery's firm, he and Avery decided that a partnership together might be the answer for them both. When it did not help his problem, Lauren became concerned, and Michael consulted a doctor about performance enhancement drugs which worked. But the doctor did some tests, and concerned about possible prostate diseases, he and asked Michael to have a biopsy. Afterward, Michael turned Lauren down for sex, and both she and Kevin began to wonder if Michael was having an affair. Michael did his best to dissuade them, and later asked his doctor to rush his tests.
Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Kevin got it out of him, and tried to persuade him to tell Lauren or Kevin would. Instead, Kevin showed up at Michael's consultation with a specialist where Michael found out that he had stage three prostate cancer, which had spread, but not yet to the lymph nodes. Michael zoned out at the options of radiation, hormone therapy, or surgery. He refused them because they destroy cancer and everything around it. Cautioned to start soon or it would spread, Michael chose to put it off until after the holidays.
After Michael showed up too late for his and Lauren's anniversary party, Kevin told them that if Michael did not tell Lauren what was going on, he would. So Michael told Lauren about his cancer. Lauren laughed, relieved that he was not having an affair as she feared, then she was enraged at him for keeping it from her, then scared. Michael broke down and raged, "Why me?" Lauren assured him that it was "us", that they would fight it together.
Lauren accompanied Michael to another doctor for a second opinion which was the same, and they began studying cancer treatments. Fen arrived home for Christmas and overheard them saying they would "do whatever they had to do to beat this". They brushed him off, so Fen went to Kevin and tricked him into telling him about Michael's cancer. Fen told them he had decided to forego his ski trip with Summer and Austin, and stay home to support his father. Christmas started out awkwardly, but ended up joyous as the family sang and danced together. Michael decided to live his life to the fullest, he quit representing Joe Clark, and told Dylan to make the most of what he have while he had it, don’t wait – get married now. Michael went through four doctors opinions and began having pain before Lauren was able to convince him to start the radiation and tell his friends. Phyllis overheard Michael mention his oncologist and guessed that he had cancer. Michael told her how he intended to fulfill his bucket list, and after hearing his concern of losing Lauren due to the side effects, she convinced him to fight for his life for her, his best friend, and for Lauren.
Valentines Day evening 2015, Genoa City was faced with several crises; a power outage in the entire city caused by a serious snowstorm, a fire on an upper floor of the Lakewood Towers, and the cave-in of The Underground bar leaving Victor, Nikki, Jack, and Phyllis trapped. A command post and triage were set up at Crimson Lights because they had a generator, with phones manned by Lauren and Michael. In the midst of that, they received word of the crash of a private jet near Chicago carrying Cane and Lily, Jill and Colin, Neil, Hilary, and Devon. One minute Lauren and Michael were just happy to be alive and together, and the next she was worrying about Jill. The transponder on the jet was sending out signals, but all they could do is wait for them to be found. Except for the pilot who died, hey were eventually all found only bruised but alive.
Michael was religiously undergoing radiation therapy, but still grousing about his fate, even accusing Lauren of looking for another man already when a handsome bartender was overly attentive to her.
Michael sent Lauren home with Cane from a fundraiser supposedly so he could get a client out of jail. Later, they found Michael in the hospital looking haggard and hooked up to an IV after having a bad reaction to the radiation. Cane guessed there was no client, that Michael was feeling bad, and did not want to jeopardize Lauren's business deal with Cane. Michael was still acting abnormally as he began hormone therapy. But when Sharon was charged with the murders of Austin Travers and Courtney Sloane, and Avery was unavailable, Michael took on her case.
Michael appeared to be his old self throwing himself into Sharon's defense, even arranged to move in with Sharon to comply with her bail stipulations. But after Michael missed an appointment with his oncologist, Lauren, telling him he looked like hell, accused him of burning the candle at both ends, and they fought in public at the athletic club. Jill cut thru the bull, asking him why he was pushing her away. Michael explained that he was still coming to terms with his cancer, needed his space, that Lauren was too focused on his illness, and stifling him. Michael sent Lauren to talk to Cane, thinking he could help her understand since he had gone through similar with Lily. Michael confronted Lauren to quit treating him like an invalid, and pitying him, shocking her when he asked for a separation.
Michael then hired a prostitute named Felicity, who stayed all night with him at the athletic club, apparently just listening to Michael talk about how much he wanted to make love to his wife, but feared that he could not, and he cried. Lily saw her leaving one of the rooms and had the occupant arrested for solicitation, not realizing it had been Michael. Lauren bailed him out, lamenting that he would apparently rather have sex with a stranger than her. Michael told Lauren that their marriage was over, that in doing so, he was sparing her years of disappointment and sorrow.
Fen returned from college unexpectedly and confronted his parents when he discovered they were living apart. Michael refused to change his stance and handed Lauren divorce papers. Lauren would not sign. Michael told her to end the pain and accept that he doesn't love her anymore. Lauren left, saying she wouldn't give up on them. Both of them wept on the other side of the door.
After pushing them together, Michael observed Lauren and Cane share a kiss. Michael told Lauren he had seen them, but did not blame her. Cane apologized to Michael, but Michael asked Cane to just make her happy. Cane refused, saying he loved his wife. Phyllis tried to reason with Michael, telling him he should be grateful for being alive. Asking him, "Do you think sex is all marriage is about?" she reminded him that his impotency might be temporary. When Lily found out about the kiss, she confronted and slapped Michael over trying to ruin her marriage to make Lauren happy. Afterward Michael slapped the divorce papers on the table and coerced Lauren into signing. Lauren walked away, saying she hoped Michael would not be happy, and in as much pain as she was with every memory of their past.