Maitland Ward: Felt like Dylan Neal was ‘grooming’ me on ‘Bold and the Beautiful’

Maitland Ward has admitted that as a teenager in the mid-1990s, she was “very fascinated” by her “Bold and the Beautiful” co-star Dylan Neal, who is seven years her senior.

However, the now 45-year-old actress believes in an exclusive new interview that her once innocent obsession with gaining Neil’s approval was in fact of his intent.

“Looking back on it now, it was kind of a grooming situation,” she claims.

Ward elaborates that he “didn’t see it” at the time.

“Oh, he really likes me and thinks I’m so awesome,” she thought. and we were having fun together, but he pushed me away and said, ‘What are you doing? Why do you guys like this?'”

Maitland Ward poses in front of the fireplace
Maitland Ward reflects on her relationship with former “Bold and the Beautiful” co-star Dylan Neal in an exclusive interview with Page Six.
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In her memoir, the new author details her experiences with Neil, now 52. “Rated X: How porn got me out of Hollywood”

After winning the role of Jessica Forrester in “The Bold and the Beautiful” at the age of 16, the then 24-year-old Neil quickly won over her with his charisma and good looks. While their characters embarked on a forbidden romance on camera, Ward allegedly found himself in a more complicated dynamic with Neil behind the scenes.

“It was a very strange relationship and it was my first time in Hollywood. I got the show on my second audition. But in an inappropriate way, I’m looking back now.

“And I didn’t realize it then. I always thought there was something wrong with me or I was wrong.”

Maitland Ward and Dylan Neal posing "bold and beautiful" Promotional photo
Ward, who played Jessica Forrester, and Neil, who played Dylan Shaw, began working on a soap opera together in the mid-1990s, when Ward was 16 and Neil was 24.
© CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

of “Boy Meets World” Alum —who, in recent years, successful as an adult film actress — Neil claimed he was “very punished if I somehow stepped out of line” and “wanted to be a guide in my career.”

As portrayed in “Rated X,” Neil, who was dating his wife Becky Southwell at the time, went as far as suggesting what Ward should look like when her character loses her virginity on a soap opera. It is said that he went

“Dylan took my onscreen virginity…and that was what he talked about.

“‘Big day,’ he said with a smile. When I walked onto the set, in his college dorm room, after a party, we got caught up in the unthinkable.” continued to comment on her hair and makeup, it’s her first time, and you don’t want to look like she’s around.

In her memoir, Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me from Hollywood, Ward details her experiences with “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Vixen Media Group

Copy of Maitland Ward Signature "Rating X: How porn got me out of Hollywood"

In her memoir, Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me from Hollywood, Ward details her experiences with “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Getty Images


“I can’t wait to get rich enough. Forget it…

The make-up artist pulled Ward aside and asked how he felt about the potential for change. Ingenuity appreciated that her bright lipstick made her feel “feminine”, but she acknowledged Neil’s concerns and embraced her toned-down look for important scenes.

“They changed me so I was more comfortable and Dylan was more comfortable in return,” she wrote.

To Ward’s surprise, her mother and father were staunch Christians from a suburb of Long Beach, California. — was surprisingly reassured by Neil’s growing influence in her daughter’s life.

“My parents were happy with him. He was always respectful and dropped me off on time — they never demanded a strict curfew if I was with him.” “I was amazed at how much they trusted him. My parents rarely trusted their daughters, especially boys.”

Ward’s mother once told her:[didn’t] As long as Neil is around, we have to worry about “her daughter waking up alone in Hollywood.”

Maitland Ward, Dylan Neal and Monica Schnare pose "bold and beautiful" Promotional shot
Ward, who is pictured here with Neal and her castmate Monica Schnare, says she was “emotionally unprepared” for some of what she experienced on set.
© CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

But mom and dad didn’t know the full story of the pair’s relationship, Ward told Page Six.

“I think he was very reprimanding for whatever I did. [He was a] The reward-and-punishment-driven kind of person at the time. I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that at all,” she claims.

“I just stepped into Hollywood and was like, ‘Wow, this is my sexy co-star,’ and I fell in love with all this fairytale ideas. I was so young. So he really got into it, and I don’t know why he didn’t recognize it.”

Ward sensed a “mixed signal” from Neil during the intoxicating romantic exchange.

“He was really offended by me just admiring him, pulling me in, seducing me, and we did some very provocative things,” she claims. It wasn’t a platonic situation, but he pushed me away and was very moody with me, so I relied a lot on working with his mood.”

Dylan Neal poses outside
As a teenager, Ward says he was “fascinated” by his “sexy co-star,” Neil, now 52.
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Ward writes in her book that the wake-up call came during a press conference that Neil broke into.

“One time, Dylan was in an interview with me for a soap magazine. He helped me answer all the questions, which I thought was cute, but the journalist Later, I said how uncomfortable I felt having to sit under Dylan’s watch over what I was supposed to answer.

“It’s like you think he’s in control of your mind and thoughts,” said the journalist, and I shuddered at how upset he was.

Shortly afterward, Ward realized that Neil was “responsible for my every move,” she wrote. I gave him that power to love me more.”

The return of Neil’s girlfriend Southwell to Japan makes it easier for Ward to distance himself from him.

Maitland Ward posing for a headshot
Ward left the traditional world of acting to pursue a successful career in the adult film industry.
Vixen Media Group

Ward eventually left ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ in 1996. That same year, Neil tied the knot with Southwell. (The couple, who have two children, are still married.)

“The show ended and he ended up getting married and we didn’t talk. I remember meeting him… right before we got ‘Boy Meets World.’ I saw him at an audition and he pretended he didn’t really know me,” she told Page Six. “I haven’t spoken to him since.”

Ward, who Married Los Angeles real estate agent Terry Baxter. has not been in contact with Neil since releasing “Rated X” in 2006.

“I actually have a lot of questions for him, especially at the time, because he would be great. It’s like, he went to my school play and took me to places. Very romantic.” We rode together on the bike and at the end he pushed me away and it felt weird,” she says.

Maitland ward looking into the distance
“I think he liked that he was a hero to me,” Ward said of Neil.
Vixen Media Group

“I kind of wanted to fall for this thing we were doing, but then I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s rejecting me. He doesn’t like me or anything like that. I don’t know if he liked being my hero, but it was an interesting situation.”

A representative for Neal did not immediately respond to Page 6’s request for comment.

“Rated X: How Porn Got Me Out of Hollywood” is now in stores.

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