Michelle Stafford Celebrates Hunter King and Michael Mealor As They Exit ‘The Young and the Restless’

Michelle Stafford, Phyllis Summers, Michael Mealor, Kyle Abbott, Hunter King, Summer Newman, The Young and the Restless
Howard Wise/JPI Studios | Michelle Stafford, Michael Mealor, Hunter King ("The Young and the Restless")

Now that their characters have decided to stay in Milan, Italy in order to build a life together, cast members from “The Young and the Restless” are publicly speaking out about the exits of Hunter King (Summer Newman) and Michael Mealor (Kyle Abbott) as they wish the actors well in their next adventures. 

On Instagram, King’s on-screen mother Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers) posted separate photos of herself with King and Mealor in what appears to be an early evening celebratory event that was attended by the likes of Peter Bergman, who plays Mealor’s on-screen father, Jack Abbott, and Elizabeth Leiner (Tara Locke), among others. Stafford captioned the post, saying, “It’s a little love for @hunterking and @michael.mealor I love them both SO much!! I will miss them.” She added, “I want so badly for them to jump and follow their dreams and really make it happen. I believe in them completely. They are Super Stars!! I have said that from day one. Maybe they can ‘stop by’ here and there. I love you guys! Go get um!!!” 

Stafford’s comments are in direct contrast to her character’s response to the news of Summer’s plan to remain abroad — Phyllis was devastated and nearly inconsolable after all the work she did in trying to get her daughter to come back to Genoa City.

“Miss you!!!” responded Mealor to Stafford’s post, closing with the “heart” emoji.

“They are the best!! @hunterking and @michael.mealor Love you guys, I will miss you so much. The sky’s the limit!!” shared Tracey Bregman (Lauren Fenmore) also in response to Stafford’s. She used the “diamond hands” and the “heart” emojis to close out her comment.

Hunter King, Summer Newman, Michael Mealor, Kyle Abbott, The Young and the Restless
Howard Wise/JPI Studios | Hunter King, Michael Mealor (“The Young and the Restless”)

​​On the Monday, August 9 episode, Summer and Kyle have a heart-to-heart with their parents – Nicholas and Phyllis (Joshua Morrow and Stafford) for Summer; Jack (Bergman) for Kyle. Considering they’re thousands of miles away, it was a virtual chat as the young couple explained their plans to live their lives in Milan, Italy, now that Summer has grown to love her new job regardless of how it came about, and Kyle said he was prepared to handle things at Jabot remotely. In fact, the two plan to raise Harrison (Kellen Enriquez), Kyle’s child with Tara, with them in Italy should Ashland Locke (Richard Burgi) allow it now that Tara is in jail for embezzlement. However, to be clear, Tara has yet to be convicted of the crime, and as far as they know, Ashland’s health prognosis isn’t looking too good, which gives credence to their future housing plans for Harrison.

Producers at “The Young and the Restless” have yet to comment on the status of either King or Mealor, nor have they stated anything directly about how their character’s storyline has been unfolding on air even though for all intents and purposes this is goodbye for the characters.

News of the actor’s exit from “Y&R” first came to light in early July when Soap Opera Digest reported that “protracted negotiations over King and Mealor’s contracts reached a stalemate.” Only Mealor has confirmed his exit from the series, saying, “The last three and a half years has been a truly humbling and life changing experience. I wouldn’t have been here this long without your love!”

King has remained mum on the matter, only posting about her travels and spending time with her sister, Joey, who stars in the third and final installment in “The Kissing Booth” franchise for Netflix which dropped early this morning on the streaming service.

Check out the photos from Stafford’s Instagram post below. 

Watch the trailer for “The Kissing Booth 3” below.