Maitland Ward: I felt like Dylan Neal was ‘cutting my hair’ in The Bold and the Beautiful

Maitland Ward admits that as a teenager in the mid-1990s she was “so smitten” with her “Beauty and the Beautiful” co-star Dylan Neal, a man seven years her senior.

But the actress, now 45, claims to Page Six in an exclusive new interview that she believes her once relentless fixation on winning Neil’s approval was actually by his design.

“Looking back now, it was kind of a good situation,” she claims. “And it’s not necessarily that he’ll ever have sex with me or anything — but that he’ll do things that lead me to become very attached to him and only him.”

Ward clarifies that she “didn’t see that” at the time.

“I thought it was like, ‘Oh, he really likes me, he thinks I’m great.’ He was a very pushy, pushy guy,” she claimed. “He would lure me in and we’d do fun things together, and then he’d push me away and say, ‘What are you doing?’ Why are you like this?'”

Maitland Ward poses in front of a fireplace
Maitland Ward reflects on her relationship with former The Bold and the Beautiful co-star Dylann Neal in an exclusive interview with Page Six.
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The new author describes her experience with Neal, now 52, ​​in her memoir, Rated X: How Porn Freed Me from Hollywood.

After securing the role of Jessica Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful at the age of 16, Neil, then 24 – who played heartthrob Dylan Shaw – immediately charmed her with his charisma and good looks. While their characters embarked on a forbidden romance on camera, Ward found herself in a more complicated dynamic with Neal behind the scenes.

“It was such a weird relationship and it was my first time in Hollywood. I got the show on my second audition and he was older than me, but he came off like he just wanted to be this big brother figure — but in an inappropriate way that I look back on now,” Ward told Page Six.

“And then I didn’t realize it. I always thought there was something weird about me or I was bad.

Maitland Ward and Dylan Neal pose for "Brave and handsome" promo photo
Ward, who played Jessica Forrester, and Neal, who played Dylan Shaw, began working together on the soap opera in the mid-1990s – when Ward was 16 and Neal was 24.
©CBS/Courtesy of Everett Collectio

The Boy Meets World alum – who has found success as an adult film actress in recent years – claims that Neil “punished me a lot if I ever crossed any lines” and “wanted to be a guide for me in my career.”

As described in Rated X, Neill – who was dating his now-wife Becky Southwell at the time – allegedly went so far as to suggest how Ward should appear when her character loses her virginity in the soap opera.

“Dylan took my virginity on screen … and it was something he talked about — no, more like a constant brag — and was proud of,” she wrote in the book.

“Big day,” he said with a smile as I walked into the set where it would happen—his college dorm room, after a party where we’d both get caught up in something we shouldn’t be doing. He kept commenting on my hair and makeup, how I was too made up and didn’t look cute or innocent enough. “It’s her first time; you don’t want it to look like it’s moving around.


Ward describes her experiences on The Bold and the Beautiful in her memoir, Rated X: How Porn Freed Me from Hollywood.

Vixen Media Group

Maitland Ward signs copies of "Rated X: How Porn Freed Me From Hollywood"

Ward describes her experiences on The Bold and the Beautiful in her memoir, Rated X: How Porn Freed Me from Hollywood.

Getty Images

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The makeup artist pulled Ward aside to ask her how she felt about potential changes. While the ingénue appreciated that her bright lipstick made her feel “feminine”, she went along with Neil’s concerns and adopted a toned-down look for the crucial scene.

“They changed me to make me more comfortable, which made Dylan more comfortable instead,” she wrote.

To Ward’s surprise, her mother and father—staunch Christians from the suburbs of Long Beach, California—were surprisingly at ease with Neal’s growing influence in their daughter’s life.

“My parents were fine with him. He was always respectful and dropped me off on time – although they never demanded a strict curfew if I was with him,” she wrote. “I was surprised how much they trusted him. My parents rarely trusted their daughter with anyone, especially boys.

Ward’s mother once told her that she “[didn’t] she had to worry about her daughter being alone in Hollywood while Neil was around.

Maitland Ward, Dylan Neal and Monica Schnare pose for "Brave and handsome" promo shot
Ward, pictured here with Neill and their co-star Monica Schnare, says she wasn’t “emotionally prepared” for some of what she experienced on set.
©CBS/Courtesy of Everett Collectio

But mom and dad didn’t know the full extent of the couple’s relationship, Ward tells Page Six.

“I suppose he would be very reprimanded for anything I did. [He was a] driven by the reward and punishment type of person at that time. I wasn’t emotionally ready for it at all,” she claims.

“I was new to Hollywood and I was like, ‘Wow, this sexy coworker of mine,’ and I was so fascinated by this whole fairytale idea of ​​it all. He really played into it because I was so young. I don’t know why he didn’t recognize that.

Ward felt “mixed signals” from Neil amid allegedly heady romantic interactions. She was terribly confused by the fluctuations of praise and blame.

“He really got away from me, I just adored him and the more he pulled me and lured me, we did very suggestive things,” she claimed. “It was definitely not a platonic situation there. But then he pushed me away and was very dark with me. So I relied a lot on his mood during work.”

Dylan Neal poses outside
Ward says that as a teenager she was “bewitched” by her “sexy co-star” Neal, now 52.
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Ward writes in his tome that it was during a press interview that a wake-up call came that Neal responded to.

“Dylan once attended an interview I had with one of the soap magazines. He helped me answer all the questions, which I thought was sweet, but the journalist later said how uncomfortable he felt that I had to sit there under Dylan’s watch while he gave what should have been my answers.” she recalls.

“It’s like he thinks he’s controlling your mind and your thoughts,” the journalist said, and it shook me how disturbed he was.’

Shortly thereafter, Ward realized that Neal was “responsible for my every move,” she wrote. “Good or bad, they were his. And I gave him this power to make him like me more.

The return of Neal’s girlfriend, Southwell, who was on an extended educational leave in Japan, made it easier for Ward to distance herself from him.

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

Ward eventually left The Bold and the Beautiful in 1996 — the same year Neil married Southwell. (The couple, who share two children, are still married.)

“The show ended and he got married and we never spoke. I remember seeing it…right before I got Boy Meets World. I saw him at an audition and he acted like he didn’t know me, really,” she tells Page Six. “And I haven’t spoken to him since.”

Ward, who married Los Angeles real estate agent Terry Baxter in 2006, hasn’t reconnected with Neil since the release of “Rated X” — but she wonders if she’ll hear from him soon.

“Actually, I have a lot of questions for him. Especially at this time because he would be great. For example, he used to go to my school plays and take me places. We went on a motorcycle ride together, which was quite romantic, and then he pushed me away at the end, which made me feel weird,” she claimed.

Maitland Ward looks off into the distance
“I just think he liked being the hero for me,” Ward says of Neal.
Vixen Media Group

“It was like I wanted to get into this thing that we were doing, but then I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s rejecting me. He doesn’t like me or something. It was just an interesting situation that, I don’t know, I just think he liked him being the hero for me.

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

Rated X: How Porn Freed Me from Hollywood is in stores now.


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