Laurel Banning was desperate. The tuition bill for her daughter, Lily
Benton’s, special school for children with autism was due. She needed
money, a lot of it, and fast. Laurel was one of her many assumed identities
that she has created not only to embezzle money for her daughter, but
to escape her abusive ex-husband, Denny Benton.
Laurel began working at the Mason Foundation. She became good friends
with the foundation’s chair, Natalie Dillon. It pained Laurel to
lie to her, but she needed the money. When she learned her deception was
about to be uncovered, Laurel went on the run. In hot pursuit, Natalie
got in a fatal car accident.
Denny found Laurel and confronted his runaway wife. Laurel and Denny got
in a heated confrontation over Lily. When Laurel told Denny that Lily
was not his child, he attacked her again. She grabbed a bookend and implanted
a fatal blow. Jackson Montgomery discovered Laurel looming over Denny’s
dead body. Jackson helped Laurel dispose of the body. They then went on
the run until Jackson could exonerate her. A surprise witness testified
that Laurel acted in self-defense. Laurel thought she loved Jackson. After
they married, he adopted Lily.
1996: Jackson paid a special visit to Lily at school.
Laurel had been shot dead by a drunk Jason Sheffield on the set of the
2003: Lily fell ill at school. Lily struggled to tell
her father how she was feeling. The school wanted to keep Lily there to
help her recover.
Lily asked Jack if she could be mainstreamed into public high school.
Jack reluctantly agreed, and she moved into his apartment with new brother,
Reggie Montgomery. But Lily was not ready to meet Erica on one of her
drunken stupors. Lily panicked when Erica approached her. The event was
the catalyst that brought on her intervention.
In high school, Lily fell victim to a cruel practical joke from a group
of girls who wanted to make fun of her fragile state of mind. Reggie was
very protective of Lily, getting him in trouble at school. Reggie needed
to convince Lily that those girls were not her friends. Lily also began
a friendship with the much older Aidan Devane. Aidan wanted to help Lily
acclimate to large crowds. His calm words and patients made him someone
Lily could trust.
Lily was heartbroken after witnessing Aidan kiss Anita Santos. She ran
away to the Wildwind bar to hideout. Only, Jonathan Lavery was there to
murder Edmund Grey. After witnessing the murder, Lily fell into a shocked
state. Aidan blamed himself for putting Lily in harms way. He helped Lily
calm down long enough to exonerate Zach Slater for Edmund’s murder.
Greenlee was going to take Lily into hiding when Jonathan tracked them
down. Trapped in a cave, Jonathan admitted to his crime. Ryan Lavery was
able to rescue the girls before the cave exploded. Lily hid in an emptied
out tree bark. She was discovered by Sam Grey, Edmund’s son.
Sam and Lily bonded over her trauma. Though Sam was sensitive to Lily’s
needs, he was also prone to acting out. Sam was Lily’s first kiss.
After taking a few beers from a college party, Sam lashed out at Lily.
Though they would come to terms with the incident, their relationship
was never the same.
Ryan returned to Pine Valley with Jonathan. Jonathan had undergone brain
surgery to remove a behavior altering tumor that caused his rage. Though
everyone was still weary of Jonathan, Lily saw something had changed.
Jack worried about Lily’s blossoming relationship with Jonathan.
When he caught them together at the Mardi Gras Ball, Jack decided to send
Lily back to Boarding School. Lily ran away to New York City, and eloped
Jack wanted to prove Lily was incompetent in court to annul the marriage.
Jonathan saw how traumatic the situation was. He reveled to Jack that
he was no longer of a child-like state of mind. He agreed to reveal himself
to Lily, if Jack dropped his suit.
Bianca returned to Pine Valley and moved in with Jack. Jack also gained
guardianship of his nephew, Sean Montgomery. Sean told Jack about how
Barbara had been having problems since Travis’ death. She was now
gallivanting about Europe, leaving Sean alone in Seattle.
Erica learned Josh Madden was her son from her first marriage to Dr. Jeff
Martin. Jeff came back to Pine Valley to be with his son. Erica moved
out of their home and into the Valley Inn where Jeff was also staying.
Jackson turned to old friend Brooke for support. Erica misconstrued their
friendship for an affair.
Lily met her half-sister, Ava Benton, after Aidan found her on the streets.
Jack welcomed Ava into the Montgomery home. Ava was very different from
Lily. She had a chip on her shoulders from Denny’s abandonment.
Ava posed as Lily to get a glimpse into her life of privilege.
Ava wanted to be a model. Kendall had wanted Lily to become FUSION’s
new spokesmodel. But all the flashing lights and touching by hair and
makeup proved too much for Lily. Ava stepped in for Lily. At first Kendall
was hesitant, but she eventually gave her the job. Lily instead began
working as Zach’s assistant at Cambias Industries.
Jack threw Ava out of the house after she planted drugs on Sean Montgomery,
Lily’s cousin. Ava began a relationship with Jonathan. Lily gave
Ava her blessing. Soon, they were engaged to marry.
Lily was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before
leaving for school she told her father she was worried about his wellbeing
since so many of their family members had moved away from Pine Valley.
Greenlee assured her sister that she would help to keep their father happy
while she was away.