First, we heard reports that Jay Kenneth Johnson cleared out his dressing room and quit Days of Our Lives amidst heated contract negotiations. Next, we heard that the show was auditioning actors to replace him as Philip. Finally, it was reported that he had returned and resigned with the show. So what’s the real story? went straight to the source and got Jay Kenneth Johnson’s first response to the situation.

It seems the reports that Jay resigned with the show are correct as he told us, “First of all, I AM still working at DOOL, and very happy to be there. I look forward to the upcoming stories that are planned.”

Sadly, the same can’t be said for a few of his co-stars including heavy hitters, Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) who are slated to be leaving the NBC soap in early 2009. In regards to all the upheaval on the show, as well as on daytime in general, Jay stated, “As you know, the show has made some cutbacks, but Gary Tomlin (Days’ Co-Executive Producer) is doing a great job, dealing with ‘uncharted’ territory, so to speak.

“Soaps in general, have never been in this position…. having to make cutbacks, etc, etc. The actors, producers, and the entire crew are all affected somehow, and we’re doing the best we can, and learning as we go.”

So he’s back and looking forward to the future of Philip Kiriakis, but what about the rumor that started this whole thing? As he shared, “Regarding the whole, ‘clearing out my dressing room’, story…totally blown out of proportion. I don’t feel the need to get into specifics, but I was unhappy with how the story was reported.” is happy to know that Jay will continue to portray the always intriguing Philip Kiriakis and hope to see him and Days of our Lives on the small screen for a long time to come.