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Image: Howard Wise/JPI

After weeks of speculation, the actor finally broke his silence. 

Only days after The Young and the RestlessJason Thompson revealed (in a since-deleted tweet) that Michael Mealor would be exiting the show, Kyle’s portrayer has confirmed the news. “In true [Chancellor Communications] fashion, Uncle Billy broke the news first,” the actor said in posts on both Twitter and Instagram “My time as we know it on The Young and the Restless is coming to a close. The last three and a half years [have] been a truly humbling and life-changing experience. I wouldn’t have been here this long without the love and support y’all have shown me throughout every inch of this ride.

More: Hunter King out as Summer, too?

“From appearing on national TV in my ‘birthday suit’ to digging up graves for DNA fragments, every engagement and every heartbreak, whether you were #Kola or #Skyle, y’all were along for the roller coaster,” he continued before thanking everyone involved with the show for “trusting me with this incredible character. Thank you for allowing me to be your Kyle Abbott. So much love to each and every one of you!”

 

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Reactions from both fans and castmates immediately began flooding the actor’s timeline. “I love you so much and had so much fun working with you,” wrote Eileen Davidson (aka Kyle’s aunt, Ashley). “You’re an incredible man and actor, and magnificent things await you.”

Thompson, referring to his earlier slip-of-the-tweet, said, “Billy is always working the angles! You’re an absolute gem, Michael. I enjoyed every single scene we did together. It was always fun. We always looked for ways to drive the story and did our best to make it pop. You’re a pro. Forever a gentleman, an incredibly kind and giving actor. I will miss Kyle, but I really miss you, brother.”

No word yet on exactly when Mealor will exit or whether the part will be recast. However, given that Kyle’s love interest Summer recently left for Italy — with portrayer Hunter King also rumored to have exited — it seems likely that the formerly engaged characters might perhaps get a happily ever after in Italy.

More: Give Summer/Kyle the happy ending they deserve!

What do you think of this news, Young & Restless fans? Do you believe Kyle and Summer will get a happy ending, or will they remain star-crossed lovers right to the end? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, then check out the photo gallery below of other stars who’ve left or are leaving the CBS soap.