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‘I Put God and Family First’: Why Actor Neal McDonaugh Was Fired by ABC for Refusing to Do Sex Scenes

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In 2010 McDonaugh was fired from ABC’s series Scoundrels for refusing to do sex scenes with co-star Virginia Madsen and told Closer Weekly that, “After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot.”


For Christians trying to make a living in Hollywood, the road can be a difficult one and actor Neal McDonaugh is a prime example.

In 2010 McDonaugh was fired from ABC’s series Scoundrels for refusing to do sex scenes with co-star Virginia Madsen and told Closer Weekly that, “After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot.” 

He went on to state that the years following his firing were “Hard,” but thankfully his career took a turn and “has been phenomenal ever since.”

McDonaugh is a devout Catholic and told Closer, “I put God and family first, and me second. That’s what I live by.” For nearly thirty years McDonaugh has had a no sex scene policy and wouldn’t compromise on his rule during his time on the highly sexualized show Desperate Housewives.

“‘When (Desperate Housewives creator) Marc Cherry signed me, I said ‘I’m sure you know, but I won’t kiss anybody,’ He was like, ‘But this is Desperate Housewives!’ I said, ‘I know.’ He paused for five seconds and said, ‘Alright, I’m just going to have to write better.” And we had a great time.’”

As well as refusing to do sex scenes McDonaugh, who has been married for 16 years to South African model Ruvé Robertson, with whom he has five children, won’t kiss his co-stars either stating, “I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman.”

Yet, through thick and thin McDonaugh is very grateful for the life and career he’s had, “Almost 20 years, five kids and just one heck of an awesome life later, to have her as my partner in everything, I’m just the most blessed guy I know,” and the 57-year-old continued by saying, “That’s why I go to church every day and say ‘thank you’ to God for everything he’s given me.”