|Beyond the Horizon|
|Portrayed by||Kerry Butler|
|Current status||Contract Regular|
|First appearance||November 5, 2007|
|Created by||David Evan Smith|
|Occupation|| Recording artist for Upstart Talent Agency|
Hostess at The Redeye
Crystal Halperin seeks security more than anything. Just recently reeling from the death of her father in what appeared to be his attempt to abandon the family, Crystal clung that much tighter to her longtime boyfriend Rodney Applewhite. But Rod's all-consuming investigation into his father's young boy toy Christian Avery Field has Crystal feeling left out in the cold once again.
Idyllic vs. UnexpectedEdit
Crystal always grew up knowing where she stood in life. Or so she thought. Crystal was always a loving daughter, a protective big sister, and for years she dated her college sweetheart, Rodney Applewhite. They even lived only a few short blocks apart! Crystal's tidy, squeaky clean life started to come apart, however, when her father Charles Halperin died in October 2007.
Charles Halperin worked for international conglomerate Von Stadt International, as a close, trusted employee to CEO Henry Von Stadt. Charles and his devoted wife Eleanor co-owned The Redeye, a hotspot restaurant for any high-level business luncheon in midtown Manhattan, and Large Bar, in downtown Chelsea, which catered to a trendy gay clientele. Eleanor oversaw and operated the businesses, while Charles brought in the bulk of the family income from his high-placed position at VSI. For the Halperin women, the world as they knew it ground to a screeching halt when Charles was found dead, in his car, appearing as though he died in a tragic car accident while abandoning his family. Eleanor, Crystal, and youngest Rebecca didn't know what to make of this news, as it made no sense for their loving, happy father to have a car packed full of his belongings as if he never planned to see his girls again.
Crystal relied heavily on boyfriend Rod as she grieved for a father she wasn't sure she really knew at all in light of how he died. Rod could identify, as it was nearly a year since his father Terrence came out of the closet to his wife of over 30 years, Emma, making the Applewhite family's whole life together look like a lie. Luckily the Applewhites healed (though Emma skipped town under a cloud of humiliation), but Crystal wasn't so sure her family could rebound from this tragedy. Crystal's mother started to drink more to drown her grief, and Rebecca, the youngest of the Halperin women proved the most mature and became the rock of the family, as long as her boyfriend Thomas Baldwin was there for her.
Inheritance with a CaveatEdit
When Charles Halperin's will was read, Crystal was surprised that her inheritance was left in a trust until Crystal was ready to marry Rod and start a family. She hadn't thought much about that yet in her young life, but it soon became clear Rod wasn't looking to build his future just yet. Rod became distracted by his father's much-younger lover, Christian Avery Field, of whom Rod was certain intended to use Terrence for his influence in the theatre community to make a name for himself in show business!
Rod transferred from his bartending job at The Redeye to a managing job at Large Bar, to keep an eye on Christian and get to know him better. Rod was furious on New Years Eve when Terrence announced Christian would star as the lead in 2008's new production of Angels in America! Rod was certain this was the next step in Christian's plan to achieve stardom, and Rod redoubled his efforts to protect his father.
Consumed by ChristianEdit
Rod's hiring of a private investigator Rachel Marks, led Crystal to suspect Rod and Rachel were having an affair, unaware Rachel was working to get the goods on Christian for Rod. On Valentine's Day, Rod learned Christian and Terrence were headed to the Applewhite cabin for some snowbound romance, so Rod whisked Crystal up to the cabin to beat his father to the punch and nix their plans for the romantic getaway. Christian and Terrence ended up stranded on the road in a snowstorm before making it to the cabin, so they enjoyed the romance of it anyway, but when they made it to the cabin they walked in on Rod having sex with Crystal, with Rod mistakenly shouting out Christian's name in the heat of passion!
Crystal became concerned with Rod's growing obsession with his father's romance and the growing distance between them as a result. Terrence and Christian only grew closer, since they were living together and working together on Angels in America. Before operating hours at Large Bar, Christian and Rod were taken hostage by two masked gunmen who were in search of something in particular. Though terrified, when Christian and Rod tried to get the jump on the gunmen, Rod was accidentally shot, and the gunmen fled in a panic.
The shooting did bond Rod and Christian, and as Rod recovered he started to give Christian the benefit of the doubt about Christian's love for Terrence. The new non-hostile connection between Rod and Christian left Crystal feeling unsettled and excluded. As time went on, Rod began to trust Christian's love for Terrence more and more, and Terrence got past the lingering insecurities he had about being with the much-younger man. Rod also became much more comfortable working in the middle of the gay nightlife scene, working shirtless, doing on-stage stripteases during karaoke performances, and enjoying after hours talks with Christian late into the night, all of which worried Crystal, who felt her boyfriend gradually slipping away from her.
Desperate to recapture Rod's attention away from Christian, Crystal sabotaged some condoms and seduced Rod, hoping to become pregnant with his child. Her efforts didn't pan out, and she felt so guilty over her deceit she didn't attempt it again.
Terrence Applewhite couldn't shake what appeared to be a common cold, but a standard check-up at the hospital revealed Terrence had been living with AIDS for years, and been completely asymptomatic up until now. But since the virus had so much time in Terrence's system, his doctor revealed he now only had months left to live. Terrence struggled with his diagnosis and how to tell Christian and his children. Christian was the first to uncover the truth and was devastated. Terrence was relieved, however, when Christian tested negative for HIV. Rod and Fiona Applewhite both took the news particularly hard, and reacted in their own ways, Fiona clinging to Terrence tightly, Rod distancing himself from his father. Christian refused to abandon Terrence, the man he loved.
As Terrence had to accept the short time he had left, he resolved to make the most of it, and asked Christian to marry him. Fiona graciously congratulated her father, but Rod still struggled with his father's mortality, and couldn't see himself attending a wedding between his father and Christian. Terrence and Christian planned to marry in Canada, where their union would be legal, and ultimately Rod attended the wedding to support his father, at Fiona's urging. Crystal, unfortunately, had to stay behind to oversee the operations of The Redeye and Large Bar, while Rod, her mother, and sister attended the wedding. Left to her own devices, Crystal expressed herself through song at karaoke night, and feeling like she needed more for herself, some dream of her own to work towards, Crystal was highly receptive to Trevor Allen, a talent manager who took immediate interest in her singing.
Upon the wedding party's return to New York, Terrence's condition rapidly deteriorated, and Terrence lived out his last days surrounded by his children, Christian, and his friends before finally succumbing to AIDS in September 2008. Rod had been distancing himself from Crystal as his father continued to slip away, and Crystal took comfort in her work with Trevor Allen, who insisted she had star potential.
Grief Sex & Unplanned PregnancyEdit
Terrence's death, though not a surprise, still sent shockwaves through his family and nearly broke Rodney. Rod pushed Crystal and everyone away in his grief, but after Terrence's funeral Christian was able to get Rod to admit to his pain. In deep mourning, and desperate to connect to some part of Terrence that he left behind in each of them, Rod and Christian's complex emotions exploded in unexpected, passionate love-making! While Rod and Christian hit the sheets, Crystal took a pregnancy test, and it was positive! This time Crystal was expecting!
Christian was wracked with guilt over what he felt was a betrayal of Terrence's memory, while Rod felt curious about his new emotions and wanted to continue to explore what it all meant. Christian wanted to leave town to try to escape his pain over Terrence's death and what happened with Rod, but Rod convinced Christian to at least stay for the will reading. In Terrence's will, he left Christian the brownstone, to make sure Christian had a real home, and made Rod and Christian equal partners in Terrence's production company, hoping they'd collaborate on future projects together since they'd been getting along better in Terrence's final months!
Christian wanted nothing from Terrence's estate and convinced his foster brother Dominic to run away with him, which took them on a road trip to uncover their biological roots! Meanwhile, Fiona discovered Crystal was pregnant! Before Crystal could tell Rod the truth about her pregnancy, Rod broke Crystal's heart by confessing to "kissing" Christian, and wanting to explore his feelings for him. Crystal exploded, and privately vowed not to allow Rod to be a part of his child's life. Crystal turned to Trevor Allen, who'd been working with her as her talent manager as Crystal wanted to jumpstart a singing career, and begged him to claim paternity of Crystal's baby. Feeling sympathy for Crystal's situation, and hoping to access Crystal's hefty inheritance after a wedding, Trevor agreed to help her by crafting an elaborate story about their affair and conception of the baby.
Christian and Dominic broke into a records office in search of their old files from foster care, hoping there would be clues about their births. A fire broke out, which hospitalized Christian, but not before learning that Evan Royale, the attorney that Fiona works for, and representation for Von Stadt International, may hold the key to the truth about Christian and Dom's backgrounds. Rod shocked Christian by arriving at the hospital, and convinced Christian to return to New York and take their exploration of their feelings for each other one day at a time, while Rod vowed to help Christian uncover his roots.
As soon as Rod learned of Crystal's pregnancy, he was certain the child was his and didn't believe Trevor Allen's lies for a moment. Crystal, still reeling with heartbreak over Rod's betrayal, stuck to her story and rushed to marry Trevor by New Years 2009! At Trevor and Crystal's engagement party, Trevor overheard a conversation that implicated Christian's foster brother Dominic as one of the gunmen that had been involved in Rod's shooting months earlier! Pressing for more details, Trevor uncovered it was true, and held onto the information, planning to share it with Crystal at a time it would most help her in her battle against Rod over their unborn child.
Rod had hired attorney Evan Royale to bring a paternity suit against Crystal, while hoping to get close enough to obtain the sealed records Evan had pertaining to Christian's birth. As Christian started to work through his guilt over his growing feelings for Rod, their connection deepened, and Rod managed to copy crucial files from Evan's computer in the hopes of learning the truth about Christian's background. Though Rod couldn't stop Crystal's wedding to Trevor, Rod did successfully crack open Evan's secret files, which not only named Christian's biological father as Evan Royale himself, but also tied Evan to countless other adopted and foster children! Fiona was disgusted to learn that her boss Evan had fathered numerous children with various women over the years and managed to get all his biological children given up at birth and put into foster care or placed with adoptive families. What's worse, another one of Evan's "lost" children was none other than Trevor Allen! Meaning Rod's new enemy was actually Christian's half-brother!
Crystal and Trevor did marry at the stroke of midnight, January 1st, 2009, despite an interruption from Rod. But more surprising was their kiss in the honeymoon suite actually felt real.