Scoop! The Young and the Restless cast and crew gathered on the set this week to share a farewell cake for soap vet Jerry Douglas. has learned that Douglas, 73 — who has played Jabot Cosmetics tycoon John Abbott since 1982 — was let go due to a story-line-dictated twist.

Spoiler alert! As viewers know, John shot the vile Tom Fisher (Roscoe Born) and refuses to allow his daughter Ashley (Eileen Davidson) to cover for him by taking the murder rap. What will be the Abbott patriarch's reward for ridding Genoa City of human scum? A seven-year prison sentence. Although it's sad to see this beloved pro go, Douglas has been woefully underused for years. At least Y&R is sending him and his classy character out with a bang!