Ethan and Candice were married in the early 1980s, and shortly afterward welcome a baby girl, Zoe , into the world. However, unbeknownst to Ethan , little Zoe was actually the product of Candice 's affair with Southern doctor Harley Wilkes. Candice keeps this a secret, and both Ethan and Zoe are oblivious to the truth.
When Zoe was ten years old, she had an accident where she fell off a swing, and the doctors thought she might need a blood transfusion. When Ethan tried to donate blood, and proved not to be a match for his daughter, Zoe 's true paternity, as well as Candice 's affair with Harley were revealed.
This revelation was difficult for Ethan to deal with, and he soon left his family, divorcing Candice . He apparently attempted to remain a part of Zoe 's life (who still believed him to be her father) for a time, but found it difficult and became very distant from her. He also aided his now ex-wife, Candice , for a long time, in keeping up appearances at public events and functions, and leading the public to believe their marriage was still intact, because of Candice 's fear the divorce would be bad publicity.