Salem's very own DiMera Enterprises is one of the biggest and boldest companies in the country and overseas. Their practices encompass all aspects of the business spectrum. For the most part, they have been considered a reputable enterprise, though some unscrupulous practices have recently come to light, specifically in the aftermath of a shakeup in control over the powerhouse business. No longer does company founder, Stefano DiMera, hold the reins of the empire he built. Nor has his son and apparent successor, EJ DiMera, taken the helm, as both men have been slapped with the charge of tax evasion, forced to either pay the price, or stay out of the country to avoid imprisonment. However, life must go on and so must business, and to that end, two new additions to the heavy hitters who grace the big leagues of the DiMera boardroom have now emerged and quickly risen to power: Samantha aka "Sami" Brady DiMera, the "on and off again" wife of EJ DiMera; and Kate Roberts, Stefano DiMera's ex-wife.
These two formidable women have been appointed co-CEOs by a unanimous vote of the board. And lest this takeover be simply attributed to more women breaking through that top-spot glass ceiling due to affirmative action, anyone with knowledge of the former careers of Kate Roberts and Samantha Brady would appreciate that they have earned their positions legitimately, and have, with skill and determination, seized an opportunity where the ball had been dropped. Sami Brady was formerly head of Countess Wilhelmina Cosmetics, one of the most successful branches among DiMera Enterprises. The long forgotten and failing makeup company was not only revived but thrived for many years under her leadership. Nor is Kate Roberts a newcomer to big business. She was founder of the now dissolved Hearth & Home, as well as CEO of Countess Wilhelmina, and had held the reins at Mad World Cosmetics, before leaving to rejoin DiMera Enterprises. What these two women have done so far has been impressive, to say the least: selling dead weight companies and lining investors' pockets with plenty of extra dough. What more could shareholders ask for?
Let us take a closer look at one of DiMera Enterprises newest leaders, Sami Brady DiMera. She comes from a well-established family of Salem, the Bradys, considered to be among the town's most respectable citizens. Not only has she worked tirelessly to accomplish what she has in the business world, but she has raised four children, three of them still below the age of seven. And while she has held down two full-time jobs, as CEO and mother, she has consistently fought for what and whom she believes in.
In the interest of full disclosure, at this point I should admit to the reader that Samantha DiMera is my mother. So of course, you'd be correct to assume I know her well. And what I can say unequivocally is that she is not only an astute and ambitious business woman, but a devoted and caring mother as well. That said, and because my mother raised me to be truthful and direct, I must add that Samantha Brady is a very complex woman, and when she feels she has been wronged, she will resort to any tactics, however morally questionable, that she feels will vindicate her. In short, she can be conniving and vengeful, making sure that anyone who has crossed her, either personally or in business, will pay a heavy price for the rest of their God given time on this earth. Go ahead and reread that last sentence. No, it's not one huge typo, nor some sick editor's prank. It's the truth. And it is those traits I just described that allowed my mother to ruthlessly insinuate herself into the DiMera boardroom, gaining control of the company. She achieved this goal by lying to her husband and his father about doing their bidding, all the while determined to destroy the lives of EJ and his secret mistress for their scandalous affair. Some might call that bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. I would call it the Sami Special.
And how did she accomplish all of this? Let's start from the beginning. Sami had discovered that her "perfect" mate, EJ, had a wandering eye and had been unfaithful to her for months. But instead of what most women might do in such a situation: confront her disloyal husband (fiancé in this case), throw a couple of vases in his direction, or go the more civilized route of seeking advice from a marriage counselor, my mother chose another direction entirely. In making sure she stuck by her belief that revenge is a dish best served cold, she hatched a devious, malicious plan that would inflict the maximum pain and humiliation on both parties involved... down the line.
It was only a short time before she was scheduled to marry EJ DiMera that Sami found out about his deceit and betrayal. But did she dump the guy and cancel the wedding? No. Sami, never revealing that she knew about her intended's affair, married EJ, as planned, in the DiMera gardens. And as if that weren't enough, with the shrewd assistance of Kate Roberts, it was brought to light, not only to the guests at the wedding, but also to the Salem PD, right then and there at the nuptials, that her cheating man had also been cheating on his taxes. For years and years. Which, to the shock of all present except for Sami and Kate, of course, led to EJ being arrested on their wedding day - at the wedding!
As the best man, I witnessed the groom being dragged away to jail as the newly wedded bride "screamed" and "pleaded" to let this madness come to an end. It was her wedding day after all. This orchestrated chain of events led not only to EJ DiMera's incarceration, but also to an arrest warrant out for Stefano DiMera, who was conveniently out of the country. And this is where the most sinister part of Sami's plan reared its head. After his arrest, she convinced EJ to let her represent him at the annual DiMera board meeting. But instead of doing his bidding, she, again with the help of Kate Roberts (there to represent her ex-husband, Stefano), conned the board members with falsified letters and forged signatures from EJ and Stefano, into nominating Kate and herself as co-CEOs. After some initial reluctance by said board members, the votes were tallied and by the end of the day, Sami and Kate were running DiMera Enterprises, having successfully pulled the wool over everyone's eyes. Soon after this accomplishment, Sami paid a visit to EJ's cell and finally exposed what she had done and why. EJ was, apparently, sincerely contrite and tried to explain his mistakes, to exonerate himself in her eyes somehow, some way, but Sami would have none of it. It was simply too little, too late - as it was for the young woman who had been his lover.
After leaving her husband in jail, humiliated and with his heart ripped out, Sami was on to the next phase of her revenge - bringing down the mistress. The woman in question worked at University Hospital. She was a close friend of the family who had frequently spent time with the DiMeras and their children - sometimes even babysat for them. She was also Sami's newest friend, maid of honor, and art tutor. And she was none other than Salem's sweetheart - Abigail Deveraux. Little did Abigail know that, by succumbing to EJ's seductive charms, she would become a plaything in Sami's game of horrors.
Of course the next step for Sami was to pay Abigail a visit at her family home to show off her glorious wedding pictures. And lo and behold, a photo of EJ and Abigail about to ravage each other just happened to appear in the mix of pictures - exposing the truth of Abigail's affair with EJ, and right in the presence of her mother. Abigail was shocked to learn how she had been played by Sami, strung along like a puppet. But Sami wouldn't stop at revealing this embarrassing transgression to Abigail's family. In subsequent days, Sami made sure Abigail lost her job at the hospital, forcing her to write a resignation letter explaining her part in the affair with a hospital board member. Abigail packed up her office and performed the "walk of shame" in front of her friends and peers.
Business is a gamble. Same as cheating, having an affair - and being on the losing end of it. You must be able to face the music when it all goes to hell, face your demons, and eventually move on. But that would not be enough for Sami Brady DiMera. She decided to engage in all-out war, and ended up with a massacre on her hands. I don't condone infidelity; therefore I do understand my mother's outrage at EJ's betrayal. But to go so far as to attempt to ruin the lives of friends and family members? To go to such extraordinary lengths for revenge? Some readers may think, "Ease up, Will. This is your mother. Not even a shred of sympathy or loyalty? Wasn't she the victim in all of this?" Of course she was. But what I can't abide was her inability, especially given that she herself has hardly led an exemplary life, to at least try to find it in her heart to forgive. That instead of dealing with the circumstances before her like a rational, compassionate human being, she had to lash out: ruin lives, inflict pain, and profoundly hurt people she loved dearly at one time or another. So there is no empathy for my mother from me. Not in this situation. I hope my readers learn a lesson in all of this because I doubt my mother will - she never does. And sadly, she's the one who will end up paying the ultimate price. She'll be the one all alone, forced to live with the repercussions of her actions for the rest of her life.
I love my mom and always will - probably hard to believe that after reading this. But, my respect for her as a caring, nurturing mother notwithstanding, her recent behavior has been unacceptable to me, and I believe that my revealing to all of you the truth of what really happened at DiMera Enterprises will, in the end, be worthwhile. Even if it helps only one person to see that devoting oneself to revenge, to "getting even," is an exercise in futility. It is only by taking the high road, by letting go of anger, that one can move on and live life to the fullest.