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In 1994, Nick Newman returned to Genoa City from a childhood spent at a Swiss Boarding school. Sharon Collins took immediate notice of the dashing young bachelor but was reluctant to give in to his advances because of her past problems with teen pregnancy. Sharon's former boyfriend, Matt Clark, realized that Sharon was falling in love with Nick and was overcome with jealousy. While on a date in 1995, Matt trapped Sharon in his car and raped her. Too ashamed to admit the truth to her family and friends, Sharon withdrew from her social circles and sank into depression.
Despite emotional problems, Sharon attempted to put the past behind her and resumed her relationship with Nick. Matt was determined to sabotage Sharon's relationship, however, and served as a constant reminder of her past. Nick learned about the baby that Sharon gave up for adoption but the new information didn't change Nick's feelings; he proposed to Sharon and the couple made plans to elope. That night, Sharon told Nick about the rape and he left immediately to confront Matt. When he arrived, however, Matt was already wounded and lying unconscious on the floor. Nick was arrested for attempted murder until Amy came forward and testified that she had shot Matt after he had raped her. Matt skipped town to avoid the law and Sharon and Nick renewed their vows in a formal ceremony.
Fast forward to the year 2000 -- Nick and Sharon were happily married and in the process of legally adopting their daughter, Cassie. The Crimson Lights Coffeehouse was a huge success so Nick & Sharon planned to expand the business. All of a sudden, Matt Clark returned to Genoa City, bent to get revenge on both Nick and Sharon. He had plastic surgery to disguise himself as "Carter", and got a job at the coffeehouse where Nick and Sharon began to trust him as a loyal employee. Matt joined forces with Larry Warton, another Newman enemy, and together they planned to set Nick up. They made it look as if Nick was dealing ecstasy out of the coffeehouse. A teenager named Jordan died from complications when he took the drug at a rave and Warton managed to frame Nick for the murder!
Meanwhile, Matt exploited Sharon's confidence and trust, to lure her to a remote cabin where he tried to rape her yet again! Fortunately, Paul arrived before Matt could assault her. He fled the cabin and managed to escape in a car driven by Tricia. They didn't get far, however, before Tricia realized his evil-doings and intentionally crashed the car. At the hospital, Matt was critically injured and demanded to speak with Nick in private. He disconnected his breathing tubes and committed suicide, thereby framing Nick for his murder -- again! With Warton's help, Nick was eventually found not guilty of the murder and released to his family. Although Matt Clark no longer poses a physical threat to neither Sharon nor Nick, the emotional scars he inflicted are still there and continue to heal.