Kayla's marriage to Jack had been a sham from the get go. Steve had pushed her away and into Jack's arms, upon discovering that he was his long lost brother Billy, who was terminally ill with Hodgkin's disease and in love with Kayla. Devastated by Steve's rejection, Kayla wed Jack on the rebound.
Despite being husband and wife, Kayla kept Jack at arm's length, coming up with excuses as to why they couldn't consummate their marriage. Ultimately, Kayla reunited with Steve, after he saved her from Jack's evil adoptive father Harper, who was poisoning her. Steve revealed all about why he'd pushed her aside, and the pair began having an affair.
Kayla wanted to divorce Jack, but Steve and his mother Jo begged her to stay with him until after the election. (Jack was running for assemblyman.) They feared the scandal would ruin his image with voters. Kayla reluctantly agreed to stand by Jack's side, even though she knew she would never be intimate with him. She continued putting him off, noting that she was still feeling ill from the poisoning. Yet, she continued promising that they'd be together soon.
Unfortunately, Jack discovered the truth before Steve and Kayla had planned. It all happened on the night of the election. After a triumphant Jack learned he'd won, his whole world came crashing down around him, when a reporter showed him compromising pictures of Kayla and Steve together on New Year's Eve. Jack was both humiliated and furious.
Jack returned home to Kayla and confronted her with what he'd learned, showing her the scandalous photos of her and Steve. “Did you sleep with Johnson after we were married,” he asked. Kayla tried to dodge the question, which only confirmed to Jack that it was all true.
“We were going to tell you,” whispered Kayla. “It's okay, a reporter told me,” retorted Jack, growing increasingly more agitated. Kayla tried to call Steve, insisting that he should be there for this discussion, but Jack would have none it. He angrily pulled the phone out of her hand.
“You've been telling me for months that you wanted me. You just weren't ready,” yelled Jack. “Tell me, will you ever be ready? No.” Then, Jack pushed Kayla down on the couch and announced, “I'm your husband, and I'm ready, I'm going to make love to you, tonight. I love you.”
After it was over, Jack seemed remorseful. He went on about how he felt like the happiest man alive the day Kayla married him. He insisted that he never intended for things to turn out this way. “No matter how mad you are at this moment Kayla, I hope that you can see that it's not all my fault,” said Jack, noting that Kayla was, after all, his wife.
Kayla was appalled. “Married or not, if a man forces a woman to have sex with him, that's rape,” spat Kayla. “And that Jack Deveraux is what you did. You raped me, and you're going to have to live with that for the rest of your life.”
Indeed, Jack would. He was plagued with guilt over what he'd done. But that guilt manifested itself into anger, as he lashed out at Steve and Kayla . He refused to grant his wife a divorce and hired someone to beat up her lover.
In time, Kayla pressed charges against Jack, and their marriage was legally terminated. Jack agreed to plead guilty to assault, but never forgot what he'd done. He went on to transform himself into a better man; a man that the people of Salem, including Kayla, would give a second chance to and, ultimately, forgive.