Veronica Harrington is the true main antagonist appearing on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) prime-time soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots.
A wealthy, powerful, but extremely snobbish and elitist lawyer, Veronica is the wife of David Harrington and mother of their son Jeffrey, whom she regularly antagonizes for being, in her view, less than manly and later for being gay.
She is portrayed by Angela Robinson.
In addition to being a lawyer, Veronica also runs Higher Hope, a rehabilitation clinic where her son is employed as a counselor and assigned to monitor Wyatt Cryer, Jim Cryer's son who's enrolled in the clinic's program for alcoholism and substance abuse.
At some point in the first season, Veronica visits Jeffrey at his apartment and questions him about whether or not he has a girlfriend before insisting that he's going to date a "big, black woman," making it clear to her son that she will not accept anything less from him, and implying that both she and her husband will disown Jeffrey if he doesn't comply with her wishes.
Later, Veronica, at Katheryn's behest, helps Benny Young, the son of Katheryn's housekeeper and close friend Hanna Young, out of a legal bind caused by David's efforts to frame Candace Young, Benny's half-sister and Hanna's daughter, as a form of payback for her antagonism towards Jim. She also meets with Quincy Maxwell, Candace's former lover, in the federal penitentiary and recruits him into her service so he can rein Candace in.
In the season finale "No More Hiding," Jeffrey finally comes out to Veronica and David. Veronica reacts to this news by delivering an extremely hateful and self-centered diatribe about how her son's homosexuality affects her, voicing her belief that she's still being punished by God for an abortion she had in college, and all but wishes that Jeffrey were dead (she also mentions that she miscarried a number of times in the past, and goes as far as to remark that she'd rather the babies she lost had survived instead of having a gay son). This reduces Jeffrey to tears of anger and sadness, and he insists that he is a gay man and begs his mother to accept that; his protests, however, go unheeded as Veronica departs, leaving her husband to comfort their distraught son.
Veronica follows up on her abusive behavior towards Jeffrey by cutting him off financially and firing him from his job at Higher Hope, forcing him to move in with Candace. She later obtains custody of Jeffrey's black Sedan, which Wyatt, while high on drugs, drove and killed a young girl, Lizzie, and also injured Benny, leaving him in a coma. She then uses the Sedan to blackmail Jeffrey, threatening to have him arrested for Wyatt's crimes if he doesn't do what she wants.
David finds out about Veronica's actions and moves out of their mansion, telling his wife he's not coming back until she changes her behavior. Veronica, however, proves to be firmly set in her ways, as she repeatedly refuses to divulge the location of Jeffrey's car to her husband, who in turns refuses to return home.
Veronica forces Jeffrey to go out on a date with Melissa, a young woman he has no interest, sexual or otherwise, in. She later goes to reconcile with David at the Sarandon Hotel where he's staying, only to find him with Maggie Day, his and Jim's campaign manager; this leads Veronica to incorrectly suspect that her husband is cheating on her with Maggie. She then catches Jeffrey and Landon Payton, Maggie's assistant who happens to be Jeffrey's love interest, coming out of the latter's hotel room together. Veronica angrily insists that Jeffrey take a drive with her, during which she harshly expresses her disappointment in her son and insists he is going to have sex with Melissa over and over until he enjoys it.
In the season finale "Checkmate," Veronica and David attend a party at the Cryer Mansion, and when she finds Quincy there as Jim's daughter Amanda's date, she pretends not to know the thug and admonishes him when he nearly calls her husband "nigger." She and David then go outside and argue about what's best for their son, but Veronica remains unmoved by her husband's arguments. Moments later, after a scuffle between Jim and Quincy in the former's study, Veronica keeps mum about her involvement in Quincy's release from prison when Jim angrily wonders how Quincy got out in the first place.
At the episode's end, Veronica refuses to answer David's phone call, unaware that he is strongly tempted to sleep with Maggie.
In the season premiere "The Power Dance," Veronica is roused from sleep by noises in the kitchen. She ventures downstairs to find that Quincy has let himself into her house again and has cooked himself a meal. Quincy violently assaults Veronica and threatens to rape her, but Veronica brings him back under her control by threatening to kill his family.
In "The War Room," Veronica goes to the Sarandon Hotel and demands that hotel security open David's hotel room. When a security guard insists that she follow standard procedure, Veronica calls the hotel's owner and gets the guard fired. Finally, she gains entrance into her husband's hotel room, where she waits for David.
In the next episode "A Southern Brawl," when David comes out of Maggie's room, Veronica refuses to listen to his explanation, enters Maggie's room, and brutally attacks Maggie for supposedly sleeping with her husband (in actuality, David came close to sleeping with Maggie, but couldn't go through with it because he still loves his wife).
Veronica then leaves the Sarandon and visits Jeffrey at his apartment; there, she tells Jeffrey about his father's alleged affair and blames him for her and David's failing marriage. When Candace arrives, Veronica exchanges snippy words with the younger woman before leaving. Once outside the building, she calls Quincy to inform him of Candace's location.
In "Amanda's Room," Veronica shows up at Jim and David's campaign office for Jim's press conference, only to find that Jim isn't there. She has another confrontation with Maggie; though she isn't violent, she does put Maggie in her place.
In the subsequent episode "The Press Conference," Veronica and David, no longer able to wait for Jim to arrive, begin answering questions from reporters. Veronica is then asked about her position on same-sex marriage, and it turns out that Landon set her up in an attempt to expose her homophobic nature. It almost works, but Veronica turns the tables to her liking. Once finished, she demands that Landon be fired. Not long after, everyone receives the tragic news of Amanda's death.
In the next episode "A Tragic Day," Veronica accompanies Katheryn back to the Cryer Mansion, where Hanna confirms that Amanda is indeed dead. She gets into a heated argument with Celine Gonzalez, the Cryers' other maid, and would rather talk about Jeffrey and Melissa than actually comfort Katheryn over the loss of her daughter, despite David's protests.
In "In Crisis," Veronica goes with Katheryn into the kitchen when they overhear Jim and Wyatt battling it out. Later, she has another tense talk with her husband about their son, and she completely disregards David's warnings that her behavior towards Jeffrey may drive him to commit suicide like Amanda. In the episode's final act, Veronica receives a call from Jeffrey, who's being accosted by Quincy in his apartment, and she demands to speak to Quincy. She then orders Quincy to beat up Jeffrey if he doesn't reveal where Candace is.
In "Unglued," Veronica receives a panicked phone call from an angry David demanding to know where Jeffrey is. She honestly answers that she doesn't know where her son is, and she and David trade harsh words before hanging up. Later, Veronica is unconcerned when District Attorney Jennifer Sallison, having been told by Wyatt that Veronica has Jeffrey's car, arrives to search her house, and she leaves.
Near the end of the episode, Veronica enters the Sarandon Hotel's bar where David, Maggie, and Landon are talking, and she splashes a drink in Maggie's face. After Maggie and Landon leave, David confronts Veronica over her ordering Quincy to beat their son, and Veronica vehemently confirms having done so in order to "beat the gayness" out of Jeffrey. David, angry and ashamed of his wife and her devilish behavior, dismisses Veronica as a "simple bitch," sending Veronica into a crazed tantrum. She throws chairs, glasses, and bottles around the hotel bar while ranting about how she's a "simple bitch." David, unmoved by his wife's display, leaves the bar. About a moment later, when hotel security arrives and tells her she needs to leave, Veronica arrogantly warns them not to touch her and goes.
In "Enough is Enough," Veronica calls Jeffrey and asks to see him at the Harrington Mansion. When Jeffrey arrives, he finds a disheveled Veronica drinking alcohol and smoking. Veronica drunkenly tells her son that their memories are false, then mocks Jeffrey for wanting to be a woman and again insults him for being gay before revealing that she arranged for him to impregnate Melissa so he'd be forced to marry her. This revelation prompts Jeffrey to angrily denounce his mother and declare he's had enough of her and her threats before storming out of the mansion, leaving Veronica to wonder about her grandchild's name.
David later returns home and insists he's going to get Veronica psychiatric help the next morning; Veronica, however, believes David is planning to divorce her so he can be with Maggie and tells him that he won't see the next day. Later, she is called by Benny to help get him out of jail after his assault on Quincy. After paroling Benny, Veronica confides in him that her husband is cheating on her, then seduces the younger man, leading to them having sex in David's car. Sometime after that, Benny drops Veronica off at her mansion and she tells him to keep David's car. She then goes into the bedroom, where she pours gasoline around the bed while David is asleep and ignites the gasoline before walking out.
In "Two Funerals," Veronica's attempt to kill her husband fails when David wakes up, escapes from the burning mansion, and finds Veronica sitting calmly on the front steps, smoking a cigarette. Veronica implies she started the fire, much to David's shock. Later, when the Cryers, along with Maggie, arrive to check on the Harringtons after hearing of the fire that consumed their home, Veronica begins to insult Maggie, but is stopped by David. Sallison arrives and voices her suspicions about the fire, but Veronica refuses to answer. After Jeffrey arrives to check on his parents, Veronica leaves for the Cryer Mansion.
Later, Veronica receives a call from Benny, who tells her he's going to return David's car to her, and she then persuades Benny to meet with her after Amanda's funeral so she can show him what else she's capable of after their sexual encounter in the previous episode. She then crosses paths with David, who insists on getting Veronica psychological care, but she remains firmly convinced that he wants to divorce her so he can be with Maggie. When David asks where do they go from here, Veronica says "two hotels," meaning she's going to a hotel while her husband goes to another.
In "In Memoriam," Veronica comes downstairs to the kitchen after a violent confrontation between Jim and Wyatt. After sending Hanna upstairs, Veronica confronts Wyatt about his confession to Sallison and chides him for being ungrateful for everything she and his father did to keep him out of prison. Wyatt, unconcerned, insults Veronica and leaves the kitchen. Veronica then tells Jim to rein in his son and suggests giving Wyatt a taste of what prison will be like. When Jim replies he's too tired to do so, she asks him "When is the Devil too tired to raise hell?"
Veronica and David attend Amanda's funeral. When Candace shows up, Veronica gets into a tense row with her before parting ways. Later, at Amanda's wake, she's happy to see Melissa there and takes her to find Jeffrey, only for David to insist on tagging along with her. Veronica tells her husband to go find Maggie, but David refuses. Moments later, the three of them find Jeffrey in the kitchen with Landon, and Veronica makes rude and defamatory comments to Landon, who then leaves. Jeffrey wants nothing to do with his mother or Melissa, and when David expresses his support of their son finally standing up to her, Veronica decides to leave the Cryer Mansion, telling David she's going to "even the score" between them.
Later on, Jeffrey takes Melissa outside the Cryers' house and demands answers from her. Candace comes outside and joins the interrogation, and Melissa reveals that Veronica is blackmailing her by threatening to foreclose on her parents' house so that her father, who is dying of cancer, won't be able to get his medication.
In "Nine Lives," Veronica visits Benny, who gives her the keys to her husband's truck. When Benny says that what happened between them the night before can't happen again, Veronica gets him to admit that he enjoyed making love to her before enticing him into another sexual encounter with her in his bedroom. In the final scene of the episode, Veronica and Benny are caught in bed together by Hanna, who has just invited David into the house. While Benny looks shocked to see his mother, Veronica smiles smugly.
In "The Cougar," Veronica faces Hanna's angry reaction, and she gets dressed. After Hanna gets David to leave, Veronica is berated by Hanna, who orders her out of the house and forces her to wait outside for her car, harshly forbidding Benny from accompanying her. Later, Veronica is still waiting for her car, which is lost, and Hanna comes out of the house to confront her about why she's sleeping with Benny. Veronica arrogantly insults Hanna about her poor living conditions, and Hanna implies Veronica is ashamed of the fact that she herself came from poverty. Hanna then orders Veronica off of her property, and Veronica goes across the street to wait for her car, hurling more insults at Hanna as she goes.
In "Candace Young Esq," Veronica is buying a new house when she receives a call from Katheryn saying that Sallison wants to meet with the two of them along with their husbands. After the realtor leaves, she calls a man named Wilson and questions him about what happened to Jeffrey's car, which Wilson reveals was sold at an auction. Veronica then goes to the tow yard which, as it turns out, has been bought by Candace for Benny. She meets with the Young siblings and has a snippy exchange with Candace before leaving.
In "Benny Does Battle," Veronica makes a second visit to the tow yard, where she spots Jeffrey's car, and tries calling Benny, only to get his voicemail; unknown to her, she is photographed by a private investigator hired by Maggie to follow her. Later, at her new house, she tries calling Benny again. On her third try, Benny answers and she tells him he needs to sign some papers to prevent the insurance on his tow yard from going up, which Benny agrees to.
In "A Home for Q," Veronica, along with her husband, Jim, and Katheryn, meet with Sallison at the Cryer Mansion. She hurls insults at Sallison, who remains unconvinced by Jim's claims that Wyatt made the confession out of spite and anger towards him and vows to bring all four of them down. After Sallison leaves, Veronica asks Jim how Wyatt's doing in prison and falsely tells a suspicious Jim that David told her. As Veronica leaves, David confronts her and demands to know what she's done now, but Veronica doesn't answer him; this leads David to urge Jim to get Wyatt out of prison because he fears he isn't as safe as Jim believes. It later turns out that Veronica arranged for Wyatt to be raped by another prisoner.
While driving, Veronica calls Benny and asks when can he meet with her to sign the insurance papers. When Benny says he can't give an exact time, Veronica insists, prompting an irate response from Benny, whom she admonishes for his tone. Later, Veronica returns to the tow yard and meets with Benny, who apologizes for his behavior towards her earlier. She then seduces Benny a third time, and they have sex in his new office. Afterward, Veronica is spotted leaving the tow yard by David, who was driven to the yard by Maggie, who balks over divulging what she knows about Veronica.
In "Candace's Closing," Veronica arrives at David's office at campaign headquarters after receiving a phone call from her husband demanding that she come see him. She remarks to David she didn't appreciate his messages, but David chastises her for taking her time coming to his office. When David then asks her why she was at the tow yard, Veronica freely admits she was having sex with the owner (though she doesn't divulge that the owner is Benny). David then gives his wife a stern speech about her various misdeeds and warns her that if she persists in her wicked ways, their marriage is over. Veronica replies that their marriage has been over before presenting David with divorce papers and leaving the office.
Later, before Jim's interview with Dianna Winchil, Veronica insultingly orders Maggie to stand somewhere else, and she stands and watches Jim's interview.
In "Dianna Winchil," Veronica smiles in smug amusement while Jim is being questioned on live television by Winchil about the illegitimate sons that he fathered with Celine. After Maggie puts an end to the interview, Veronica, along with David, Katheryn, Landon, and Maggie, follows Jim out into the campaign office, where Jim tells the campaign workers to take the day off. After the workers are gone, Veronica reveals to Katheryn that David and Maggie are supposedly having an affair, then insults Jim for ruining his and David's campaign, prompting Jim to order her to leave. Veronica persists in her venomous taunts and insinuates that she arranged for Wyatt to be raped in prison, prompting Jim to strangle her in a rage until David stops him. Veronica finally leaves.
Later, Veronica arrives at the hotel, where she runs into Jeffrey and Landon talking outside Jeffrey's hotel room. She again insults Landon, who responds in kind, prompting Veronica to ask her son if he's going to allow Landon to talk to his mother like that. Jeffrey coldly asks Veronica what she wants, and Veronica tells him she wants him to go see Melissa and reveals to Landon that Melissa is pregnant with Jeffrey's child. Jeffrey defies his mother and refuses to go see Melissa, telling Veronica that she can do whatever she wants to him but to stop threatening him because it's getting old. He even kisses Landon right in front of Veronica just to annoy her, and so Veronica leaves.
In "Vetted," Veronica receives a phone call from Katheryn asking to come to the Cryer Mansion. Later, she comes to the Cryer estate, where she teases Katheryn about her attractive exercise instructor. Katheryn asks Hanna to keep Veronica company while she takes a shower, and Hanna takes the opportunity to question her about Benny's tow yard and house, and to again warn Veronica to stay away from Benny. Veronica insolently explains to Hanna that she needs to have a trump card, and brushes off the older woman's threat to inform David of her affair with Benny. She remains unconcerned by Hanna's claim that, if she were the person she used to be, she'd beat her real bad, and even challenges Hanna to a fight in the backyard, but Hanna simply gives her a warning looking and leaves.
In "Sheep's Clothing," Veronica is visited by Maggie, who tries to persuade her to go back to her husband and convince him to run for Governor in Jim's stead. Veronica insults Maggie, who shows her photos of her with Benny and admits that she is in love with David. Maggie then tells Veronica what really happened between her and David the night Veronica found them together in her hotel room, saying that David kissed her but he stopped and confided in Maggie that he was still in love with his wife. Veronica orders Maggie to leave and angrily throws the folder with the photos at her as she goes before breaking down into tears.
In "When the Chickens Come Home," Veronica visits David at his campaign office and tries to persuade him to run for Governor in Jim's stead, but David calls her out for not wanting to discuss her various actions. Veronica then leaves the office and goes to visit Benny at the tow yard, where she confirms that the deed to the yard is legitimate. She then tells Benny that she's made a lot of mistakes and apologizes that he's one of them before saying they can't see each other anymore. Benny understands, but then, in a reversal of roles, he seduces her. Veronica resists Benny's advances, but gives in and they have sex yet again; unknown to Veronica, she's being taped by Wyatt, who's at the yard with Jeffrey to confirm that Jeffrey's car is indeed there.
Later, Veronica is present as Jim gives a speech to the press about how he isn't a perfect man and how he's pressing ahead with running for Governor. Moments later, Veronica, along with David, Jim, and Katheryn, is arrested by Sallison for tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.
In "The Waters Run Deep," Veronica and Katheryn are taken to jail along with their husbands, who are separated from them. Veronica is forced to take off her jewelry and her wig, much to her humiliation and Katheryn's shock. Later, as she sits in a jail cell with Katheryn, Veronica forces Katheryn to take her on as her attorney so she'll have legal protection, and vows to get them out of their current predicament.
In "Paid in Full," Veronica and Katheryn are still imprisoned, and Veronica wonders when they're going to get their phone call. Katheryn asks Veronica if men are raped in prison, which Veronica confirms. When Katheryn starts to figure out that Wyatt was raped during his stay in prison, Veronica tries to get her friend to calm down, and she appears unworried by Katheryn's promise to make whoever is responsible for her son's rape pay.
In "The Right Medicine," Veronica and Katheryn are given a newspaper containing an article about Veronica's affair. When questioned by Katheryn about it, Veronica replies that Maggie is responsible since she's trying to split her and David apart so she (Maggie) can have David all to herself. Katheryn presses her for more information, prompting an angry response from Veronica, who then calms down and tells her friend that they have to be careful about what they say in prison.
In "An Evil Soul," Veronica is escorted out of her cell by police officers, and she starts to make threats, only for one of the officers to shut her down. She is then placed in a cell across from Jim and David's own cell. Veronica remarks to her husband that he defended her when Jim tried to strangle her, but David replies she's becoming harder to defend in light of the revelation of her affair.
Moments later, Veronica is shocked to see Jeffrey placed inside the cell between hers and the men's, then disappointed that Jeffrey was arrested for DUI. When Jeffrey makes rude and defamatory comments towards her, she vows to make him regret ever being so to her once she gets out of jail and tells him to remember she always has the upper hand, only for Jeffrey to stand up and imply he witnessed her having an affair.
When Jim tells her that she needs to accept that her son is gay and that she can't control him, Veronica snipes back at Jim that she knows what happens when he doesn't control his own children and makes a cruel remark about Amanda committing suicide, sending Jim into a fit of anger. She then listens as Jeffrey, after learning that she arranged Wyatt's prison rape, vows to make sure she never gets out of prison.
In "A Front Row Seat," after Katheryn is freed, Veronica exchanges more insults with Jim. Later, she is informed by Sallison that Jeffrey is willing to testify against her in the upcoming trial. Veronica remains unconcerned and mocks Sallison's knowledge of the law, and Sallison leaves.
Veronica is an exceptionally vile, hateful, and unpleasant person. She is manipulative, controlling, self-centered, arrogant, petty, ruthless, and completely set in her ways. She is highly abusive and argumentative towards her son in her insistence that he be the man she wants him to be. She is also racist (she won't even accept Jeffrey dating a white woman, insisting that he date a "big, black woman") and homophobic (this becomes the principal reason she abuses her son in every possible way). Unlike Jim, Veronica has yet to express any regret or remorse over her abuse of her son.
She also shows most (if not all) of the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: she is conceited with an overblown sense of her own importance, obsessed with maintaining her family's "perfect" image, and routinely takes advantage of other people to further her own goals.
Additionally, Veronica has proven herself to be hypocritical and self-righteous. In "Enough is Enough," after constantly accusing her husband of having an affair with Maggie (of which he's somewhat innocent), she goes and seduces Benny, instigating an extramarital affair with the younger man. It later becomes clear that she is initiating the affair to "even the score" between herself and her husband.
Villainous Deeds Committed by Veronica
- Giving Jeffrey a hateful and bigoted speech about how his homosexuality is a punishment from God for her having an abortion in college.
- Firing Jeffrey from his counseling job, freezing his bank account, and depriving him of a place to stay.
- Blackmailing Jeffrey into dating women by threatening to have him arrested for Wyatt's vehicular manslaughter of Lizzie and injury of Benny.
- Routinely insulting Maggie for supposedly sleeping with David.
- Threatening to have Quincy's family killed if he doesn't fall back into line
- Insulting Landon for being gay.
- Blaming Jeffrey for her and David's strained marriage.
- Ordering Quincy to beat up Jeffrey if the latter does not tell the former Candace's whereabouts.
- Arranging for Jeffrey to impregnate Melissa so he would be forced to marry her.
- Setting fire to her house in an attempt to murder David while he's asleep in bed.
- Seducing Benny into an extramarital affair as part of a plan to get back at her husband for his supposed affair with Maggie.
- Insulting Hanna and her poor living conditions.
- Blackmailing Melissa's family by threatening to foreclose on their house so her father can't get his cancer medication.
- Having Jeffrey's belongings taken away so Melissa can move into Jeffrey's apartment and decorate it according to her personal tastes.
- Arranging for Wyatt to be raped in prison to give him a taste of what prison life will be like.
- Insulting Jim for ruining his gubernatorial campaign.
- Cruelly remarking that Jim not controlling his children resulted in Amanda's suicide.