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In the TV series Ugly Betty, William Slater-Meade is the infant son of dressmaker Christina McKinney and her husband Stuart. Until a DNA test was performed due to suspicions about the baby's resemblance to Christina, William was believed to be the son of Wilhelmina Slater and the deceased Bradford Meade. He thus was thought to have three half-siblings, Alexis Meade and Daniel Meade from Bradford's marriage to Claire Meade, and Nico Slater, Wilhelmina's teenage daughter from a previous relationship.
His conception, after his father's death, was arranged by his mother solely for the reason that he would inherit 1/3 of the Meade Publishing Empire, of which she as his legal guardian would be the executor until his eighteenth birthday. Due to Wilhelmina's being unable to carry another child, Christina offered herself as a surrogate to carry William to term in exchange for $100,000 for a life-saving operation for Stuart.
William's life was threatened twice during his time in the womb. At three months' gestation Christina, having discovered the alleged paternity of the baby she was carrying and thus Wilhelmina's true intentions, threatened to renege on their agreement and, it seemed, abort the pregnancy. She was later dissuaded by her husband.
Not long afterward, Christina was pushed down a flight of stairs by Alexis, who was angry and frustrated with Wilhelmina.
As a result of this, Wilhelmina took advantage of the ensuing media attention and her connections in the DA's office to press attempted murder charges against Alexis. It was then agreed that Alexis would surrender her share in the Meade Empire in return for Wilhelmina dropping the charges. This meant that the as yet unborn William now legally owned 50% of the Meade Empire.
Christina eventually gave birth during Fashion Week in the middle of a runway, after Betty realised that the back exits were blocked off. Christina was forced to walk down the catwalk to attempt to reach the front exit, but didn't make it in time. Wilhelmina used this to her advantage as a way to relish the media attention
Late in the season, a photographer commented on how William looked a lot like his surrogate, Christina, causing doubts as to William's true parentage. This prompted Wilhelmina to consult a doctor, who revealed that it was possible that the baby's mother could be Christina if she had had sexual intercourse before the insemination, which she had two days beforehand with her husband. However, the DNA test apparently revealed that the baby was, in fact, Wilhelmina's after all. Under the circumstances, Wilhelmina felt Christina should no longer be her nanny, a decision which devastated Christina as she had become quite attached to William."
But Wilhelmina was lying about the DNA test results and she confessed in the next episode. This happened after Christina, very confident that William was actually hers, had kidnapped the child with Stuart's help after Wilhelmina brought him to work. After being arrested but then released due to the real DNA test results, Christina and Stuart took custody of William and decided to move back to Scotland with him. It was not revealed what name they gave William.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "The Born Identity". Steven Ross (writer) & John Terlesky (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2009-05-07. No. 21, season 3.
- ↑ "Odor in the Court". Bill Wrubel (writer) & Victor Nelli, Jr. (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2008-01-17. No. 12, season 2.
- ↑ "Betty's Baby Bump". Bill Wrubel & Dawn DeKeyser (writers) & Linda Mendoza (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2008-05-08. No. 16, season 2.
- ↑ "Crimes of Fashion". Henry Alonso Myers (writer) & Victor Nelli, Jr. (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2008-10-09. No. 3, season 3.
- ↑ "Betty Suarez Land". Chris Black (writer) & Michael Spiller (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2008-10-16. No. 4, season 3.
- ↑ "There's No Place Like Mode". Sheila Lawrence (writer) & Bethany Rooney (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2009-02-19. No. 15, season 3.
- ↑ "Rabbit Test". Chris Black (writer) & Richard Heus (director). Ugly Betty. ABC. 2009-04-30. No. 20, season 3.