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Ken is the estranged father of Hardin Scott and the ex-husband of Trish Daniels. He is haunted by his past mistakes that lead to traumatic incidents in his family's lives due to his alcoholism. Since remarrying to Karen and becoming a stepfather to her son Landon, Ken has begun to try and make amends with Hardin and Trish.
Ken was born in England and married Trish at a very young age. They had a child together, Hardin. However, things were hard for the family financially which sent Ken into a downward spiral of alcoholism and depression. He became abusive and distant. He started gambling and racked up debts with shady people. One night, some of the men he owed money to decided to break into the Scott home looking for Ken. When they found Trish they attacked her to make a statement.
His marriage fell apart soon after and he moved to the United States for a fresh start. He became the Chancellor at Washington Central University. He met a woman, Karen, and it wasn't long until they fell in love and were engaged. Karen and her teenaged son, Landon, moved into Ken's home.
Ken is the chancellor at Washington Central University and the estranged father of Hardin. Ken's engagement upsets his son, much in part due to his negative relationship with Hardin's mother. Hardin tells Tessa that his mother lives in a much lower income house while Ken enjoys a lavish lifestyle and mansion. Tessa and Hardin later attend Ken's wedding to Karen, and are welcomed by the woman with open arms. Ken gives a speech to his guests that praises his wife, stepson, and Hardin. While Ken speaks, Hardin tells Tessa the reason for their negative relationship. Ken was absent during Hardin's childhood due to alcoholism and was out at a pub when men broke into their home looking for Ken, who owed them a debt. They found Hardin's mother instead and attacked her. Tessa comforts her boyfriend. When Ken's speech is over he walks over to the new couple. Hardin's body stiffens when Ken is near and they exchange minimal words. Ken notes how touched he is that Hardin came to the wedding and is hoping they can reconcile. Hardin doesn't reciprocate this, making things uncomfortable. Tessa then comes over, whisking Hardin away to dance. Ken sullenly watches the two dance before walking away.
After We Collided
At Christmas, Karen encourages Ken to invite Trish Daniels to their Christmas party in hopes of reconciliation between the two. She accepts and they are happy that she is willing to reconcile with him, unlike their son, who keeps his distance. Ken socializes with Landon and brags about the boy's schooling which further isolates Hardin, who later finds pictures of Ken with Landon and Karen but doesn't see any of Ken with Hardin.
After a while, Ken migrates to speak with Trish, Karen, Landon, and Tessa who have gathered together near a doorway. He is talking about his skiing adventures and the time he spent traveling, when Hardin snaps by asking what is wrong with Ken. This takes the man by surprise and Hardin insults his choice in plaid pants, before pressing that Ken is just droning on with no regard for the lives he's ruined. Ken is hurt by the statement and emotional as he asks Hardin if they can speak in private, away from the eyes that are now on the argument. They move to a different room a few feet away. Ken acknowledges that Hardin is very upset with him and tells him to just say what is on his mind.
Hardin asks why Ken even invited them here, to which Ken replies that it's because they're his family. Hardin disagrees saying that they were his family but he ran out and reinvented himself. Ken is confused as he thought they were past all this, but Hardin angrily asks how they're supposed to get past it when Ken hasn't owned up to anything. He brings up Ken's twelve step program - making amends, and wonders where his mom's amends are. Ken tries to quiet Hardin down by asking if he doesn't think he's consumed by guilt. But he knew after that night that he had to leave. Hardin shouts that after that night Ken had to stay and that night happened because of him. Ken agrees loudly and that he's been haunted by it for the past ten years. Hardin is taken back and then, in disbelief, repeats that Ken is haunted by it. Overcome with emotion he shouts that he watched it happen, calling him a bastard as he punches Ken in the face. Ken staggers back and Trish catches him as he moves past her and away from the crowd.
Once outside and away from the party, Hardin admits to his mom that he can't forget everything that his father did like she can. She tells Hardin that she hasn't forgotten anything, but has chosen to move on so she can have a better life. She warns him that resentments like this are going to destroy him, and take Tessa down with him. A few days later, Hardin calls Ken to apologize for the New Years Eve party and talk things over. While they still have a long way to go in their relationship, this serves as the first step in moving forward.
Ken is a middle-aged man with trimmed gray hair, green eyes, and a lean figure. He is always seen wearing expensive suits and watches.
Ken is a complicated man who had a rough past that resulted in alcoholism and neglect toward his wife and son. He was rarely home as he was either working or at the pub getting drunk. He was absent the night his wife was assaulted at their home and has been consumed with guilt ever since. He left Trish and Hardin in an attempt to recover his identity and keep his mess away from them. He thought this was best even though staying with his family after the traumatic event might have helped the more.
He got sober and started improving his life, even becoming the Chancellor of a prestigious university in America. He also remarried to a lovely woman named Karen and a decent stepfather to her son, Landon. when Hardin arrived at WCU per the request of Trish, Ken sought to make amends with his now angry and tortured son. He has a calm demeanor now, but is provoked when Hardin brings up the past despite Ken's attempts to make things right.
- Hardin Scott - Hardin and Ken have a very rocky relationship due to Ken's alcoholism when Hardin was a child and resentment that Hardin harbors towards his father for unresolved trauma. Ken attempts to mend things with Hardin when the latter arrives in America, but Hardin isn't interested in reconciliation. He does, however, attend Ken's wedding reception when he marries Karen Gibson. The encounter is tense with only Hardin's girlfriend, Tessa, serving as a mediator between the two men. Hardin attends a Christmas party that Ken throws and they have an intense fight, with Hardin emotionally telling his father that after that night he had to stay not leave as he did. Ken feels guilty for that night and remarks that he's haunted but it, which triggers Hardin who watched it happen. He calls his father a bastard and punches him across the face. The next day, Hardin calls Ken to apologize for his actions, taking his mother's advice about letting go of resentments.
- Karen Scott - Karen is Ken's new wife and the woman he loves with all his heart. She helps him in his desire to mend his relationship with his son and ex-wife. Karen encourages Ken to reach out and invite them to their Christmas party as an olive branch of sorts. She is thrilled when they agree and the pair are seen together and appear very happy together. Hardin even sees several photos of Ken having vacations with Karen and her son, Landon.
- Trish Daniels - Trish is Ken's ex-wife and the mother of his child, though Ken was absent from Hardin's childhood due to his addictions and busy work schedule. They have a complicated past as their marriage was filled with fights and lack of trust. She was attacked due to Ken's issues with another man at a pub, and Ken left after that night. They went without ten-years without speaking before being reunited at a Christmas party, where they shared a hug. Trish explained to Hardin that she hasn't forgotten anything that Ken has or hasn't done, but she chooses to forgive him so that she can have a better life and move on.
Notes and Trivia
- Ken was portrayed by Peter Gallagher in "After", but due to scheduling conflicts, the role had to be recast. Rob Estes was later announced to portray Ken.
- Ken lives at the Chancellor's Residence near Washington Central University, alongside his wife and stepson.