|Leigh-Ann Rose as Imani Benedict|
|The Young and the Restless|
|Portrayed by||Leigh-Ann Rose|
|First appearance||December 24th, 2020|
|Created by||Josh Griffith|
|Introduced by||Anthony Morina & Josh Griffith|
On Christmas Eve, Amanda went to confront her birth mother Naya at her house. While watching from across the street, Amanda saw Naya greet a woman named Imani at the door. Imani called Naya "mom," meaning that Amanda had a younger half-sister. Amanda was shocked by the unexpected revelation and left without talking to either of them. However, Amanda later spoke to Naya on the phone and arranged to meet in Genoa City.
Although Naya backed out, Imani showed up at Amanda's hotel room instead. Imani refused to believe that Amanda was her long-lost relative and accused her of working for their enemies. The Benedicts had a lot of political power, and Imani assumed Amanda was either out for their money or wanted to ruin their family's reputation. It was easier for Imani to think the worst of Amanda, rather than the alternative - that Naya had been keeping some major secrets from her. Amanda and Naya eventually did meet, but their conversation was interrupted by Imani barging in. Once again, she accused Amanda of lying, but Naya was ready to come clean.
Even after Naya explained the truth, Imani filed a restraining order against Amanda. Naya seemed apologetic that Imani had gone to such extremes, but Amanda wasn't buying her apology. Just like in the past, Naya was letting family members make decisions for her. Amanda didn't think it was worth fighting the restraining order, since she was so disgusted by the Benedicts' behaviour. Backing down from challenges was not usually in Amanda's nature, but she claimed to not want any further contact with her bio family. Amanda was furious and called Imani a brat while talking to Devon. He tried to get her to reconsider cutting all ties, but the ticked-off twin was ready to put this whole mess behind her.
Imani didn't appear for a few months. During her absence, Naya's father, Sutton Ames, was accused of killing Amanda's father, Richard Nealon. Shortly before his death, Richard had learned about some scandalous business dealings between the Newmans and the Ameses. Amanda theorized that Victor would have as much of a motive to silence Richard as Sutton. Richard may have even blackmailed someone at Newman to pay off his student debt.
On April 16th, Amanda met with Sutton and Naya at Society to discuss their defence strategy. Sutton praised Amanda's work and invited her to their house for the weekend - not as their attorney, but to meet the rest of the family. Amanda emotionally accepted and Naya beamed with a smile. Shortly after, Amanda arrived at the Grand Phoenix and got an ominous text from Imani. It said "This will only end badly for you."
Imani returned on April 29th when she showed up at Amanda's hotel room unannounced. Since Amanda hadn't responded to the text, Imani had no choice but to show up in-person. She warned Amanda to drop the case and told her that she would never be accepted into the family. Amanda shouldn't get her hopes up and should be wary of Sutton. Amanda didn't buy any of this and was appalled by her audacity. Surely Naya raised her better than this!
On May 7th, Sutton ran into Imani as she entered the Grand Phoenix lobby. He chastised her for missing the the family luncheon that he'd hosted for Amanda over the weekend. He also told Imani not to antagonize Amanda anymore. Imani thought it was weird that he was already so protective of Amanda. Sutton said that Amanda was just trying to help their family, for which he was grateful. It wouldn't hurt for Imani to show some appreciation as well.
Surprisingly, Imani went up to Amanda's room and apologized for her hostile behaviour, then even offered to help with the case. As it turned out, Imani had graduated from law school as well but had just never taken the bar exam. Imani admitted to being insecure and thought that by helping with the case, she could also get to know Amanda in the process. Understandably, Amanda was skeptical about Imani's 180, but thanked her for the apology and the offer.
On May 17th, Amanda met with Imani at Crimson Lights. To gauge Imani's mind-frame, Amanda asked her a series of questions that were mainly about Sutton. Imani admitted that she thought Sutton could be capable of murder under the right circumstances. But, being capable wasn't a crime. Amanda welcomed her onto the case but later told Devon how odd Imani's response had been. Was Imani as devoted to her family as she seemed?
After talking to Victor, Amanda learned that Richard was desperate for some help and had heard about Victor's past at the orphanage. As it turned out, Richard had known about Naya's pregnancy, but not that she'd had twins. Determined to find his child, Richard turned to Victor, who put him in contact with a private investigator.
On May 26th, Amanda sat with Imani and Naya in the Grand Phoenix lobby to update them on her findings. Despite Victor's insight, there were still a lot of missing details. How had Richard found out about Naya's pregnancy? Had Naya lied about having no further contact with Richard after their breakup? Before long, Naya became distraught, and Imani chastised Amanda for asking so many insensitive questions. But, Amanda was just doing her job.
On May 31st, Amanda invited Imani to her hotel room to discuss matters further. Imani wasn't pleased with the change in plans and still thought that Richard could have been murdered by someone at Newman. Imani revealed that she had spoken to Sutton, who wasn't happy about the new direction either. Amanda didn't like that Imani and Sutton had conferred behind her back. To ease the tension, Imani asked if Amanda wanted to get lunch with her.
The two sisters ended up at Society and chatted about college and literature. They had both studied French and both liked the "Claudine" novels. Their conversation was unexpectedly rather pleasant. For once, Amanda and Imani were actually getting along. Upon entering the restaurant, Nate noticed the ladies and approached their table. Amanda referred to Imani as a friend while introducing her, and Nate commented that "Imani" was a beautiful name.
When Amanda stepped aside to answer a call, Imani asked Nate if he'd ever dated Amanda. Nate confirmed he had and seemed amused by her bluntness. Imani said that speaking her mind sometimes got her into trouble, but mostly, it gets her what she wants. Nate wondered why he'd never seen her around before, and Imani explained that she was visiting from out of town. Eventually, Amanda returned and Nate left.
Then Nikki appeared, hoping Amanda remembered her from Phyllis' party a few months ago. Amanda did, and introduced Imani as a colleague. Then Nikki started to inquire about the Ames case. However, Amanda politely interjected that they had to get to a meeting.
The meeting in question was with Denise Tolliver, the P.I. who had helped Richard all those years ago. Amanda and Imani wanted to speak with her to confirm Victor's story and find out more. Back in the hotel room, Denise told them that she remembered Richard clearly, and everything she said lined up with Victor's version of events. In fact, Denise had succeeded in finding the child's foster parents, and had given Richard their contact info.
On June 3rd, Imani returned to Amanda's hotel room with Naya, who was there to apologize. Naya had been caught off guard when she'd heard what Richard had been up to in his final days. She also hadn't handled it well when Amanda had accused her of lying. Once alone, Amanda got emotional about the the entire situation. Imani checked on Amanda to see if she was okay and said she'd gotten a room at the Grand Phoenix until the trial.
On June 7th, Imani ran into Nate at Crimson Lights. Imani was glad he remembered her name and told him it meant "faith" in Swahili. She joined him for coffee and learned he was a doctor, as well as the face of AskMDnow. So that's why he seemed familiar. Imani said there was something about his face that made her feel "smarter, safer, and healthier all at once." They laughed over people recognizing Nate everywhere, including the grocery store.
Imani had to get back to work and left for the Grand Phoenix. In the hotel room, Amanda quickly became frustrated at Imani's lack of cooperation. The jury should know that Richard reached out to Sutton to find his child, not to blackmail him. But Imani did understand. A murder conviction would be far more damaging to their status than an unwed pregnancy. It was Sutton who was being stubborn. Amanda realized she had to see Sutton and settle this.
On June 10th, Sutton got frustrated with Amanda for not following the defence strategy he wanted. He stormed out of Society and Naya went after him to try and reason with him. Imani was impressed by how Amanda stood up to Sutton, but thought she was bluffing about quitting the case. Amanda was quite serious though and refused to back down. None of this was adding up, and Imani claimed to be just as baffled by their grandfather's attitude.
- Paris is Imani's top vacation spot. Imani studied French in college and likes the "Claudine" books by Colette. (May 31st, 2021)