Vanessa Moss
Portrayed by Jessalyn Gilsig
6x01 - Vanessa Moss 01
Other Character
Character Information
Full name: Vanessa Rose Moss
Status: Alive
Gender: Female
Hair color: Blonde
Eye color: Blue
  • Lawyer
  • Second Lady designate of the United States (formerly)
  • Nessa
Significant Other:
Past Relationships:
Appearance Information
Portrayed by: Jessalyn Gilsig
Also Portrayed by: Joelle Carter
First appearance: "The Fish Rots from the Head"
Appearance Count: 7

You don't talk to me, but you talk to her. You tell her everything. It's like she knows you. She knows everything about you.

— Vanessa to Jake, They All Bow Down

Vanessa Moss is married to Jake Ballard.


The character of Vanessa Moss is a recurring character in seasons five, six and seven of Scandal. The character was portrayed by Joelle Carter in season five and due to recast, Jessalyn Gilsig now portrays her.


Season FiveEdit

Vanessa was chosen by Eli Pope to be the perfect political wife for Jake Ballard due to her wealth, connections, education, and upbringing. Jake courted her by faking to bump into her and resulting in her phone screen cracking. He then made it possible for them to run into her again to give her the impression that the second meeting was fate. Eli chose her in order to build up Jake's recognition to be a viable choice for Vice President for Edison Davis.

Eli organized a very public wedding with many powerful and wealthy guests. Jake killed Vanessa's father by drugging his drink with a substance that caused the heart attack that ultimately led to his death which allowed Vanessa to be awarded her $5 billion inheritance. Eli used Jake's access to Vanessa's wealth in order to fund a super PAC that was buying elections for Edison prior to Edison's public statement of disapproval for Hollis Doyle. This statement forced Edison to concede the election to Frankie Vargas.

Season SixEdit

Vanessa's marriage began to suffer once Olivia Pope took Jake from Rowan to be the Vice President to Mellie Grant. Vanessa began drinking heavily. She began to suspect that there's something more than just brother/sister thing going on between Jake and Olivia when Jake feels comfortable telling her nothing and everything to Olivia. When she asked him if he's cheating on her with Olivia, Jake told her he's not but Vanessa doesn't believe him since he's more closer to Olivia than to her.

Vanessa got into the car accident on the day Jake and her were supposed to do the interview on Sally Langston's "The Liberty Report". Olivia got into the field and brought her into OPA to make sure there's no scandal about it. When Vanessa accused Olivia for ruining her relationship with Jake and sleeping with her husband, Olivia gave her a lesson, throwing her into the wall and told her not to come for her angrily. Olivia later brought her back home to Jake. Vanessa told Jake that the "car accident" she had wasn't an accident and she drove the car into the tree purposely because of her suffered marriage, the way Jake treats her and that she just wanted to feel something. After the accident and everything, Vanessa got tired and told Jake that she can't do the marriage thing with him anymore since he doesn't or won't tell her anything about his past or present. When Olivia knew about this, she brought Mellie in to talk Vanessa into doing the interview since Mellie and Vanessa shared the same kind of marriages. After she and Mellie had a talk, Vanessa got convinced and eventually did her interview, the interview which was important for the campaign at that time, with Jake on The Liberty Report.

Season SevenEdit



Jake BallardEdit

Vanessa and Jake are married. They had very messy and rocky marriage at first since Jake refuses to open up to her. Since, Jake won't ever open up to her and doesn't love her, they both agreed to be in an open marriage sometime off-screen. Although Jake married Vanessa only because of her connections and wealth, it appears that Vanessa married Jake because she simply loved him and wanted to be with him.

Robert BacallEdit


→ See and enjoy 42 pictures of Vanessa Moss at Images of Vanessa Moss.


Notes & TriviaEdit

  • Joelle Carter, who portrayed the character in Season Five of Scandal had to leave the show because of the scheduling conflict with her another show, Chicago Justice.