The Biggest Behind-The-Scenes Scandals From The Cast Of General Hospital

The following article mentions addiction.

When it comes to drama, daytime soap "General Hospital" knows how to deliver. The series has been bringing twists, turns, and heartbreaks to the small screen since the 1960s, and it does not look like it will let up anytime soon. From family betrayals and hostage crises, to illicit affairs and blackmail, devoted fans know to stay on their toes whenever they visit Port Charles. Let us not forget, "General Hospital" is a show that's given us wild storylines involving aliens, a weather machine, and vampires. As far as we're concerned, anything can happen on this show. 

While the actors who have appeared on "General Hospital" haven't had to thwart a villain determined to use a diamond to freeze the entire planet in their actual lives, that's not to say they haven't dealt with their fair share of drama. Over the years, some of the soap opera's stars have gone through major scandals, ended up in legal battles, and dealt with social media trouble. Here's some of the behind-the-scenes drama of "General Hospital."

Haley Pullos was charged with felony DUI

In the world of soaps, it is not unusual for a kid character to be recast after a couple years to reflect a sudden age jump. Before Haley Pullos joined the show, Molly Lansing-Davis was played by two sets of twins: Hope and Faith Dever, and then Iris and Ivy Kaim. Pullos stuck around for a while, playing the part from 2009 through 2023. As the daughter of Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) and Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst), Molly was always an ambitious character with an authentic sense of self. She was also a fan-favorite for longtime "General Hospital" fans. 

In April 2023, Pulos allegedly caused a car crash on a Pasadena, California, freeway. According to TMZ, she reportedly drove into oncoming traffic and created a major collision. She also was charged with committing a hit-and-run that same night. As People confirmed at the time, Pullos racked up multiple felony charges, including a felony DUI. She pleaded not guilty to the charges. What's more, according to the New York Post, she was allegedly combative when firefighters worked to extract her from the wreckage, even accusing them of ruining her shirt. 

In the wake of the incident, Pulos parted ways with the soap opera. Actor Holiday Mia Kriegel was brought on to play Molly, and only a few months later, she was replaced with actor Brooke Anne Smith. 

Ingo Rademacher sued ABC over a vaccine mandate

Beloved character Jasper "Jax" Jacks was part of the "General Hospital'" world for over two decades. From 1996 to 2021, actor Ingo Rademacher played Jax on the long-running soap. And by all accounts, he did not exactly leave the series on the best of terms. In 2021, Rademacher exited "General Hospital" after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Following his firing, he took ABC to court. 

As Variety reported at the time, Rademacher sued the network for religious discrimination, maintaining that he should have been granted an exemption from the vaccine mandates.m In an email to Disney's HR department, Rademacher wrote, "[M]y body is endowed by my creator with natural processes to protect me and that its natural integrity cannot ethically be violated by the administration of artificially created copies of genetic material, foreign to nature and experimental."

In 2023, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in favor of ABC. Per Deadline, the judge ultimately determined that Rademacher's refusal to get the vaccine wasn't about his religious views. 

Tyler Christopher said his sister exploited his guardianship arrangement

"General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives" alum Tyler Christopher faced serious struggles throughout his personal life. As he shared in an op-ed for Reader's Digest, his addiction to alcohol bled into his career. "My addiction to alcohol contributed to losing my jobs on 'General Hospital' and 'Days of Our Lives'—no one else is to blame," he wrote. "I suffered from delirium tremens, the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and almost died after falling and hitting my head on a bathtub." After the accident, Christoper's sister, Susan Asmo Baker, filed a petition in 2020 to put him under her guardianship. While under a 20-month guardianship, according to Bloomberg Law, Christopher alleged that his sister exploited the arrangement. "I didn't know what I was getting myself into and I didn't have a choice," he said.

The actor claimed that his sister took advantage of him financially, and used the misappropriated money to pay off her own personal expenses, including her credit card bill. In a statement to Bloomberg Law, Baker denied the allegations. "If I hadn't been his Guardian he'd be DEAD!" she wrote. 

On October 31, 2023, Christoper Tyler died at age 50. The cause of death was a cardiac event. 

Scammers impersonated Maurice Benard online

Soap operas breed some of the most dedicated and passionate fans, and actors on soaps are well aware of their incredible fanbase. While the majority of fans try to spread love and positivity, others unfortunately use the popularity of these soap stars to toy with fans and fuel their own selfish agendas. Unfortunately, that is what happened to Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) and an unlucky "General Hospital" fan who got swindled out of a large sum of money.

According to, Benard posted to his Instagram Stories in 2022 to warn followers that a person was impersonating him online. The victim was sadly a dedicated fan and mother who was conned out of $15,000, believing the person she was speaking to was Benard. The timing of the scam only angered Benard all the more, as a lot of people were legitimately struggling during the pandemic. "You know, a lot of people are having hard times right now... and you're sitting there taking money from people who can't pay their rent, food, gas. I don't know," he said. "Anyway, I feel so bad." 

This wasn't the first time a scammer pretended to be Benard on social media. In 2020, the actor told his Instagram followers that someone was impersonating him online. He reminded his fans to look out for the blue checkmark next to the username. 

Steve Burton revealed his wife was pregnant with another man's baby

"General Hospital" alum Steve Burton is certainly no stranger to drama. The same could be said about his "General Hospital" character: Jason Morgan is not only a hitman with ties to the mob, but a heartthrob who has landed in a number of love triangles.

Burton's own love life took a turn after he left the soap opera for a second time. In 2022, he confirmed on Instagram that he and Sheree Gustin, his wife of nearly 23 years, were splitting up. He also confirmed that she was pregnant with a child that is not his. Burton and Gustin share three children. 

The two officially split on March 1 of that year, and according to documents obtained by TMZ, Burton cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reasoning for the divorce. An unnamed source later dished to People that the relationship was on the rocks before Gustin fell pregnant with another man's child. "Their lives have been in the coasting stage for a while," they said. "After a long marriage, it's not that unusual."

Ingo Rademacher shared a transphobic post

2021 was a particularly messy year for Ingo Rademacher. When U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine became the country's first transgender four-star officer that year, Rademacher used his Instagram to share a transphobic post that referred to Levine as a "dude."

After Rademacher's post made the internet rounds, fellow "General Hospital" star Cassandra James (Dr. Terry Randolph) took to X (formerly Twitter) to call him out. James, who is transgender, pointed out how harmful and ignorant the post was. "Misgendering trans folks is violence and if you come for one of us, you come for all of us," she wrote

Rademacher addressed the controversy in an Instagram video. While he did acknowledge that he should've omitted the word "dude" from that post, he didn't shy away from sharing additional transphobic views. "I don't think that it's okay to call a transgender an empowered woman," he stated. "Where does that leave women? Women have fought so hard to get on a level playing field with men." In an effort to apologize to James, he said, "I think you're an absolute talent and you're very beautiful as well. I don't think a transphobic man would say that."

Nancy Lee Grahn tweeted some insensitive remarks after Viola Davis' Emmys speech

In 2015, Viola Davis made history when she became the first Black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Davis, who earned the award for playing Annalise Keating on "How to Get Away with Murder," acknowledged the significance of this moment in her speech. "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity," she said. "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."

Evidently, "General Hospital" actor Nancy Lee Grahn was not particularly moved by this moment. After Davis delivered her acceptance speech, Grahn fired off a number of ignorant and insensitive posts on X (formerly Twitter). "I wish I loved #ViolaDavis Speech, but I thought she should have let @shondarhimes write it. #Emmys," she wrote in a since-deleted post (via ET). Then, Grahn went on to suggest Davis has not experienced discrimination in her career. "I think she's the bees knees but she's elite of TV performers. Brilliant as she is. She has never been discriminated against," Grahn posted in another. 

After a number of X users called her out for making racist comments, the soap star seemingly recognized she was wrong and apologized. "My intention was not to take this historic and important moment from Viola Davis or other women of color but I realize that my intention doesn't matter here because that is what I ended up doing," she wrote (via HuffPost).

Rebecca Herbst's firing sparked outrage

Veteran actors from soap operas are extremely beloved by their fan bases, but sometimes even with their immense popularity, they are let go from their iconic roles. This unfortunately happened to "General Hospital" actor Rebecca Herbst, who started playing Elizabeth Webber back in 1997. In 2011, the soap star was told she would no longer be a part of the series. "It was surreal," she told Soaps In Depth (via Michael Fairman TV). "I didn't see it coming." As she recalled to the outlet, her character was involved in multiple storylines at the time, so she didn't exactly get the sense that Elizabeth was being phased out.  

When word got out about her firing, fans and costars alike rallied around her. As TV Insider noted at the time, Tyler Christopher, Kelly Monaco, and Jonathon Jackson expressed their shock over Herbst leaving the show, with Monaco even tweeting that the loss of Herbst made her "worry about the future of Daytime." Evidently, the outcry worked: A few weeks later, Herbst was offered her job back. 

This was not the only time that Herbst was in talks of leaving "General Hospital." In 2016, her future on the show was up in the air yet again after Herbst and ABC couldn't get on the same page regarding her contract. Fortunately, a settlement was eventually reached and Herbst was able to continue on with an extended contract.

Fans took their commentary too far on social media

Love triangles on soap operas are a tale as old as time. Soap opera fans taking to social media to vent about the series' latest love triangle drama is a far newer tale. And unfortunately, that venting can get a bit toxic, as the actors aren't totally shielded from the discourse. "General Hospital" stars Laura Wright and Cynthia Watros know this all too well. Their characters, Carly Spencer and Nina Reeves, have long been in a feud thanks to their love triangle involving Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard). While the drama is all fictional, some viewers have taken things a little too far on social media. 

In January 2023, one X user suggested that their disdain for Nina extended to the real-life actor. "I'm afraid if I saw Cynthia Watros on the street I would punch her in the face for messing with Carly," they wrote (via Soaps in Depth). Even if it was meant to be a joke, Watros wasn't exactly thrilled about this arguably threatening comment. After she saw the post, the actor simply replied, "Really?" Wright also jumped in to defend Watros. "Not if I were there! Love you, Cynthia! XOXOX," she wrote. 

In October 2023, Wright and Watros chatted with Eldredge ATL about fans crossing the line on social media. "I just think personally attacking any actor in any way is absolutely uncalled for," Wright said. "That's unacceptable. And I have no problem blocking you."

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