General Hospital's Dominic Zamprogna Reveals Dante's Biggest Mistake

Dominic Zamprogna has been playing Dante Falconeri on "General Hospital," the PCPD detective with a heart of gold, since 2009. Despite being the long-lost son of a mob boss, he has managed to stay true to his own belief system and always tries to do the right thing, though it doesn't always work out perfectly for him. But Dante certainly has his stuff together more than most of the residents of Port Charles — after 13 years on "GH" he's only been married one time and only has one child, which has to be some sort of soap record.

In a recent conversation with Soap Opera Digest, Zamprogna shed some light on the biggest (and one of the few) mistakes that Dante ever made — sending his little brother Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) to prison for murder. Michael's time in Pentonville was revisited last week on "GH" when attorney Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner) brought up his past during the court hearing regarding his son Wiley (via Soaps). In case viewers have forgotten, let's look back at what happened to Michael and what role Dante played in the events that followed.

Michael Corinthos kills his step-mother Claudia Zacchara

In 2007, a young Michael Corinthos (then Dylan Cash) was visiting his father Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) at his coffee warehouse when he was accidentally shot by a sniper who was hired to take out Sonny (via Soaps in Depth). In 2009, a teenage Michael woke up from a long-term coma (now played by Drew Garrett) to find that his father had married Claudia Zacchara (Sarah Joy Brown), who was then pregnant and later miscarried, and that his mother Carly (Laura Wright) was also pregnant by her husband Jasper "Jax" Jacks (Ingo Rademacher). Michael struggled to settle into his new unfamiliar life and he and Sonny both discovered that Claudia was responsible for the shooting that had put him in a long-term care facility for over a year. Sonny finally confronted Claudia about what she did, and in a panic she kidnapped Carly.

Later, while driving, Michael came across Claudia's car on the side of the road and followed the sound of screams to a cabin in the woods where Carly had just given birth to her daughter Josslyn Jacks, who Claudia was attempting to steal as a replacement for the baby she lost (via Soap Central). Seeing the woman responsible for shooting him trying to kidnap his brand-new baby sister he grabbed the closest thing he could find — an ax handle — and hit Claudia over the head with it, killing her instantly.

Dante Falconeri arrives and Michael goes to prison

Michael Corinthos' parents, Sonny Corinthos and Carly Jacks, along with Jason Morgan (Steve Burton), quickly made the decision to cover up his involvement in Claudia Zacchara's death and Sonny prepared to take the fall for the crime (via Soaps). Around the same time, Dante Falconeri had come to Port Charles as an undercover cop named Dominic Pirelli, tasked with taking down Sonny and his mob organization, according to Soaps in Depth. Sonny eventually discovered that Dominic was not who he said he was and shot him, just before Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) arrived and informed them that they were father and son.

As Dante recovered and got to know his new family, he began to suspect that Michael (now played by Chad Duell) knew something about what happened to Claudia. He tracked down his new brother where Sonny had hidden him on his private island and a guilt-ridden Michael admitted that he was actually the one who killed his step-mother. Wholeheartedly believing in the justice system, Dante convinced Michael that he should own up to what he did and that the courts would be lenient on him (via Soap Central). Instead, the judge was displeased with the cover-up that occurred and sentenced Michael to five years in prison. Soon after, Jason confessed to a crime so that he could be sent to Pentonville and be cell-mates with Michael in order to protect him from Sonny's enemies on the inside.

Dante blames himself for Michael's assault

Dante Falconeri was distraught over inadvertently sending his little brother Michael Corinthos to prison, as was the rest of Michael's family. He was eventually able to convince the judge to show mercy on Michael and he was remanded into Dante's custody (via Soap Central). Michael began struggling with anger issues and intimacy and sought advice from Jason Morgan about his lack of experience with women and his desire to seek out a sex worker. Instead, Jason's girlfriend Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) set Michael up with her friend Abby who became a good friend and confidant to him. This relationship eventually gave Michael the courage to admit to his family that he had been sexually assaulted in prison before Jason arrived to protect him.

Though Michael never blamed his brother for what happened to him in prison, Dante certainly blamed himself — as did Michael's mother Carly Jacks. Ultimately, it wasn't Dante's identity as a cop or faith in the justice system that steered him wrong, but his arrogance in assuming that he could predict what the outcome for Michael would be. Speaking with Soap Opera Digest, Zamprogna said of Dante, "What he did, thinking he was doing the right thing for Michael, was life-altering. A major, major mistake." Though Dante had good intentions and he and Michael have long since put this tragic time in their lives to rest, it's clearly something that will stay with both characters forever — especially now that Michael's past has been brought more to the forefront of everyone's minds in recent episodes.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).