How General Hospital's Michael Became Sonny's Son

When Caroline "Carly" Benson first arrived in Port Charles in 1996 — then played by Sarah Joy Brown — she was on a mission to destroy the life of Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman), her birth mother who had given her up for adoption. She promptly stole her husband (via Soap Central). When things between Carly and Tony Jones (Brad Maule) got rocky, Carly went in search of her new friend and confidant Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). Instead, she found Jason's brother A.J. Quartermaine (Sean Kanan) and had a one-night stand.

Soon after, Carly learned that she was pregnant. Carly hated A.J. and believed he would be an unfit parent due to his alcoholism. Terrified to let him have a claim on their child, Carly was thrilled when she realized A.J. had blacked out during their tryst and didn't remember them sleeping together. She saw this as the perfect opportunity to give her baby a different father.

Though most long-time "General Hospital" viewers watched her child Michael grow up as the beloved son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), the first few years of his life were chaotic as his parentage and guardians changed often. Let's explore the saga that led little Michael to becoming a Corinthos — a name he's currently trying to redefine in his adult life, per Soap Dirt.

Jason pretended to be Michael's father

By the time Carly Benson was ready to give birth to her son, A.J. Quartermaine had remembered their night together. Carly and Jason Morgan agreed to have Jason pretend he was the father to prevent A.J. from gaining custody, according to Soap Central. The two were close and had a physical relationship so this was a believable story to those that knew them.

After the birth, Carly suffered from postpartum depression and left town, leaving Jason to care for the boy who he named Michael after his mentor, Michael "Sonny" Corinthos (Maurice Benard). Jason confided in his good friend Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) about Michael's true paternity, and she thought that he should tell the truth. Later, Carly returned to town but was forced to leave again after shooting Tony Jones and being sent to a psychiatric facility. During this time Robin moved in with Jason, and the two cared for Michael together (via Soaps in Depth). 

When Carly was released from Shadybrook, the three tried to cohabitate; however, the situation was untenable due to Carly and Robin's animosity toward each other. Robin eventually moved out and made the decision to tell A.J. the truth about Michael.

Carly and Jason's romance didn't work out

When A.J. Quartermaine learned that he was Michael's father, he and Carly Benson decided to get married. A.J. was hoping to prove himself and provide a family for his son, but Carly just wanted to obtain evidence that he was an unfit parent so she could get full custody of the baby (via Soap Central). By this time, Jason Morgan and Carly had developed romantic feelings for each other and agreed that they would be together once Carly was able to divorce A.J.

However, this plan never came to fruition because Carly witnessed Jason consoling Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) and incorrectly assumed that they were together (via Soaps in Depth). Feeling heartbroken and betrayed, Carly went to Jason's best friend Sonny Corinthos to get revenge. Carly and Sonny ended up sleeping together, and Jason found them together the next morning. He was devastated by what he found and decided to leave town without letting either of them know what he saw.

Sonny adopted Michael

Carly Benson became pregnant after her one-night stand with Sonny Corinthos, and she quickly divorced A.J. Quartermaine so she and Michael could move in with the notorious mobster. She tragically suffered a miscarriage after an altercation with A.J., and she and Sonny bonded over their mutual grief, according to Soap Opera Digest. Soon after, Carly and Sonny entered into a marriage of convenience so that she wouldn't be forced to testify against him in court after overhearing sensitive mob-related information. The two gradually fell in love and became committed to each other for real; they renewed their vows the following year. Jason Morgan, who had returned to town by this time, gave the couple his blessing.

However, it wasn't long after Carly and Sonny's heartfelt wedding in Martinique that they began to have problems. Carly wanted Sonny to leave the mob and agreed to work with law enforcement to make that happen (via Soaps in Depth). Sonny was furious over her betrayal and immediately filed for divorce. Despite their contentious split, Carly knew how much Sonny had come to love her son Michael, and she agreed to let him adopt the boy. Ever the pragmatic crime boss, Sonny kidnapped A.J. and threatened to kill him until he agreed to sign over his parental rights.

Sonny and Michael's future is up in the air

Sonny Corinthos and Carly Benson would go on to have more children and marry and divorce several times over the years, but the father-son bond remained strong between Michael and Sonny even after the boy learned the truth about his paternity. Michael (now played by Chad Duell) managed to reconnect with A.J. Quartermaine as an adult and build a relationship with him until the older man was murdered in 2014 (via Soap Central).

As of 2022, Michael and Sonny are on the outs due to Sonny's loyalty to Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros). Michael and his family are enraged that Nina kept the secret that Sonny was alive throughout 2021 when they all believed him to be dead (via Showbiz CheatSheet). When Sonny came back to Port Charles he defended Nina despite how angry everyone was with the situation. He cheated on his wife Carly with Nina — leading to the fifth divorce between the two — and then proceeded to support Nina in her court battle over visitation with Michael's son Wiley, who is also her grandson. 

Michael declared war on his father and is determined to take down his mob organization and create something more positive for the Corinthos name to be associated with (via SoapHub).