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The Messiest Real-Life Soap Opera Splits: General Hospital’s Steve Burton Is Not Alone

The Messiest Soap Opera Splits in Real Life
Steve Burton. Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Many soap opera stars have had messy breakups that resemble the plot of their respective shows.

General Hospital star Steve Burton and then-wife Sheree Burton announced their split in May 2022. The pair, who share three children, McKenna, Jack and Brooklyn, called it quits after 23 years of marriage for a reason no one saw coming.

“I wanted to clear something up. Sheree and I are separated,” he wrote via his Instagram Story at the time. “She recently announced that she’s expecting her 4th child. The child is not mine.”

After Steve announced that he and Sheree had separated, the fitness coach posted a cryptic message about making mistakes.

“If you could go back, what would you tell your younger self? I would have said. Follow your passions. People will hurt you, but always be kind and take the high road. Don’t be afraid to fail or try new things. Learn from your mistakes because you will make’s ok!” Sheree via Instagram. “You are strong, brave, beautiful and capable of anything you put your mind to. Life is short, so live it and love everyone. ✨ I hope your day was beautiful.”

Steve is not the only soap star to be entangled in a dramatic breakup. Keep scrolling to see who else has endured a messy split:

The Messiest Soap Opera Splits in Real Life
Justin Hartley and Chrishell Hartley. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Los Angeles Confidential

Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause

The pair first connected while Stause was working on All My Children with Justin’s ex-wife, Lindsay Hartley. The This Is Us alum and Stause confirmed their romance in 2014 and wed three years later.

In November 2019, Justin filed for divorce from the Selling Sunset star. During season 3 of the reality show, Stause revealed she learned that Justin was filing for divorce via text.

“I found out because he texted me that we were filed. Forty-five minutes later, the world knew,” she claimed. “I talked to him right after [he filed] because I thought that must be a joke. That was kind of the end of the communication. What am I supposed to say? What do you say after that? Like, now I have to find a place to live, now I have to scramble and figure this out.”

Us Weekly broke the news in May 2020 that Justin began dating his former The Young and the Restless costar Sofia Pernas after reconnecting that same year. In January 2021, Stause and Justin finalized their divorce. Justin and Pernas tied the knot four months later.

Tyler Christopher and Vanessa Marcil

Christopher and Marcil began dating in the ‘90s after meeting on the set of General Hospital. They were briefly engaged before calling it quits in 1999. After his split from Marcil, Christopher moved on with Eva Longoria who once played Marcil’s stand-in on the set of the soap. Christopher and Longoria were married from 2002 to 2004.

The Messiest Soap Opera Splits in Real Life
Chad Duell and Courtney Hope. Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Courtney Hope and Chad Duell

Hope and Duell connected after meeting at a party hosted by Duell’s General Hospital costar Bryan Craig in 2016. Hope, for her part, was on The Young and the Restless. The pair got engaged on Valentine’s Day in 2021 after five years of dating. Hope and Duell wed eight months later in a steampunk-themed ceremony.

Six weeks after their nuptials, the twosome split. Duell admitted that he and Hope were never legally married since they did not file the paperwork. One year later, Hope reflected on how much things had changed since she walked down the aisle.

“I’ve lived the life of a Phoenix this last year, and it was far less majestic than I had previously believed it to be.” she shared via Instagram in October 2022 alongside photos from the day. “It was painful. It was infuriating. It was powerful. It was enlightening. It was cathartic. It was grounding, and it was my greatest teacher.”

Following her split from Duell, Hope was linked to her The Young and the Restless costar Mark Grossman.

The Messiest Soap Opera Splits in Real Life
Steve Burton and Sheree Gustin. Taylor Hill/WireImage

Steve Burton and Sheree Burton

Two months after dropping the bombshell that Sheree was pregnant with another man’s baby in 2022, Steve filed for divorce, which wasn’t settled until December 2023. According to court documents obtained by Us at the time, the exes share joint legal and physical custody of two minor children. Steve was also ordered to pay Sheree $12,500 per month in child support until April 2024, after which he will pay $10,000 per month.

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