General Hospital’s Kirsten Storms Opens Up About Her Split From Days of Our Lives’ Brandon Barash: ‘We Didn’t Have a Betrayal of Any Sort Like That… ’
Matters of the heart were front and center in the latest State of Mind.
There’s a segment of the fandom that wants to imagine a lot of drama in the way that former General Hospital co-stars — and former marrieds — Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny) coparent daughter Harper. But “we’re homies,” Storms said during the April 3 episode of castmate Maurice Benard’s State of Mind vlog. “What’s the most helpful to our situation is, Brandon and I were friends for seven years before we got together.”
So come what may, “we have a history with each other of being friends — good friends,” she added. Heck, if they went out one night to sing karaoke, he’d crash at her place — platonically. “I always thought he was cute, but it was never [romantic]… Then we kind of had a point in both of our lives where it worked out.”
‘Divorce Is Always Hard’
Until, alas, it didn’t. “Once we got married, it was obvious after a certain point that it wasn’t going to work on a romantic level,” said Storms, “and I’m not gonna say that our divorce was great, because it wasn’t… But divorce is always hard.”
Any way you slice it, both parties feel like they failed. Ironically, it was at Barash’s house the day the split was finalized that the exes discovered that they could communicate again. Now, Storms is good pals with the Days of Our Lives star (who plays Jake) as well as his fiancée. “We’re lucky.” (Watch them get engaged below.)
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Positively Rejecting the Negative
The grownups’ current recipe for success is simple but profound. “The fact that we all put Harper and her needs first is what makes it work,” Storms said. “I respect Brandon because he loves our child so much, and I can let go of the negativity.
“If you think about life as a whole big thing that we go through,” she went on, “it’s such a small portion that we were negative towards each other.” So they have agreed that it’s for the best that they let go of that for the sake of their 8-year-old.
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Putting the Rumors to Rest
As the Q&A went on, Sonny’s portrayer addressed online gossip that infidelity played a part in the couple’s split. However, “that was never an issue in our relationship,” Storms made clear. “I would not be talking to [Brandon] now if he had cheated on me. We didn’t have a betrayal of any sort like that.”
Yes, they are very different people and, as such, they butt heads. “He’s type A,” she said, “and I’m a free spirit, more of a gypsy.” So “we’re not always the best coparents, but we do come back after arguments and try and make the situation better.”
A Different Kind of Happy Ending
Storms also made sure that viewers know that she didn’t care for Barash only because they shared a wonderful kiddo together. “Coparenting aside, Brandon has been there for me a lot in my life,” she said. “In times that I’ve needed support, guidance, help… ” and people to whom she’s been close have been… absent. Harper’s dad has been there. So “I feel loyal to him now.” He’s proven that he cares, not just about Harper’s mom but about Storms as an individual.
Check out photos of General Hospital stars and their real-life partners in the gallery below.
Video: YouTube/State of Mind
<p><em>General Hospital</em> icon Genie Francis, known to fans as Laura Vining Webber Baldwin Spencer and now Collins, has been married to Jonathan Frakes since 1988. The couple originally met on the primetime soap opera <em>Bare Essence</em> and later reunited for the epic miniseries <em>North and South. </em>Frakes is best known for his role as William Riker in <em>Star Trek: The Next Generation</em> and several spin-off movies. They share a son Jameson Ivor, born in 1994, and daughter Elizabeth Frances, born in 1997.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital</em> bad boy William deVry (the late Julian Jerome) has been partnered with Rebecca Staab for years. Staab is known for playing Elizabeth Barrington on <em>Port Charles</em> and Daphne Collins in the 1991 reboot of <em>Dark Shadows</em>. Her big break in daytime was on<em> Loving</em> as Cecilia Thompson; she later played Jesse Matthews on <em>Guiding Light</em>. The couple is very dedicated to their pets and animal rights. After deVry was killed off <em>General Hospital, </em>he and Staab relocated to his home country of Canada.</p>
<p>Josh Swickard, who plays Detective Harrison Chase on<em> General Hospital</em>, married Lauren Swickard on December 29, 2019. Lauren is an actress, writer and producer, and both she and her better half starred in Netflix’s <em>Roped</em> and A <em>California Christmas, </em>the latter which was written by Mrs. S. In April 2021, the couple welcomed into the world their firstborn, daughter Savannah Kay. They are expecting their first son together this year.</p>
<p>Married since 2002, Drew’s portrayer and his lovely wife have two children, a son and a daughter. When the couple met, the future Mrs. Mathison was anything but starstruck, the <em>All My Children</em> alum <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CcnTkvpL_Sx/" target="_blank">Instagrammed in 2022</a>. “She had no idea who I was… She only watched <em>General Hospital</em>” — keeping an especially close eye on Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco)! Vanessa recently appeared on several episodes of her husband’s new daytime home as Mia Lobardi, an executive coach.</p>
<p>Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) has been married to Russell Young since 1992. The couple has three children together, Sadie Beatrice, Dylan Joseph and Cash Justice. Young is a British-American artist best known for large silkscreen paintings using imagery drawn from recent history and pop culture. </p>
<p>As the soap vet has gone from playing John McBain to Silas Clay to Hamilton Finn, a welcome constant in his life has been his beautiful missus. The actor and model wed in 2004 and have two children, Lilah and Jack.</p>
<p>Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber) and Michael Saucedo (once upon a time Juan Santiago) never had a romance on <em>General Hospital</em> but did off camera. The couple married in 2001 and have three children together: Ethan Riley, Ella Bailey and Emerson Truett. An actress since a young age, Herbst would never say no to her children getting into showbiz but has said that she isn’t going to push them, either.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital’s</em> Roger Howarth (who’s gone from playing Todd Manning to Franco Baldwin to Austin Gatlin-Holt) has been married to Cari Stahler since 1992. They have two children, Langston and Julian. Stahler had a part in the 1999 film <em>Raw Nerve</em>. Howarth previously played Todd on the daytime drama<em> One Life to Live </em>and starred on <em>Loving </em>and<em> As the World Turns.</em></p>
<p>Poor Kiki Jerome may be resting in peace — damn you, Ryan Chamberlain! — but the Emmy winner who played her is living large. In 2020, the veteran of <em>The Young and the Restless</em> (as Abby Newman) married Irish actor Fergus, who you may recognize from <em>Being Erica</em>, <em>Scandal</em> or <em>Supernatural</em>. A year later, the couple added to their family photos twin girls, “Bubbles” and “Fuzzball.” (<a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/620164/general-hospital-hayley-erin-twins-name-maude-juno-photos/" target="_blank">See them here.</a>)</p>
<p><em>General Hospital </em>MVP Maura West (Ava Jerome) met her husband Scott DeFreitas on the <em>As the World Turns</em> set, where they played Carly Tenney and Andy Dixon, respectively. They were married in 2000. West is a dedicated mother to five: Joseph, Katherine, Basil and Birdie with DeFreitas, and Benjamin from a previous marriage to Jonathan Knight.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital </em>leading man Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins and sometimes Ryan Chamberlain) met and fell in love with his wife, Cady McClain (best known as <em>All My Children</em>‘s Dixie Cooney) during their daily commute to work on<em> As the World Turns, </em>where they played Craig Montgomery and Rosanna Cabot. The couple has been married since 2014.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital</em> fan fave John J. York has been married to Vicki Manners since 1986. They have one daughter, Schyler, and not too long ago became grandparents. Manners and York met when she checked him in to an audition for the 1983 film <em>Chattanooga Choo-Choo</em>. He is, of course, beloved to <em>General Hospital</em> viewers as Mac Scorpio.</p>
<p>Lynn Herring (Lucy Coe on <em>General Hospital </em>and its spin-off, <em>Port Charles</em>) and Wayne Northrop (who played Rex Stanton on <em>Port Charles</em> and both Roman Brady and Alex North on <em>Days of our Lives</em>) met in an acting class in 1980. Herring, legend has it, knew within a week that he was The One. They married in 1981 in an outdoor wedding and own a working cattle ranch with their two children, Hank and Grady.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital’s</em> Kin Shriner, who plays Scott Baldwin, has been involved with actress Trish Ramish since 1994 when they met at her friend’s restaurant. Ramish, also a skilled dancer, is best known for the film <em>A Night at the Roxbury</em>. She’s appeared regularly on <em>General Hospital</em> as a bartender at the Metro Court and a background extra during The Nurses’ Ball.</p>
<p>Kathleen Gati’s start on daytime was playing the recurring role of Taffy Winslow on <em>All My Children</em> from 1988-89. However, she’s also appeared in numerous television shows, films and plays. She’s best known as the scheming Dr. Liesl Obrecht, the role she currently plays on <em>General Hospital.</em> Gati spent five years in Hungary in the early 1990s, which probably helped perfect her Obrecht accent. She’s been married to Michael Browers since 2012.</p>
<p>Wally Kurth originally hit daytime playing Justin Kiriakis on <em>Days of Our Lives</em> and still plays the role. He later was cast as <em>General Hospital </em>playboy Ned Quartermaine, a part he also plays while still working over at NBC. Kurth, a musician and part of the band Kurth & Taylor, has performed on both soap operas. He’s been married to his wife, Deborah Yuhasz, since 2003. They share a son, Brogan George. His previous marriage to Rena Sofer (previously Lois Cerullo on <em>General Hospital</em>, now Quinn Forrester on <em>Bold & Beautiful</em>) added to his family a daughter, Rosabel Rosalind.</p>
<p>Lisa LoCicero got her start in daytime on Loving and its offshoot The City as Jocelyn Roberts. She currently plays Olivia Falconeri Quartermaine on <em>General Hospital. </em>She’s been married to Michael Patrick Jann since 2001, and they share a son Lukas and daughter Verity Marion. Jann is an actor, writer and director best known for appearing on MTV’s sketch comedy <em>The State</em>.</p>
<p>Dominic Zamprogna, who hails from Canada, got an early start in television appearing in the Canadian teen drama series <em>Edgemont. </em>He later appeared in the remake of <em>Battlestar Galactica</em> and finally landed the role of Dante Falconeri on <em>General Hospital.</em> He and his wife Linda Leslie married in November of 2009. They share three daughters: Anbilliene, Eliana and Adeline Pauline. </p>
<p>Emme Rylan (poor, comatose Lulu Spencer on <em>General Hospital</em>) has been in a long-term relationship with Don Money since 2007. The couple has three children together, Jackson Robert, Levi Thomas and Dakota. Money has also acted and appeared in the films <em>Truth or Dare</em> and <em>2 Lava 2 Lantula</em>.</p>
<p>Briana Nicole Henry, who played Commissioner Jordan Ashford, is married to musician Kris Bowers. Before joining <em>General Hospital</em>, she played Esmeralda on <em>Young & Restless</em>. Bowers and Henry married in June of 2020 during the middle of the pandemic and thus had a smaller wedding complete with custom face masks to mark the special day. Bowers is known for composing soundtracks to series such as <em>Dear White People</em> and <em>Bridgerton</em>.</p>
<p>Though June 24 is this happy couple’s wedding anniversary, it sounds like they seize every day as a chance to celebrate their love. When they reached four years as marrieds in 2021, Clark Instagrammed Amy Driscoll’s portrayer that he was “so happy to go through life with you by my side!”</p>
<p>Over the years, The Jackal has formed a beautiful pack with his missus! Since tying the knot in the spring of 2010, the New Hampshire native, who’s played Damian Spinelli off and on since 2006, and his better half have welcomed into the world two daughters, Juna and Finola.</p>
<p>The model who stole the heart of the Emmy winner who played Morgan doesn’t just love him. As she Instagrammed on her honey’s 30th birthday in 2021, she loves him “till the wheels come off, baby!”</p>
<p>Laura Wright (aka Carly Corinthos) first met Wes Ramsey (formerly Peter August) when they both worked on <em>Guiding Light</em> playing Cassie Layne and Sam Spencer. It wasn’t until years later when they reconnected at the Daytime Emmys that a romance began. The couple currently lives together but rarely shared scenes on <em>General Hospital</em>. Wright has two children from her former marriage to John Wright, Lauren and John Jr.</p>
<p>Maurice Benard, <em>General Hospital </em>mobster Sonny Corinthos, has been married to wife Paula Smith since 1990. They have four children together: Cailey Sofia, Joshua James, Cassidy Rose and Heather Ann Smith. They adopted Heather when she was 15 after her mother, Smith’s sister, passed away. The family also has a number of animals, including goats, which are often featured on Benard’s social media. They recently welcomed their first grandchild. </p>
<p>Playing Ms. Selina Wu, one of the heads of the original five families of Port Charles, now down to two, Lydia Look has been married to her husband Jen Kuo Sung since 2005. She speaks five, count them five languages, and is adept at playing dramatic and comedic roles, which she clearly brings to the table as Ms. Wu. Her husband, Jen Kuo Sunghas been a student of kung fu since as a teen who became enamored with Bruce Lee’s films. He is an actor as well as a voice-over artist for video games. T</p>
<p>James Patrick Stuart is the son of the late Chad Stuart, part of the ’60s pop duo Chad and Jeremy. Like his father, he is a talented musician, having released several albums. He originally acted under the name Patrick Stuart but added James to distinguish himself from Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. He’s been married to his wife Jocelyn Jane Stilwell since 2000, and they share two children. Before joining General Hospital as Valentin Cassadine, daytime viewers would have recognized him from his run as the nefarious Will Cortlandt on All My Children.</p>
<p>Charles Shaughnessy is probably best known to daytime fans for playing all-around-good-guy ISA agent Shane Donovan on <em>Days of Our Lives. </em>Some are more likely to recognize him as Maxwell Sheffield, aka Mr. Sheffield, from the long-running sitcom <em>The Nanny</em> starring Fran Drescher. He rejoined <em>General Hospital</em> playing Victor Cassadine, a role formerly played by his <em>Days </em>co-star Thaao Penghlis (Andre and Tony DiMera). He’s been married to his wife Susan Fallender since 1983 and the couple have two daughters, Jenny and Maddy.</p>
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