Michael Corinthos III has had more fathers, more addresses, and more last names than probably anyone. But if your mother were Caroline "Carly" Corinthos Jacks, it would be a safe bet that she'd keep your life interesting, too.
Michael was conceived one night in 1997 when Carly went to bed with two men: the man she loved, Dr. Tony Jones, and a man she turned to when she was hurting, A.J. Quartermaine. Fears that A.J. was the father of her baby led Carly to take drastic measures to get A.J. out of her life.
After convincing A.J. he couldn't be the father, Carly was free to raise her child with Tony. But Carly and Tony's relationship hit the skids, and Carly claimed that her friend, Jason Morgan, was the father of her baby. Jason let the pregnant Carly move into his penthouse with him, and agreed to let everyone think he'd fathered her child, to keep Carly safe from custody lawsuits.
Carly gave birth to a baby boy right before the end of the year. Born with a serious heart condition, Michael needed immediate surgery. Jason made the life-saving decision and gave the doctors permission. Jason became a permanent part of Michael's life as the greedy Quartermaines fought to get access to their newest heir.
Suffering from postpartum depression and unable to face motherhood, Carly left town and left her baby in Jason's care. Jason named the little boy Michael, after his best friend Michael "Sonny" Corinthos Jr., and had the boy baptized, which Carly returned in time to witness. Jason quickly bonded with Michael and grew to think of himself as the baby's real father. Jason couldn't keep the truth from the woman he loved and told Robin Scorpio about Michael's real paternity.
Tony was devastated to learn he wasn't the father of Carly's baby, and he soon went from "Mr. Nice Guy" to one of the most loathed citizens in Port Charles. Tony kidnapped Michael and planned on running away with him. Robin, who knew the truth about Michael's paternity, realized that Tony was keeping Michael and confronted him. Tony then held Robin hostage, but Jason quickly rescued her and Michael.
Tony went on trial, but Tony only received a slap on the wrist for kidnapping Michael. In the courtroom, Carly lost control, grabbed an officer's gun, and shot Tony. Tony quickly recovered from his injuries, but Carly was sent away to the Ferncliff psychiatric facility.
Jason and Robin were back together, and Jason wanted to guarantee that Robin and Michael would always be safe. To that end, Jason met with his rival, Moreno, and announced his resignation from the mob. Jason went to work as a mechanic, and he and Robin moved into Brenda's vacant cottage with Michael.
Robin and Jason were very much in love. One day, Jason returned to the garage and was shocked to find A.J. there alone with Michael. Jason was furious and couldn't accept Robin's excuse that she'd had no choice but to leave Michael with A.J. Jason felt betrayed, and a rift developed between the couple. Jason and Robin quickly reconciled, but Robin was concerned over Jason's deep attachment to Michael.
Robin also continued to worry about what the future would hold once Carly was released from Ferncliff, and Robin hated that her and Jason's lives revolved around Carly. To make matters worse, A.J. was determined to win Carly over to his side in order to score points with Edward. The Quartermaines were set on taking Michael into the family fold and making him one of their own, which was something Jason vowed would never happen.
Jason proved to Carly that he could still make things happen, even after leaving the organization, when he arranged for her release from Ferncliff. Carly moved into the cottage with Jason, Michael, and Robin, and secretly planned a future of her own with Jason. The tension between Robin and Carly was palpable.
In 1999, Robin was thrilled when Sonny returned to Port Charles, as she hoped he would be able to help her with Carly, who continued to use Michael to manipulate Jason. Robin reached her breaking point when Jason announced that he was going to move into the brownstone with Carly and Michael in order to solve everyone's problems. Robin was stunned by Jason's "solution," and they broke up.
Believing she was protecting Jason from future pain at the hands of Carly, Robin did the unthinkable: she went to A.J. and told him the truth -- that A.J., not Jason, was Michael's biological father. Jason was furious over Robin's betrayal and made it clear he would never forgive her. A.J. shocked the Quartermaines with the news about Michael, and battle lines were quickly drawn. Jason assured Carly that no one would take Michael away from him, and they prepared to do battle with the Quartermaines.
Jason and Carly planned to leave Port Charles and go on the run with Michael. Jason left town with Michael, and Carly planned on joining them later. Carly, however, changed her mind. She didn't rendezvous with Jason as planned. Instead, Carly went to the Quartermaine mansion and said that Jason had kidnapped Michael. She started spinning a tale of lies and was able to convince the Quartermaines that she was on their side. Carly even moved into the mansion.
Sonny was furious that Carly had betrayed Jason, and he told Jason what Carly had done. Sonny was shocked when Jason defended Carly and decided to return to Port Charles with Michael. Alone with Jason, Carly explained herself and told Jason of her next plan. Carly planned on winning A.J. over to her side and then marrying him. She would then divorce A.J. and return to Jason with Michael. Jason didn't think Carly's plan would work, but he went along with it, anyway. Alexis agreed to represent Jason in his custody battle against the Quartermaines.
Jason was forced to take Michael to the Quartermaine mansion to live. He lost visitation rights and was no longer allowed to spend time with Michael. Carly was determined to keep custody of Michael and end her marriage to A.J., but A.J. made it clear that neither Carly nor Michael would be going anywhere.
Upset about Jason's growing closeness with Elizabeth Webber in 2000, Carly sought comfort in the arms of Sonny and got pregnant. After her unsuccessful attempt to seduce A.J. so she could pass the baby off as his, Sonny figured out that Carly was carrying his child. He freed Carly of A.J. and the Quartermaines, got her a quickie divorce, and moved her and Michael from the Quartermaine mansion to his penthouse.
However, Sonny and Carly's happiness was shattered when, while arguing with A.J. at the Quartermaine mansion, she fell down the stairs and lost her unborn baby. Sonny and Carly were both devastated by their loss.
Carly was hopeful for a future with Sonny, but was heartbroken when she overheard Sonny refer to her and Michael as obligations. Carly wanted Sonny to be with her because he wanted to, not because he thought he had to. To that end, Carly surprised Sonny when she announced that she and Michael were moving into the brownstone. Neither Sonny nor Carly really wanted to change their living arrangement, but both were too stubborn to admit their true feelings. Eventually, Sonny and Carly admitted their feelings and got married.
On Sonny's birthday in 2001, Sonny's rival, Sorel, sent a bomb to Sonny's penthouse, disguised as a birthday gift. Michael wanted to open it, but Sonny discovered what the present really was before Michael could be hurt. Shaken by the close call, Carly asked Roy to set up a deal with the FBI so that Sonny would roll over on his associates, and Sonny, Carly, and Michael would go into the Witness Protection Program.
Carly soon got Sonny arrested, and tried to convince him to go along with the deal being offered him. Once Sonny learned how deeply Carly had betrayed him, he kicked her and Michael out of the penthouse and out of his life.
Sonny began seeing Alexis Davis, who got pregnant with his child. In November 2002, Alexis gave birth to Michael's half-sister, Kristina, though she tried to convince everyone that Ned Ashton was the father. Ned knew that Kristina was Sonny's daughter. When the truth came out, Alexis waged a bitter custody battle and was given full custody of Kristina.
Meanwhile, A.J. made plans to get Michael back. A.J.'s illegitimate older sister, Skye Chandler, moved to town. A.J. at first distrusted Skye, but soon saw value in her. Putting their scheming heads together, A.J. and Skye devised a plan in which Skye would cozy up to Carly, to give A.J. a clear shot at Michael. A.J. and Skye's plans hit a snag when Sonny's men kidnapped A.J. and forced him to sign away his rights to Michael. Carly and Sonny eventually reunited and raised Michael together, with the help of Leticia Juarez.
In 2003, Carly got pregnant, and Michael looked forward to becoming a big brother. That summer, Michael was traumatized when he saw Sonny's vengeful half-brother, Ric Lansing, kidnap Carly. Sonny and Jason were eventually able to get Michael to recall that he had seen Ric take Carly that fateful night. Michael was thrilled when his mother finally returned home.
Carly gave birth to her son, Morgan Corinthos, but Carly and Sonny's marriage dissolved once again. Carly got involved with Lorenzo Alcazar, while Sonny dallied with Sam McCall. Michael hated both of the new people in his life and even faked his own kidnapping to try to reunite his parents. When that didn't work, Michael tried to arrange for Jason to give Sam anything she wanted so she'd leave Port Charles and never look back.
In February 2005, Faith Roscoe and A.J. kidnapped Michael, Morgan, and Kristina. After Jason and Sam rescued Morgan and Kristina, A.J. faked his son's murder and, with help from his father Alan, attempted to flee the country with Michael. But Alan was concerned about A.J.'s willingness to commit violence and told the truth.
Jason attempted to rescue Michael, and he and A.J. fought. During the scuffle, A.J. fell and broke his back. While A.J. was in the hospital, someone smothered him to death. Michael started to have nightmares and imagined that he was the one who had killed his biological father. After therapy, he realized that he had only witnessed the crime. Asher Thomas, who A.J. had blackmailed, had done the deed.
In 2007, the Text Message Killer murdered Leticia and Michael's aunt Emily. Michael asked Sonny to avenge their deaths. Michael illegally purchased a gun to protect his family. However, when his father's fiancée Kate surprised him at the waterfront, he accidentally shot her.
Kate survived, but Michael ran away from home. Michael eventually agreed to meet his mother at the warehouse that Sonny's enemies had wired with explosives. Carly and Michael were there when it blew up, but both recovered.
Michael learned that Diego Alcazar, thought dead, had murdered Emily and Leticia but had been killed. Sonny stepped down as the head of the Corinthos organization for the safety of Kate and his kids. After he turned the organization over to Jason, Sonny wanted to show twelve-year-old Michael the legitimate side of his business. Sonny took his son to the coffee warehouse for a tour.
However, Claudia Zacchara, to avenge her brother who Sonny's men had kidnapped, hired Ian Devlin to take Sonny out that day. Devlin shot at Sonny but missed. The bullet ricocheted and hit Michael in the head. He was rushed to the hospital and ended up in what was believed to be a permanent coma. Michael was sent to a long-term care facility in May 2008, where he remained comatose for nearly a year.
Neurosurgeon Patrick Drake performed a controversial experimental operation that got Michael out of his coma. Michael was shocked to discover that Sonny had married Claudia, who was pregnant with Sonny's child, and that Carly was pregnant by Jax.
In July 2009, Michael became enraged while driving and thought that he had run Claudia off the road, which caused her to miscarry. Michael ran away to Mexico but Kristina tagged along. Claudia asked Jax's brother, Jerry Jacks, to find the teens. Jerry found them and held them against their will, but they escaped. Jason and Sam found Michael and Kristina working at a rental shop. Kristina revealed that she had been responsible for the accident, and all four returned to Port Charles.
Michael began to remember hearing people talk to him while he had been in the coma. At first, he suspected Jax had been responsible for his shooting but eventually remembered that Claudia had apologized and confessed to hiring Devlin. When Sonny learned the truth, he verbally attacked Claudia at her birthday party at the Metro Court. Her back against a wall, she brandished a gun and grabbed a very pregnant Carly. The two women ended up in a car crash, and Carly made her way to a cabin to give birth.
Claudia found Carly in the cabin and helped her deliver a baby girl. Michael, who had decided to run away to Canada, discovered the crashed car and decided to look for his mother. As he approached the cabin, he heard Carly beg Claudia not to take her daughter. Michael burst in through the front door and reacted by grabbing an axe handle and striking Claudia. The blow killed her instantly.
Sam and Jason arrived and, with Sonny's help, agreed to cover up the death. Michael's family went to great lengths to keep Michael from becoming a suspect. Sonny even agreed to go on trial for the deed. During the trial, Diane Miller represented Sonny and Claire Walsh prosecuted the case. But Michael, wracked with guilt, eventually told his long-lost older half-brother Dante the truth.
Dante interrupted the proceedings as the jury was about to render their decision and told the court that he had evidence that Michael had accidentally killed Claudia. Michael had given Dante the shirt he had worn that night. The judge declared a mistrial and, angry that both Claire and Diane had engaged in questionable tactics, gave Michael a harsh sentence in Pentonville prison.
To protect Michael from Sonny's enemies in prison, Jason made a deal with Claire and confessed to criminal activity so that he could be sent to Pentonville, with the proviso that he's share a cell with Michael. Soon thereafter, Dante pleaded with the judge to show lenience, and the judge capitulated. He had Michael released into Dante's custody.
Although Michael was released, he was on parole and was ordered to have minimal contact with his father. Michael moved in with Dante, and he pleaded with his mother not to seek revenge against Dante or Lulu for their role in sending him to prison. Carly remained furious with Dante, but she and Dante agreed that Michael should finish high school. Michael confessed to Jax that he had nothing in common with his classmates and they would be uncomfortable around someone that had committed a murder. After his time in prison, he was more convinced than ever that he should work to eventually take over Sonny's organization.
Michael was reminded of how much his sister needed him when her ex-boyfriend's father, Warren Bauer, held a gun on her and claimed she was to blame for his son's death. Kristina convinced Michael to return to Madison Preparatory School after she explained that she also felt like an outsider, since many students blamed her for her Kiefer's death, just like Warren had. Michael did well in his classes, but he struggled to interact with his classmates. He was involved in a fight his first day, and he pulled away when one of Kristina's friends touched him flirtatiously.
Even though Michael agreed to finish high school, he remained interested in his father's organization and tried to prove he could be an asset to the business. When Michael overheard his father confess he had planted the bomb in Johnny Zacchara's car that almost hurt Kristina, he agreed to remain quiet. He told his father he understood the show of power. Michael tried to broker peace between the Corinthos and Zacchara organizations. While he spoke to Johnny, a car opened fire on them. Michael pushed Johnny out of the way. When the police arrived, Dante covered Michael's involvement so he would not be found in violation of his parole.
In the time after Michael was released from prison, he was easily startled and reluctant to have physical contact, and he suffered nightmares. Both Dante and Jason knew something had happened to Michael while he was in prison, but Michael refused to open up about his experience. Instead, Michael talked to Jason about sex. He claimed it was embarrassing that he was a virgin, and he wanted to gain experience via a professional. Jason refused to find Michael a prostitute, but Sam overheard the conversation and agreed to set Michael up with her friend Abby.
Abby's professional stripper name wad Candy, and Michael had a violent reaction when Candy tried to touch him. She forgave Michael for his reaction. They spent time talking, developed a friendship, and eventually started dating. Michael remained hesitant to have physical contact with Abby, but she was fine with taking time to get to know one another. When Michael received permission from the court to attend a ski trip, he was reluctant to go because he wanted to spend time with Abby instead. Molly and his siblings convinced him to go on the trip
Disaster struck when the ski trip bus crashed. He remained calm and found the missing passengers and flagged down help. Michael was deemed a hero for his actions following the crash. Michael was touched that Abby waited at the hospital until she knew Michael was fine, but he was furious with his mother for trying to pay Abby to stay away from him. Carly did not want Michael involved with an older woman who took off her clothes for money. Sonny respected Michael's choices and warned him that Carly was on the warpath regarding Abby. When Abby was arrested for prostitution, Michael believed she was innocent and asked Dante to clear her name.
Michael witnessed Abby being attacked by her ex-boyfriend, Brandon. Initially Michael froze because he was paralyzed by the memories of his attack in prison, but he stepped in to protect Abby. If Michael had not intervened, Abby believed Brandon would have raped her. Michael told Abby he recognized her fear because Carter had raped him in prison. Abby's acceptance gave Michael the strength to tell his mother and Jason about his rape. He agreed to attend counseling, but Michael did not want his father to learn what had happened to him. When Sonny learned of the rape, he assured Michael he loved and respected his son as much as he ever had.
Abby was Michael's date when his father married Brenda Barrett. Chaos erupted at the wedding when a limousine blew up with Sam inside, and Brenda was kidnapped. A European mobster named the Balkan was behind the bomb and the kidnapping. Michael went after one of the Balkan's men. The man had a gun, but Dante arrived before the man fired a shot. Michael remained determined to work in Sonny's organization. He showed up to unload an illegal shipment. The police arrived, but Jason removed Michael before he was arrested for violating his parole.
Both Jason and Sonny continued to rebuke Michael's attempts to join the organization. Michael found empathy in Johnny Zacchara, and they discussed what it was like to enter into the family business. Johnny told Michael he could have a place in the Zacchara organization without going against Sonny or Jason.
Abby's ex-boyfriend, Brandon, was released from jail just after Michael lost his virginity to Abby. Brandon threatened to accuse Michael of attacking him without provocation unless Abby dropped the charges against him. Brandon went after Abby again and beat her. Michael went after Brandon with a gun and threatened him. Shortly after the confrontation, Brandon was found dead. A witness caught Michael threatening Brandon, which made him the main suspect.
Jason uncovered a connection between Brandon and the Zacchara organization. The Zacchara's lawyer had arranged for Brandon to be released from jail. When Abby was arrested for Brandon's murder, Michael tried to confess in order to protect her. His confession was ignored since an eyewitness stepped forward and identified Abby as the woman who had shot Brandon. Johnny realized his father had hired a woman who looked like Abby to kill Brandon. Michael teamed up with Johnny to find the woman that had killed Brandon. After the charges against Abby were dropped, Michael agreed to work for Johnny. Everyone close to Michael, including Abby, disapproved of his decision.
High school graduation day arrived for both Kristina and Michael. Although Michael never applied, he was accepted at Port Charles University. Kristina had applied on his behalf. Michael moved in with Abby and considered his summer job offers. Sonny, Jax, and Johnny all offered Michael summer positions. Michael turned them all down and instead chose to work for Edward at ELQ because Edward had offered Abby a position as well. Abby enjoyed her work at ELQ, but Michael did not feel the same way and quit shortly after.
Around the same time, Carly blocked Sonny from seeing Morgan after she accused Sonny of causing a plane crash that resulted in Jax's presumed death. Michael sided with his father instead of his mother and he decided to step in to help him out in the business. Michael took over as the manager of Sonny's warehouse, although he remained interested in the illegal aspects of the business. Michael tried to prove to Sonny that he was mature enough to do more than manage the legitimate parts of the organization after he found Dante unconscious in the warehouse after being shot. Michael wanted to investigate what had happened and was disappointed when Sonny allowed Shawn to deal with the matter instead.
Michael was hurt that Sonny continued to protect him from the shady side of the business but he changed his focus to protecting Abby after several of her friends from Vaughn's were attacked. The police were unable to catch the perpetrator and Michael feared for Abby's safety. He asked Tracy to send Abby out of town on business for ELQ. Tracy agreed and Abby went to Chicago. Tragedy struck while Abby was in Chicago. She walked by a construction site and was killed when a crane accidentally dropped its load on her. Michael was devastated and blamed himself for her death.
Michael decided to spread Abby's ashes in a field of lavender in New Zealand. While on his trip, he spotted a man in the airport that looked like Jax. When Michael returned to Port Charles, he asked his mother if there was any chance Jax could still be alive. She told him Jax was gone. Michael eavesdropped on a conversation Carly had with Shawn in which she confessed her guilt over lying to Michael about the truth that Jax was still alive. Carly believed that Sonny would make another attempt on Jax's life if the truth came out. Michael was angry at Carly and he used the New Year's Eve bash she hosted at the Metro Court to publically announce that Carly had allowed everyone to grieve over Jax when she knew all along that he was alive.
In his anger, Michael stormed away from the hotel and walked into the path of Jason on his motorcycle. Michael was fine but he chastised Jason for siding with Carly in her decision to protect Jax. He turned to Johnny and asked him for a position within the Zacchara organization so he would have the means to go after the person attacking Abby's friends. He later changed his mind and decided to be the kind of man that Abby would be proud of and enrolled in college.
While Michael continued to grieve over Abby, he came upon a car accident and met a young woman that had escaped from one of the vehicles. She explained to Michael that her boyfriend and her daughter were inside of the car, which teetered on a ledge. Michael promised he would save her family but was unable to do so before the car exploded. The woman was unconscious and was taken to the hospital. Michael learned that the woman's name was Starr Manning and he stayed by her side until her family arrived.
As more details about the car accident came out, Michael learned that Anthony Zacchara had been driving the car that hit Starr's family. Anthony had lost control of the vehicle after two of his tires had been shot out. Anthony had refused to help Starr after the accident and he stated that he had to leave because Sonny was after him. The police considered Sonny the main suspect has he had threatened Anthony's life in front of a witness earlier that same day. Michael questioned if his father was guilty even though Sonny swore he had not caused the accident.
Michael developed a friendship with Starr even though she blamed his father for the deaths of her boyfriend and daughter. Sonny was charged with causing the accident and Michael drove Starr to the arraignment. They arrived and found Starr's father Todd Manning holding a gun on Sonny. The situation was deescalated without bloodshed. Afterward, Sonny addressed the friendship Michael had developed with Starr and he asked Michael to stay away from her. He was concerned that she would take advantage of Michael's concern for her and use it to gain information related to the trial. Michael told his father the point was moot since she had been released from the hospital and returned home.
Starr returned to Port Charles to testify at Sonny's trial and Michael allowed her to secretly stay with him. He told Starr about losing his girlfriend Abby and Starr shared what her life had been like with her boyfriend and her daughter. Starr remained convinced that Sonny had caused the accident although Michael believed that his father was innocent. Michael sat with Starr in the courtroom and they were both present when Sonny was declared not guilty. Starr maintained that Sonny was guilty despite the acquittal and Michael supported her decision to return to her life in Llanview.
However, Starr did not return home but instead stole Johnny Zacchara's gun. Michael stopped over to visit Johnny and learned that Starr was in possession of a gun. He immediately went to his father's home and pulled up surveillance footage that showed Starr taking Sonny hostage at gunpoint. He located Starr and Sonny at the scene of the accident where Starr had lost her family. Starr had the gun pointed at Sonny and her finger was on the trigger. Michael talked Starr out of shooting his father by telling Starr how he forced to live with Claudia's death on his hands.
After Sonny was safe, Michael gave a statement to the police about how Starr had tried to kill his father and Starr was arrested for attempted murders. She asked Michael to recant her statement and claimed she had only tried to kill Sonny because she was overcome by the anger that stemmed from her grief. Starr explained that she had realized she needed to honor her boyfriend and daughter by making her life mean something and she would not be able to do that from prison. Michael refused to recant his statement and said he could not trust her word that she would not seek revenge on Sonny again.
To Starr's relief, Sonny intervened and asked Michael to take back his statement against Starr and she was released. Michael decided to trust that Starr would not go after his father again and he renewed his friendship with her. Starr rented an apartment which she shared with Trey Mitchell, the producer of Kristina's reality show Mob Princess. Michael was wary of Trey and did not care for the flirtatious banter he exchanged with Starr. Kristina also noticed the interactions between the roommates and the siblings discussed their feelings about Starr and Trey living together. Kristina admitted that she was interested in Trey and pressed Michael to share how he felt about Starr.
Michael insisted to Kristina that any feelings he may have toward Starr were irrelevant because she was still grieving the loss of her family. He continued to spend time with Starr and he invited her to spend the Fourth of July with him at the Quartermaine gathering. As the pair spent the day together, they gave in to their feelings and shared a kiss. Afterwards they decided to pursue a relationship and made their relationship public during Starr's singing debut at the Haunted Starr nightclub.