Sonny Corinthos grew up in New York with his mother and stepfather. Sonny's stepfather was a cop who beat Sonny's mother and locked Sonny in the closet. When Sonny was a teenager, he became friends with a powerful man in the neighborhood who had Sonny's stepfather killed.
Sonny made his first appearance in Port Charles in 1993 as the owner of the Paradise Lounge, a strip club where Karen Wexler was working as a stripper. Sonny and Stone Cates lived in the apartment above the club. Karen and Sonny became lovers. One day, Jagger Cates, who was Karen's boyfriend and Stone's brother, found Sonny and Karen in bed together and beat up Sonny. Sonny put a hit out on him, but Marco Dane, Jagger's manager, offered Sonny a piece of Jagger's boxing winnings instead. Sonny's strip joint was closed down when Sean Donely learned that there were underage kids working there.
Sonny then started to work with Luke Spencer in Frank Smith's organization. He also began casually dating Brenda Barrett. Sonny helped Luke break Frank Smith out of jail, and when there was a shootout, Sonny took two bullets. As a result, he passed out while he was driving and crashed into Brenda's car. Brenda took Sonny back to his apartment and donated her blood to save his life.
Later on, Brenda introduced Sonny to her friend, Lois Cerullo. As it turned out, Lois and Sonny had grown up together. The three of them started a record company, L&B Records. Sonny also partnered up with Luke Spencer to open a blues club. A drifter, Mike Corbin, came into town, and Luke hired him to work at the club. It was later revealed that Mike was Sonny's estranged father.
Ned Ashton hired Mac to investigate Sonny, and by that time, Brenda had moved in with Sonny. After getting shot at in the shower, Brenda became suspicious of Sonny's career. Ned and Lois convinced her to wear a wire. But Lily Rivera had warned Sonny about the wire, so Sonny confronted Brenda and threw her out.
Stone later told his girlfriend, Robin Scorpio, and Sonny that he had AIDS, and when he became very sick, Sonny took money from an illegal account to pay for the medical bills. The two became closer at the end of Stone's life, and his death left Sonny devastated.
Just as Sonny and Brenda were about to reunite, Sonny discovered that he was being investigated for racketeering. He sold his shares of Luke's Blues Club to Lucy Coe and his part of L&B to Edward Quartermaine. Lily's father, Rivera, offered to make Sonny's trouble disappear if Sonny promised to marry Lily, so he did. But soon after, Sonny decided to run away with Brenda. His plans were put to a halt, though, when he discovered that Lily was pregnant. Unfortunately, Rivera thought that Sonny was leaving Lily and he had a bomb put in Sonny's car. Lily was killed instead of Sonny.
After his accident, which left him with no memories, Jason Morgan began working for Sonny. Later, Sonny ruined Jasper Jacks and Brenda's second wedding by bringing Miranda, Jax's wife, to the wedding. Everyone had thought she was dead. Sonny and Brenda reunited later on, but Sonny left Brenda standing at the altar on the day they were to be married, and left town. Jason led Sonny back to town after Brenda's death and the two determined to stay legit by starting a coffee importing business. Soon after, Sonny was forced to take back his territory, but he refused to let Jason help him.
Sonny then met Hannah Scott, a waitress at Luke's Club. She bore a striking resemblance to the love of his life, Brenda, but soon individualized herself as her own woman. After a brief courtship, they became lovers, and Sonny gave her his heart. He was devastated when Jason and Carly revealed to him that Hannah was an undercover FBI agent, assigned to take him down. He continued the relationship long enough to feed false information to the Feds, and then threw her out of his penthouse.
Out of pain for Hannah's betrayal, Sonny had a passionate one-night stand with Carly Quartermaine, who was reeling from the pain of thinking Jason was having an affair with Elizabeth Webber. The two had sex and Carly became pregnant. Sonny freed Carly and her son, Michael, from her loveless marriage to A.J. Quartermaine and moved them in to live with him. One night when Carly was at the Quartermaine mansion to visit with Lila, she and A.J. had an encounter on the stairs. A.J. had just returned home drunk, and the two began to fight. Carly then lost her balance and fell backwards onto the floor of the foyer. Carly lost the child and was devastated over the loss. Sonny took Carly and Michael to his private island in Puerto Rico so that she could recover from losing the baby.
A while after they returned home, Sonny's father, Mike, got into trouble with some loan sharks who happened to be working for Sonny's archenemy, Joseph Sorel. Carly tried to help out and she arranged for a meeting between Mike and Sorel. Carly hid in the closet and was shocked when Sonny took the meeting and the police showed up. Carly's testimony had the potential to send Sonny to prison. Alexis Davis, Sonny's lawyer, recommended that Carly and Sonny marry since spouses could not be forced to incriminate each other.
Although enraged at Carly for what she had done, Sonny agreed to marry her if it would keep him out of jail. A justice of the peace performed the wedding ceremony in Sonny's penthouse, with Alexis and Jason as witnesses. After many fights and rough spots, Carly and Sonny eventually realized that they liked each other, and decided to remain married and give each other a chance. Although they were falling in love, neither of them would admit it. After Sonny was shot and badly wounded, they admitted their love for one another and remarried in front of God in a chapel on Martinique.
The marriage went well until Sonny was almost killed again, this time in a warehouse fire caused by Sorel. Sonny realized that by being married to him, Carly would only be in danger. He tried to break off the marriage, but Carly wouldn't hear of it, and flew to Martinique. Sonny followed her with the intention of hurting her so that she would hate him, but Carly saw right through his plan and made him realize that they should be together. While in Martinique, they renewed their wedding vows.
After Carly again betrayed Sonny, this time by attempting to get him into the Witness Protection Program, Sonny broke it off with his wife. Sonny took off to the cemetery, where Sorel stabbed him. While Sonny was bleeding to death, Angel Ellis found him and took him to her lake house. There she nursed him back to health. Much later, Sonny learned that Angel was the estranged daughter of Joseph Sorel.
However, Sonny and Carly could not make amends and the divorce Sonny had filed for proceeded. Even though they were getting divorced, Carly agreed to allow Sonny to adopt Michael. Sonny then assigned Zander to watch over Carly. Meanwhile, a labor dispute at his Puerto Rican rum plantation caused Alexis and Sonny to fly out to handle the delicate negotiations. After the contract was pinned down, Sonny took Alexis out to get her to loosen up. Alexis enjoyed the feeling and found herself attracted to Sonny.
Back in Port Charles, Sonny got to meet the sister, Courtney, who he never knew he had. While attempting to build a relationship with her, Courtney temporarily resided with Alexis and Kristina. Kristina, Alexis' sister, had taken it upon herself to protect her sister from Sonny. However, she told Sonny that Alexis was in love with him. Sonny also had feelings for Alexis, and one night, they made love. As fate would have it, Carly walked in on them and then ran out of the penthouse. Her car later skidded over a cliff, and she was presumed dead. Sonny was grief-stricken at his loss, then overjoyed when she returned several days later. They reconciled, which effectively ended any budding relationship with Alexis.
Alexis discovered she was pregnant, but lied that Ned Ashton was the father, because she didn't want to stay in Sonny's world. Kristina found out the truth, but was killed in an explosion at Sonny's warehouse, which had been set by rival crime lord, Luis Alcazar. Alexis swore she would never forgive Sonny or his cohorts. When she gave birth to a baby girl, named Kristina, Sonny remained unaware that he was the child's biological father.
Sonny was busy dealing with his sister's marriage to archenemy, A.J. Quartermaine, as well as old love Brenda's return from the dead. She and Jason were tried for Alcazar's murder, but eventually cleared. Although Brenda and Sonny were close and shared a brief kiss, they knew that their hearts belonged with other people. Unfortunately, Carly saw their kiss and presumed they were getting back together.
Things between Carly and Sonny hit another snag when Faith Rosco's goon drugged Carly. Ric Lansing, her business partner, rescued her, only to take advantage of the situation himself. He led her to believe they'd had sex. When Carly discovered she was pregnant, she had no idea who the father was. Sonny found out about it, but he and Carly uncovered Ric's treachery and true motivations. He was Sonny's half-brother on his mother's side, who blamed Sonny for her death and had spent his life plotting revenge. Soon after that episode, Ric married Elizabeth Webber and claimed he wanted to end his bad blood with the Corinthos family.
Sonny was thrilled to have a new child on the way, but not as happy to learn that Courtney was dating Jason. After a brief period of anger, he accepted their relationship, and made plans to participate in their wedding. The wedding never went through because Carly was kidnapped. Sonny had no idea who was responsible. Soon, he learned that Ric had nabbed Carly and was holding her prisoner in a panic room at his house. By the time he and Jason burst in, Carly was gone. Luis Alcazar's twin brother, Lorenzo, had taken her, and would only release her in return for Sonny letting drugs go through his territory. Sonny agreed, but within a few weeks stormed Lorenzo's yacht to free Carly. The plan worked, until Courtney was taken hostage in exchange. Courtney escaped, but Lorenzo was still not out of their lives, for he had grown obsessed with Carly.
Alcazar tried to romance Carly away from Sonny and when that failed, he hatched a new plan. He made over a prostitute to look exactly like Lily, Sonny's dead first wife. Alcazar then had "Lily" haunt Sonny and convince Sonny that his wife and child would be hurt because of him unless he left them. Sonny came to believe in Lily's ghost so much that he bought Carly her dream house and told her that she would live there with the boys without him. Carly fought him during the whole process. But when "Lily" slipped up and told Sonny something from their past together that never happened, Sonny realized that it wasn't Lily he had been talking to.
On a stormy night, Sonny tried to find Carly, who had gone to look at the house by herself. As he approached the front door, he heard Carly scream from inside and kicked the door in. He saw Alcazar bent over Carly, so he shot Alcazar in the back. Alcazar fell to the side and Sonny realized that Carly was in labor. He helped her deliver their son, but when he held the baby up for her to see, he realized that the bullet had gone through Alcazar and into Carly's head.
Carly passed out and lapsed into a coma for a few weeks. Sonny stayed by her side as much as possible, but whenever he left, Alcazar arrived to sit with Carly. That infuriated Sonny, and he tried to get Alcazar banned from her room, but the doctors believed that Carly was responding to Alcazar somehow in her coma, so Sonny agreed to let him continue to see Carly. Desperate to protect Carly and his family from further harm, Sonny decided to leave the mob and handed the business to Jason.
When Carly finally awoke, Sonny was very relieved. But he didn't realize that Carly wasn't quite herself. While she had been in her coma, she had dreamt of an alternate life with Alcazar starring as her leading man and Sonny as the bad guy wanting to break up her marriage to Alcazar. The dreams were so intense for Carly that they prevented her from feeling the love she once had for Sonny and her children.
Sonny tried his best to be patient with Carly and reconnect with her. He took Carly and the kids to the island where she finally confessed her feelings, or lack thereof. When Carly was out of the room, Sonny took off to confront Alcazar. Carly called Jason to stop Sonny and then contacted Alcazar to tell him to get out of town. Instead, Alcazar stayed behind to set Sonny up for attempted murder.
Carly arrived on the scene to try to stop Sonny from shooting Alcazar, but she was too late. After shooting Alcazar, Sonny ran in front of a car and got the driver, Sam, to get him out of there. Sam drove out of town before finally pulling over. She coaxed Sonny to pour his heart out about Carly and their situation. Sam sympathized with him and told him not to give up on Carly.
When Sonny was arrested, Sam refused to state that she had been kidnapped. As the trial loomed, Carly grew desperate to help Sonny out of the situation she had put him in. She whisked Sonny off to France to begin a life on the run as a fugitive. But Sonny decided he needed to be a good example to their children and went back to Port Charles. After an emotional testimony by Sonny, the jury found him not guilty. Afterwards, Carly was telling off Alcazar for setting up Sonny when she collapsed. She awoke with her feelings of love for Sonny and her kids fully restored.
With Carly back in good health, Sonny made plans to start taking care of business again, since he never really left the mob. Sonny got on a plane to attend a business meeting. But before the plane could take off, Sam jumped on board as shots were fired at her. She convinced Sonny to take her to Azure Key, a remote island, in exchange for a piece of the treasure she was carrying. He agreed. While there, the plane experienced a fuel leak and Sonny and Sam were forced to spend the night in a shack together. Then a hurricane moved in, as did a particularly nasty man who had killed Sam's father and gone after her because she knew where the treasure was that had belonged to Blackthorn the pirate. When the man attacked Sam, Sonny saved her.
When Sonny returned to Port Charles, Faith Roscoe, the widow of a former mob enemy, drugged Carly and had her committed to Shadybrook. While Carly was there, Faith had her brainwashed against Sonny. Lorenzo Alcazar rescued Carly and took her to one of his safe houses to recover. Alcazar cared for Carly and confessed his love for her. Sonny arrived and overheard Carly admit she had feelings for both Lorenzo and Sonny.
Although Carly had not slept with Lorenzo, Sonny began sleeping with Sam. He enjoyed Sam's company, but he remained in love with Carly. In time, Sonny and Carly reconciled, but their happiness did not last. Sam was pregnant with Sonny's child. Jason and Sonny decided to alter the paternity test so Jason appeared to be the baby's father. Carly had her own secret. She knew Sonny was the father of Alexis' daughter, Kristina.
Sonny learned he had a daughter when Kristina needed a bone marrow transplant. No match was found. Alexis knew Sam was pregnant with Sonny's child and asked Sam to induce her labor early so stem cells from the child could be used to save Kristina. Sonny could not choose one child over another, so he allowed Sam to decide. She said no. Sam went into early labor during an argument with Alexis. Sam and Sonny's daughter died at birth. Kristina got the needed treatment and survived.
Meanwhile Ric continued his vendetta against Sonny. Ric knew Kristina was Sonny's child when he married Alexis. Sonny was livid that Ric would be raising his daughter. When Sonny discovered Ric and Alexis planned to purchase the Greystone estate, Sonny bought it out from under them. The feud between the brothers took a rest when Faith Roscoe kidnapped all of Sonny's children. Sonny had killed her husband. A special federal agent, Reece Marshall, was assigned to help find the children. Kristina and Morgan were returned home, but Michael was not. The kidnapper had faked Michael's death. Sonny and Carly heard a gunshot and saw a grave. A memorial was held for Michael, but he was alive.
Faith had a partner in the kidnapping, Michael's biological father, A.J. Quartermaine. A.J. was presumed dead, so no one suspected him. A.J. brainwashed Michael into believing Sonny and Carly did not love him or want him. When Michael returned home, he was very angry with his parents and wanted to live with the Quartermaine family instead. Eventually, Michael realized that what A.J. had told him was not true.
Michael no longer had to worry A.J. would take him again. A psychiatrist A.J. had been blackmailing murdered A.J. Reece remained in Port Charles at the request of John Durant, Carly's father. She was instructed to find evidence against Sonny. Sonny enjoyed flirting with her during interrogations and rounds of questioning.
The events of the kidnapping and Michael's faked death took a toll on Carly. Sonny dated Reece, which bothered Carly. Reece and Carly were childhood friends. Reese was in a serious car accident Carly had witnessed. Carly stole Reece's name and identity. Sonny sided with Reece instead of Carly after a physical altercation between the two women. Carly became confused and could not tell what was real. She became obsessed with Sonny. When she mistook Emily Quartermaine for Faith Roscoe, Sonny had her committed to Roselawn. Sonny's relationship with Reece ended when he learned she'd had a one-night stand with Ric.
While Carly was in Roselawn, Emily Quartermaine helped Sonny out with his children. Emily was divorcing her husband, Nikolas, because he'd had an affair with Sonny's sister, Courtney. Emily moved into Sonny's house and developed feelings for him. She kept them hidden until Sonny was infected with a deadly encephalitis virus. She admitted how she felt to him.
Sonny was interested in Emily romantically, but he was hesitant to enter a relationship with her due to his friendship with her brother, Jason. Sonny also struggled to deal with his relationship with Sam and Alexis. Sam learned she was Alexis' daughter. Sonny had impregnated both a mother and a daughter. He worried how his daughter, Kristina, would react when she was old enough to understand.
Emily and Sonny dated secretly. Emily was very concerned about Sonny's mood swings and drinking. Ric constantly pushed Sonny to drink and encouraged his rants and rages. Ric married Alexis, becoming Kristina's stepfather. Jason did not want his sister exposed to Sonny's dark moods and outbursts. Emily believed Sonny's moods were a result of a mental illness. She convinced Sonny to get medical treatment. He went to therapy and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Eventually, Nikolas and Emily reconnected, and Sonny's affair with Emily ended.
When Carly was released from Roselawn, she continued her friendship and business partnership with Jax. Sonny was not pleased Carly and Jax had become so close. Sonny wanted to try again with Carly, but she was not as sure. Carly chose a relationship with Jax instead of Sonny, and became engaged to Jax. Sonny shot Alcazar in self-defense, and Carly was tangled in the legal mess. She had to marry Sonny so they could not testify against one another. Sonny wanted his fourth marriage to Carly to be real. She remained engaged to Jax. Sonny had already been cleared of the charges when he married Carly, but did not tell her.
The hostage crisis at the Metro Court Hotel made the bond between Carly and Sonny stronger. They were both held hostage by Mr. Craig, an alias for Jerry Jacks. Sonny used his influence and power to secure a safe release for Carly. She refused to leave Sonny. The two worked together to crack the code to a briefcase Jerry wanted. When they were released, Sonny and Carly divorced. Carly then married Jax.
One night, a woman from Sonny's past reentered his life. Kate Howard, the editor of a fashion magazine, used the phone in his office. Sonny had dated Kate as a teenager in Bensonhurst. Back then, Kate was Connie Falconeri. Sonny and Kate flirted, but Kate denied she was interested in Sonny. She bought the house next door to Sonny, yet insisted she wanted nothing to do with him. In time, Sonny and Kate began a relationship. Sonny took Kate back to Bensonhurst and proposed to her. She said no. Kate did not want to link herself to Sonny's sketchy reputation. After the rejection, Sonny had a one-night stand with a woman in a bar.
The woman Sonny had slept with was Claudia Zacchara, a member of a rival mob family in Port Charles. Claudia wanted to take control of her family's territory with Sonny's help. He was not interested. Sonny decided he wanted a life with Kate more than power, so he turned his business over to Jason. Sonny became a coffee importer.
Kate and Sonny took Michael to see one of Sonny's warehouses. Claudia conspired with Dr. Ian Devlin and Jerry Jacks to shoot Sonny. Sonny had beaten her brother Johnny. When Sonny sensed danger at the warehouse, he pushed Kate out of the way and tried to protect her. Michael was shot in the head.
Michael survived, but he was in a coma. The prognosis was not good. Sonny and Carly moved him to a long-term care facility, in the hope that someday there would be medical treatment to reverse the damage. On the way home from moving Michael in, Sonny and Carly slept together. Sonny signed away his rights to Michael and Morgan. He realized that even out of the mob, he was still a target.
Sonny and Jason searched for the shooter, but found more questions than answers. Kate forgave Sonny for his indiscretion with both Claudia and Carly. Kate and Sonny reunited and planned their wedding. Kate's cousin, Olivia Falconeri, arrived in Port Charles to be the maid of honor. On Sonny and Kate's wedding day, Anthony Zacchara, Claudia's father, shot Kate. He framed another rival mob member, Andrei Karpov.
In reaction to Kate's shooting, Sonny wanted his power and organization back, but Jason refused. Jason did not believe Sonny was thinking clearly enough to be back in control. Sonny turned to a rival, the Zacchara family, to gain power. Anthony Zacchara agreed to turn his organization over to Sonny under one condition, Sonny had to marry Claudia When Kate recovered, she was hurt and disappointed that Sonny went through with the wedding. Claudia moved in with Sonny. He was still in love with Kate, and Claudia began sleeping with Ric. Sonny was not initially interested in Claudia's attempts to create a real marriage.
In time, Sonny grew to respect Claudia. He learned how growing up with Anthony as a father had damaged her, and he appreciated her knowledge of the family business. Claudia fell in love with Sonny, but she was not able to let her guard down. Jerry Jax had hidden DVDs around Sonny's house that incriminated Claudia in Michael's shooting. Claudia knew Sonny would kill her if he learned her role in Michael's shooting.
Claudia planned to become pregnant with Sonny's child to save her own life. She compromised Sonny's condoms and continued to sleep with Ric. She attempted to sleep with Dominic Pirelli, a former Zacchara employee who worked for Sonny, but Dominic refused.
When Sonny learned Claudia was pregnant, he was not thrilled. He did not want any more children. Sonny was still grieving Michael's accident. Claudia visited Michael and admitted she had planned the shooting. Almost a year later, a medical procedure drew Michael out of his coma. Michael had vague memories of conversations visitors had shared with him while he was in his coma. Claudia worried Michael would remember what she had confessed. Sonny believed Claudia was being a supportive wife when she pressed Sonny to allow Michael to live with them. Claudia wanted to keep tabs on what Michael remembered.
Michael recovered, but another tragedy struck. Claudia was excited to show Sonny paternity results that proved he was the father of her baby. Sonny's daughter Kristina was driving without a license. She accidentally ran Claudia off the road. Claudia survived, but her unborn child did not. Sonny learned Kristina had been the driver, not Michael. He forgave her for the accident and worked with Alexis to hide what Kristina had done. Sonny and Kristina became closer. Claudia was upset Sonny did not blame Kristina. To cheer Claudia up, Sonny planned a birthday party for her at the Metro Court. Prior to the party, Sonny learned Claudia's role in Michael's shooting.
Sonny used the public event to expose Claudia. Claudia escaped by kidnapping Carly. Carly went into labor. Michael found his mother, his new baby sister, and Claudia at a deserted cabin. Claudia planned to take Carly's child, so Michael killed her. Sonny covered up Michael's crime.
The main suspect in Claudia's death was Sonny. One of Sonny's employees, Dominic, helped him burn any evidence of Claudia's death. Dominic was an undercover cop and secretly collected evidence to use against Sonny. Many Port Charles residents liked Dominic, and he bonded with Sonny's children when he was assigned to guard them. Sonny began to groom Dominic to take over his business, which disappointed Michael. Sonny discovered Dominic was an undercover cop and shot him. Olivia Falconeri ran in moments after and accused Sonny of shooting his own son.
Dominic Pirelli was actually Dante Falconeri, Olivia's son with Sonny. She had gotten pregnant as a teenager and never told Sonny or Dante the truth. Sonny prayed Dante would survive, and he did. Dante remained on the police force but lied about the shooting. He claimed he had accidentally shot himself and covered for Sonny.
The father and son reunion did not go smoothly. Each remained on their side of the law. A federal prosecutor, Claire Walsh, was called in to take down Sonny. She believed Michael was hiding something about the murder and asked Dante for help. Dante learned Michael had killed Claudia, not Sonny. When Michael was sent to prison, Sonny tried to understand Dante's decision to choose the law over family.
Sonny and Carly comforted one another via sex when Michael went to prison, but they did not reunite. Sonny worked with Claire to gather evidence against Johnny Zacchara. During Claudia's trial, Johnny insinuated Sonny was abusive to his sister. This accusation strained Sonny's relationship with his daughter, Kristina, because her boyfriend, Kiefer, had abused her.
While Claire worked with Sonny to take down Johnny, she also worked with Johnny to take down Sonny. To hurt Sonny, an alliance between Kristina and Johnny was formed. They pretended to date in order to punish Sonny. It worked. He was enraged. Sonny had a bomb planted in Johnny's car. Kristina was with Johnny when the bomb went off. They were both fine.
As part of her job, Claire had to investigate the car bomb. She enjoyed bantering with Sonny, and they began to date. Michael was released from prison into Dante's custody. Michael was not allowed to have contact with Sonny. Michael was intent on taking his place in Sonny's business.
Soon after, Sonny shot Johnny Zacchara in self-defense, but Ronnie Domestico tampered with evidence. Ronnie disposed of Johnny's gun, which countered Sonny's story of self-defense. Sonny jumped bail and went to Rome, where his former love, Brenda Barrett, was. Sonny and Brenda reminisced about their time together, but decided it was best for Sonny to return home to his children.
Claire Walsh taped a conversation in which Sonny discussed his hatred of Johnny. She destroyed the tape. Sonny took Claire on a romantic vacation, and then broke up with her to pursue Brenda when she returned to town. Jason took Brenda to Port Charles when an international criminal known as the Balkan was after Brenda. The safest place for her to live was with Jason.
Although friends and family advised against it, Sonny and Brenda reunited. They became engaged at Luke and Tracy's wedding and asked Dante to be the best man. Dante was reluctant to agree. He and Brenda shared a secret. Dante had guarded Brenda briefly four years prior. Dante had helped Brenda hide a pregnancy, and he had covered up a murder she committed. Brenda had killed the father of her baby, who happened to be the Balkan's son. Dante had agreed to be named the legal father of her child. Neither Brenda nor Dante told Sonny.
On the day of Sonny's wedding to Brenda, Carly interrupted the ceremony. She showed Sonny the document declaring Sonny's soon-to-be wife had a child with his son. Brenda explained Dante had protected her child from the Balkan, which was a moot point. She had miscarried the child late in the pregnancy. The wedding continued and Sonny and Brenda were married.
The Balkan, Theo Hoffman, changed his plan for Brenda when he learned she had been pregnant. He kidnapped Brenda after the wedding. A car bomb was set off to look like Brenda had been inside. When Sonny realized the bomb was a diversion to kidnap Brenda, he stopped at nothing to find her. Sonny rescued Brenda from the Balkan's clutches.
Shortly after Sonny and Brenda's honeymoon, Suzanne Stanwyck, the Balkan's widow, arrived at Greystone Manor's doorstep with a child named Lucian, whom Suzanne claimed was Brenda's presumed dead son. Brenda immediately embraced the child, but Sonny cautioned Brenda to have a DNA test done to confirm Suzanne's claims. Brenda eventually agreed to a DNA test but Lucian was kidnapped before a test was run.
Lucian's disappearance placed a great strain on Sonny's marriage to Brenda. She believed one of his business rivals was behind the kidnapping, while Sonny suspected Suzanne. Against Sonny's advice, Brenda turned to Jax and offered a public reward for the safe return of her son. Sonny continued to quietly investigate Suzanne and he located her in San Antonio. He thought Brenda's emotions would inhibit her ability to remain calm in a crisis so he took Dante and Carly with to confront Suzanne. They were all shocked to discover Brenda's real son was a boy named Alec and that Lucian had been placed with Brenda to keep her from ever meeting her biological son. Sonny brought Alec home and introduced Brenda to her child.
Brenda continued to struggle with her adjustment to life as Sonny's wife and with her new role as a mother. She remained concerned over Alec's safety and repeatedly asked Sonny to turn over his business to Jason. Sonny explained that he would always be a target for violence regardless of his position and he refused to leave his children behind to run away and begin a new life somewhere else with Brenda and her son.
The beginning of the end of Sonny's marriage to Brenda happened when they each took opposite sides in the custody battle between Jax and Carly. Sonny arranged for Jax to be drugged by the court appointed mediator and the woman claimed that Jax had tried to assault her. The judge awarded full custody to Carly and Brenda begged Sonny to undo the damage he had done to Jax. Sonny refused to admit any wrongdoing in regards to Jax. Brenda told Sonny their marriage was over and she took her son and returned to Rome. She left town with Jax on his private jet.
With Brenda gone, Sonny lashed out and blamed Jax for taking Brenda away from him. When Jax sneaked back into town to kidnap his daughter, Sonny went after Jax with reckless abandon. He tampered with Jax's plane and he tracked Jax down at Robin's house. Robin reasoned with Jax and convinced him to return his daughter to Carly but Sonny still held Jax at gunpoint and threatened his life. Robin stepped in to protect her friend and was grazed by a bullet that Sonny had fired. Jax escaped but shortly after his plane crashed and he was presumed dead. Carly blamed Sonny for Jax's death and she cut off Sonny's access to their son Morgan.
Sonny received more bad news when Kristina required surgery to remove a bone fragment that was near her spine. He initially assumed the damage had been caused by Kristina's abusive ex-boyfriend but placed his blame instead on Johnny when he learned the car bomb Sonny had planted in Johnny's car months earlier may have been the cause. Sonny became further enraged when Kristina forgave Johnny for his role in pretending to date her yet she did not want anything to do with her father. Sonny paid Johnny a visit at his apartment and threatened his life until Olivia walked in and intervened. As Sonny continued to spiral out of control, Kate Howard reached out to him and they started to repair their relationship. Sonny leaned on Kate after Dante was shot at the coffee warehouse and she agreed to date him again. They attended a New Year's Eve bash at the Metro Court together where Michael announced that Jax was alive and Carly had known all along. Kate defended Sonny and the pair attacked Carly for allowing everyone to grieve over Jax.
Sonny was hopeful about his second chance with Kate but she was unsure of her ability to deal with the danger in his life. Sonny made assurances to Kate that his life was safer than ever after Luke presented him with news that was guaranteed to s shake up the Zacchara organization. He predicted that Johnny and Anthony would be too occupied with fighting one another to go after him. Sonny claimed he was doing Johnny a favor when he presented him with a birth certificate that claimed his real parents were not Anthony and Maria Zacchara, but actually Claudia and deceased mobster Gino Soleito.
Johnny was torn apart by the news yet he made a drunken appearance at a charity benefit Sonny held in honor of Dante. Johnny accused Sonny of trying to buy Dante's affection and Sonny responded by revealing the truth about Dante's parents to everyone present at the benefit. Dante was outraged that his father used the event to torment Johnny and Dante and Sonny argued in the parking garage. While they argued, Sonny caught a glimpse of a shooter taking aim at Dante. Sonny pushed him out of the way and took the bullet.
Instead of heading for the hospital after being shot, Sonny went to Johnny's penthouse and accused him of trying to kill Dante. Carly defended Johnny and provided him with an alibi, but Johnny revealed that Anthony had made a previous attempt on Dante's life so he might be the Zacchara Sonny should question instead. Sonny tracked Anthony down and held him at gunpoint until Anthony's wife Tracy Quartermaine intervened. Anthony tried to flee town but on his way, someone shot his tires out and he crashed into another vehicle. Anthony survived but two passengers in the other vehicle were killed. Michael and Dante questioned if Sonny had fired shots at Anthony's vehicle but he swore he was innocent.
Sonny was accused of causing the accident after a gun was found in Kate's office and he accused Johnny of planting the gun to frame him. The police built a case against him and he learned that the victims of the car accident were a father and his young daughter from Llanview, Pennsylvania. The mother of the child was Starr Manning and she survived the accident. She believed that Sonny was to blame and her father Todd Manning confronted Sonny after his hearing. Todd held a gun on Sonny and warned him that he would pay for the lives he had destroyed. A police officer from Llanview named John McBain intervened and he and Sonny acknowledged that their paths had crossed before.
As Starr and Todd grieved the loss of their loved ones, Sonny grieved the loss of his friend Robin after she was presumed dead in a lab explosion at the hospital. He and Robin were estranged at the time of her death and he spoke at her funeral about the courage, strength, and grace she had shown when she lost Stone. Sonny regretted that he had run out of time to repair his friendship with her but Kate remained by his side and reassured him that Robin knew how much he had cared about her.
After Robin's funeral, Sonny focused on preparing for the trial and he was concerned that Michael questioned his innocence after Michael struck up a friendship with Starr Manning. He asked Michael to stay away from her because she might use him to gain information. Sonny also warned Jason that a threat from his past in Atlantic City had reemerged. The threat was a former FBI agent named John McBain. He told Jason that John had a personal vendetta against him and asked Jason to find out as much about John as he could.
In the meantime, Sonny's trial began and Michael, Kate, and Dante were all called to testify. Sonny was hurt when he realized that Michael had been hiding Starr at his apartment against his instructions but the point was moot after Sonny was found not guilty. Kate offered to throw Sonny a party at the Metro Court to celebrate his birthday and the acquittal. Sonny was not thrilled with the idea but he agreed to it to appease Kate after all the stress she had been under supporting him through the trial.
The evening of the party arrived and Sonny was concerned after he was unable to find Kate. He discovered that his birthday cake had been destroyed and called Kate. He heard her say Johnny's name in a way that sounded like she was in danger and he raced to Johnny's penthouse. When he arrived, he found Kate and Johnny in bed together and immediately assumed that Johnny had forced himself on her. He was shocked and enraged when Kate claimed that she wanted to be with Johnny and that she had been sleeping with him for the past few months. Sonny was disgusted by both of them and fired two shots into the wall of Johnny's bedroom before he left.
When Sonny returned home Carly joined him shortly after and they admitted that they were wrong to trust both Johnny and Kate. They each reflected on their relationships and Sonny recalled several times in the past few months when Kate had asked her to meet him but she was not there when he arrived. Carly interjected that Kate had probably been with Johnny. Sonny insisted that Kate had loved him but he could not explain her erratic behaviors and revealed to Carly that Kate was seeing Dr. Ewen Keenan and perhaps that had something to do with her relationship with Johnny.
Sonny encountered Kate at the hospital and she begged him to listen to her explanation as to why he had found her in bed with Johnny. She shared that it was not her in bed with Johnny but her alternate identity Connie because she suffered from dissociative identity disorder (DID). Kate was taken into police custody after Connie had hit Dr. Keenan over the head and rendered him unconscious. Sonny remained hurt by what Kate/Connie had done but he arranged for Alexis to provide legal counsel for Kate.
Sonny visited Kate at the police station and he believed Kate's claim that she suffered from DID after he witnessed her arguing with herself in front of a mirror and Connie emerged. Connie accused him of placing Kate in danger and explained that she was in charge of protecting Kate and that included keeping her away from Sonny. Connie also claimed that she was the one that had shot out Anthony Zacchara's tires and then framed Sonny so Kate would be forced to end her relationship with him. When Sonny was found not guilty, she arranged for him to find her in bed with Johnny.
When Kate regained control, Sonny shared his encounter with Connie and he took steps to prevent the police from finding out her involvement in the car accident. Kate was horrified to learn what she had done and she wanted to confess to Starr. Alexis arranged for Kate to be moved to Shadybrook and Sonny worked to protect Kate from Starr's father after he overheard that Kate/Connie was behind the accident.
As Sonny continued to protect Kate, he also dealt with the ongoing investigation conducted by John McBain. Sonny explained to John that as a young man he had joined Joe Scully's organization after his heart was broken by his teenage girlfriend. Sonny had been sent to Atlantic City to keep tabs on Joe's reckless son Joe Jr. at the strip club that he managed. John's sister Theresa danced at the club and Joe Jr. had taken an interest in her but she did not return the feelings. Sonny tried to protect Theresa but Joe killed her. Sonny gave John as much information he could on how to locate Joe Jr. and John warned Sonny that he would be back if he learned that Sonny had lied to him.
Sonny's anger toward Joe Scully Jr. was refueled when Kate remembered the event that had triggered her DID. When Kate and Sonny had dated as teens they decided to run away together. Sonny planned to find legitimate employment while Kate attended college. Instead, Kate became pregnant after Joe Scully Jr. raped her because he was jealous of the respect Sonny had earned from his father. Kate did not tell Sonny because she feared he would kill Joe Jr.
Sonny forgave Kate for running away years ago and they became engaged again. As Kate planned the wedding, they learned that Kristina had eloped. Sonny was horrified when he learned that Kristina's husband was actually Kate's child with Joe Jr. Sonny decided to keep the information from Kate until after the wedding, unaware that she had uncovered the truth herself. On the day of wedding, Connie emerged and announced that she was unable to marry Sonny because she was already married to Johnny Zacchara.
After the marriage announcement, Sonny demanded that Connie be taken to Shadybrook for psychiatric care. Alexis explained that only a close relative or Connie's husband had the authority to commit her. At the same time, Joe Jr. kidnapped Kristina during the wedding and planned to kill her. Trey located them and saved Kristina although his father got away. Kristina learned Trey's true identity and annulled her marriage.
Shortly after losing his bride, Sonny also lost his accountant and Jason when they were involved in an ambush at the pier. Joe Jr. was also killed and Trey believed that Sonny was behind his father's death. Sonny swore he was innocent and asked Trey to file the paperwork to commit his mother to Shadybrook. Trey eventually agreed to petition the court to commit Connie for psychiatric care but his petition was denied.
Sonny tried to focus on his children especially after he learned that Michael's biological father was not only alive but also back in town. A.J. returned to Port Charles when he learned that Jason was gone and reached out immediately to connect with Michael. Sonny was angered by A.J.'s presence and warned his son to stay away. However, Michael refused to listen and decided to get to know his biological father.
Although Sonny was disappointed with Michael's choice, he gave his son space and tried to get through to Kate again. He hired Shawn Butler to kidnap Connie and he held her captive in his warehouse. While Connie was there, he and a psychiatrist each tried to get through to Kate. His attempt failed and he was forced to release Connie when Michael walked in. Michael was upset by his father's actions and saw it as proof that Sonny was the person A.J. claimed him to be.
Michael later learned that A.J. had set-up the confrontation and ordered a truce between the men. They reluctantly agreed to allow the other a place in Michael's life. Sonny then turned his focus to Connie as she struggled with the unexpected death of her son Trey. Sonny supported Connie while she grieved and they developed feelings for one another. After they spent an intimate night together, Kate emerged and felt betrayed by Sonny's time with Connie. Kate and Connie battled for control and for Sonny. They demanded to know who he loved. Sonny declared that he had feelings for both women and could not choose. Sonny was granted a reprieve in choosing when Kate left to receive psychiatric care.
While Kate was gone, Sonny's former love Brenda briefly returned to attend the Nurses Ball. Although Brenda was engaged to Jax, she declared her love for Sonny and asked him to leave town with her. Sonny admitted that he would always love her but explained that the timing was not right for them and she left town alone.
With Brenda gone and Kate still in treatment, Sonny spent more time with Olivia as they celebrated the news that they were to be grandparents. When Kate did return after her integration, she used the name Connie and ended her relationship with Sonny. She explained that she could not be with Sonny and maintain her integration. Sonny was devastated to lose her again. Olivia comforted Sonny over his break up with Connie. In return, Sonny and Olivia were there for each other when Lulu was kidnapped and suffered from amnesia. After Lulu recovered, Olivia and Sonny remained close.
Sonny was forced to realize the depth of his feelings for Olivia after Franco was revealed to be alive. Franco returned to Port Charles and claimed that he wanted to make amends to everyone he had hurt. Sonny planned to kill Franco when the time was right but Carly took matters into her own hands. She convinced Shawn that Sonny had ordered a hit and Shawn took a shot at Franco. However, Olivia was shot instead. Sonny was furious with Carly and threatened to end her life if Olivia died. His anger cooled after Olivia survived and Sonny learned that another shooter, not Shawn, had actually shot Olivia while aiming for Franco. When Olivia was released from the hospital, Sonny took her to his home so he could care for her as she recovered. Just as Olivia and Sonny grew closer romantically, Connie announced that she still loved Sonny and wanted him back. Olivia removed herself from the situation and wished them well.
Just as Connie and Sonny began to reconnect, Morgan confided in Sonny that his girlfriend Kiki had feelings for Michael but falsely believed that Michael was her cousin. Connie overheard the conversation and revealed the information publically although Sonny had asked her to keep the information private. Afterwards, Sonny was furious with Connie and wondered if he had made a mistake by not pursing Olivia instead. Before Sonny had the opportunity to work things out with Connie, he found her fatally wounded from a gunshot. Sonny held her as she died and his mental health declined in the weeks after her death. He believed A.J. had murdered Connie and vowed to make him pay.
Olivia and Carly both watched over Sonny as he grieved. They were unable to stop him from publically announcing that Morgan had rushed to marry Kiki because he knew that she was not related to Michael. The confession destroyed Sonny's relationship with Morgan while his business was threatened by the Jerome family. Sonny confided in Olivia that Julian Jerome was alive and he made plans to secure his territory. Meanwhile, Morgan lashed out against his father and teamed up with the Jerome family. When Sonny learned of the actions Morgan had taken against him, Olivia offered her support and they became lovers.
Sonny kidnapped the Jeromes' associate, Carlos Rivera, to send a message to Julian. When Julian arrived to rescue Carlos, a gunfight ensued. Morgan and Sonny ended up holding guns on one another but Sonny immediately dropped his weapon as Max approached. Morgan panicked and shot Max in the chest. Sonny asked Morgan to help him care for Max until the ambulance arrived but Morgan left with Julian instead. When the police arrived, Sonny covered for Morgan and was arrested for shooting Max.
Eventually Sonny and Morgan reconciled but Sonny required his son to end all association with the Jerome family, including Ava. Morgan convinced his father that Ava was willing to change allegiances and with documents that Ava had procured, Sonny speculated that his brother Ric was secretly bankrolling Julian's operation. While Sonny and Shawn investigated Julian's finances, someone made an attempt on A.J.'s life. Sonny reminded Michael and the police that he had promised not to harm A.J. because his death would bring Michael pain. However, when Sonny walked in on A.J. strangling Ava in her home, he had a flashback of A.J.'s hands around Connie's neck and he shot A.J. in the chest. As A.J. battled for his life, Ava and Sonny tried to point suspicion toward Julian while they developed alibis.