Served time in juvenile detention for the murder of his father; exonerated when his mother confessed in 2014
In 2011, Ben Rayburn had been a medic in the Army special ops corps in Afghanistan. Ben met Lieutenant Dylan McAvoy after he busted his chin open falling off a camel. He stitched Dylan up, and left no scar, so had been called "Stitch" ever since. Stitch, Dylan and another soldier named Sully became best friends, sharing memories of the women they loved back home in the States. Dylan's girlfriend was Avery Clark, a woman with whom he had had an affair, and she had miscarried the child.
Stitch had been home on leave following the birth of his son, Max, when his platoon had been massacred, and felt guilty that he should have been there. Dylan and Sully ended up wounded face down in the sand, Sully died and Dylan felt responsible. Dylan was originally declared dead as well, but had been hidden out by an Afghan family while he recovered from his wounds.
By 2013, Dylan made it back to the States, and found Avery engaged to Nick Newman in Genoa City, Wisconsin. After a tearful reunion, Dylan stepped aside so that Avery and Nick could be together, but drowned his sorrow with a one night stand with Chelsea Lawson. Chelsea later claimed to be pregnant by Dylan, they fell in love, and were married. But when Chelsea's baby, Conner, turned out to have been fathered by Adam Newman, Dylan was brokenhearted. Dylan took Conner and ended up barricaded in a warehouse having flashbacks to the war. Avery had to talk him down, and she missed her own wedding to Nick because of Dylan's trauma, ultimately losing Nick.
Dr. Ben (Stitch) arrived in town about this time, and helped Dylan with his post-traumatic stress syndrome. Ben secured a residency at Genoa City Memorial, and moved in with Dylan, he said until Jenna and their son could sell their house and join him.
Ben became one of the doctors of Nikki Newman, who suffered from M.S. Nikki held a Veteran's Day fundraiser at The Underground Bar to honor the vets. Dylan and Ben were invited, but Dylan, still unable to see himself as a hero, was reluctant to attend. Avery was able to convince him to show up as they reconnected after remembering how much she loved him while he was in the service, and they kissed. Everyone was rather mystified by Nikki's overly friendly gesture of hugging Dylan for having the courage to attend.
Ashley Abbott returned to Genoa City for Thanksgiving. While there, she sprained her ankle and met Dr. Ben Rayburn. Her daughter, Abby, pushed for a romance, but Ashley reminded her that Ben was married and had a young son.
Running into each other at Crimson Lights, it quickly became evident that Ben and Kelly Andrews (Billy's grief partner) knew each other from the past. Kelly commented, "She was going to find out anyway, it just came up, and wasn't intentional. I take it you and your wife are over?" Ben told her, "We are not going to talk about my wife. In fact, we are not going to talk at all." Later Victoria invited Kelly to dinner, then included Dr. Ben when he dropped off her lost cell phone. The get-together became very uncomfortable for everyone but Victoria. Left alone, Ben warned Kelly not to get involved with Billy. When Victoria brought down baby Johnny, Kelly got emotional and left, and Ben left soon afterward, leaving Victoria and Billy to have dinner alone.
Ben caught Kelly coming out of Billy's hospital room after Billy was involved in a car accident, and he accused Kelly of sleeping with Billy. Kelly admitted it had been just once, a mutual sharing of their losses. Ben warned her not to let it happen again. Kelly lashed out at Ben, calling him Benji, saying that she was not the reason his wife wanted nothing to do with him, that their relationship was finished before it started. Then referring to Adam Newman's apparent hit and run of Billy's daughter Delia, said, "Who could do something like that, then just go on with his life?" That comment seemed to have hit a nerve with Ben. Ben later confided in Dylan that his wife had filed for divorce and custody of their son. Dylan urged Ben to fight for custody.
After Billy and Kelly's one night stand had been exposed, Ben became concerned for Victoria, and while consoling her they ended up kissing. Victoria admitted it to Billy, and Billy warned Ben to stay away from his wife. Since Billy had made it clear that he wanted his marriage, Kelly lamented to Ben how sad and lonely she was. Ben told Kelly that she could have him now that he was going to be free. Kelly said that there would be no forgiveness for what he did. Kelly claimed that she could not get over Billy, but she was leaving her job at GC Cares to avoid him. Finding out that Ben had kissed Victoria, Kelly commented that Victoria would not want to be involved with a murderer. She later reminded Ben that he had killed a man, and that he had told Billy that he had done something unforgivable in his past.
Ben got a chance to spar with Victor Newman, and Victor found him to be a worthy partner. Ben was upset to receive a call from Jenna letting him know that their divorce was final, and that she was leaving for Australia with their son. Afterward Ben and Victoria ran into each other at The Underground, and they got drunk as she told him that Billy had signed separation papers. The two were seen leaving together to take a cab home. But while waiting, they ended up making love in her car. Victoria said she was not sorry it happened, and Ben admitted he had been wondering what it would be like ever since their first kiss.
Victoria and Ben were to go out on a date, but Ben felt obligated to stay nearby a patient who was in crisis, so Victoria brought him takeout at the hospital. Ashley arrived looking for Ben, and realized that Victoria was his date. Ashley reminded her that she'd only been separated from her brother for a week. When Ben arrived, Victoria was jealously catty, telling Ben that Ashley was her former step mother. Later after dinner, Stitch admitted that he was jealous of Victoria's unresolved feelings for Billy, and Victoria admitted that she had been jealous of Ashley, so maybe they were more involved than they thought.
Billy confronted Stitch, telling him that he intended to find out what Stitch does not want anyone to know from his past. Stitch told him to look all he wanted, that he would not find a thing, so Billy began searching the Internet. Ben asked Kelly not to tell anyone about his past. And Kelly, who was now happily hoping to get a teaching position in the fall, and falling for Jack Abbott, agreed that they had both destroyed each others lives, but it was time for them to forgive and move on.
Ben, remembering how Victoria threw up on their date, suspected that she might be pregnant. He asked a nurse to show him Victoria's file and read the "positive" result. Ben went to see Victoria, and she broke down, admitting she was pregnant, a miracle they told her would never happen, but unsure who she even wanted to be the father. Billy eventually found out and became determined to win Victoria back by exposing Stitch's secret past.
Ben, in speaking with Kelly again, she referred to him as "a man who doesn't even exist" and urged him to tell Victoria the truth about his past. She also said that Ben had taken away someone she loved, then when Sam died, she had lashed out and told Jenna about it.
Kelly warned Ben that Billy was going to Australia to find out his secret from Jenna, so Ben realized that he had to tell Victoria first. Ben informed Victoria that Billy was on the way to see Jenna in Australia, and was about to tell her the truth about his past when they were interrupted. Instead he left a voicemail for Jenna imploring her not to talk to them. Jenna saw thru them and kicked them out without telling them anything. She called Ben and warned him to protect their son by not telling Victoria the truth, or she would move again and not tell him where. Ben shared his dilemma with Kelly. Meeting Father Todd in the chapel, he urged Ben to let him hear his confession. Ben told him he was raised Catholic, and had been an alter boy. Ben said the choices he made in the past were coming back to haunt him. Saying he did not regret what he had done, except how it had hurt others, but that it would hurt even more people if he didn’t keep quiet. So when he and Victoria had time to talk, Ben just told her that he was in love with her. Ben decided to break up with Victoria, but they ended up making love instead. Later, Ben told Kelly Billy had gone to see his ex-wife Jenna, and that he could not bare to lose anyone he loved again. Kelly hugged Ben and assured him that through it all, she still loved him. Kelly later mentioned that Ben had paid for what he did and served his time. After Billy told Victoria that Ben and Kelly were actually brother and sister, Victoria confronted them, accusing Ben of being a liar just like Billy.
Meanwhile Kevin and Chelsea continued digging into Ben's past and discovered that the real Ben Rayburn had lived in Chesterfield, MO., attended Chesterfield high school, and had been killed after his graduation party. Ben's obituary read: Born 1978 – died 1996, son of Mari and Earnest, sister Angela. Grandparents Martin and Hazel Weaver and Diane and Vincent Rayburn. An accompanying photo showed him to be dark-haired and slender-faced, unlike Stitch. Kevin researched further, and discovered Ben's birth name was Ben Russell.
Ben confronted Chelsea, telling her they were alike, that he too had paid for his past and was trying to start over, reminding her that if she destroyed him with it, it would destroy her chances with Billy too.
Ben was pleased and surprised when Dr. Shelby recommended Ben be appointed chief resident.
Billy confronted Ben in front of Victoria, Jack and Kelly, and got Ben to admit that he was living under his dead friend's identity and had killed his own father. Ben explained that his father had been a mean and abusive drunk, that Ben had found him drinking in the shed, they argued and fought, his father had passed out after hitting Ben, a kerosene stove had been knocked over that went up in flames, but it had been an accident. Because the prosecution said they had evidence that would convict him, Ben had confessed to knocking his dad out and setting the fire to save his family an ugly trial, and he served his sentence. Victoria walked out, fed up with them all. Ben accused Billy of not thinking of Victoria, but Billy maintained that Ben was dangerous. Kelly said he was not dangerous, and Billy countered with, then why did she tell Ben's wife so that she took his kid to the other side of the world.
Ben later begged Victoria to let him explain further, but she rebuffed him. Ben confessed to Dylan, but Dylan refused to believe that the Stitch he had known all those years as his best friend could have murdered his own father, it had to have been self-defense. But Ben would not defend himself.
Dr. Shelby invited Ben to lunch, told him he had the chief resident job, and Ben was just about to tell him the truth about himself when Billy showed up and forced the issue. Dr. Shelby was shocked as Ben admitted it was all true, and Ben offered his resignation. Ben took Billy to task later, asking why he had ruined his life over something he had paid for and more than made up for in saving lives as a doctor. Ben reminded Billy that he had been his own doctor as well as Delia's, which caused Billy to break down. Later, Ben ran into Victor, who told him that he was no longer promoting Ben's relationship with his daughter, that Ben had betrayed Victoria.
Not feeing confident that the state licensing board would decide that he could continue as a doctor, Ben began to look for another job. Abby had been treating Ben nasty and spiteful ever since she found out about his past, and was shocked when her mother Ashley Abbott returned to Genoa City and hired Ben as a chemist for Jabot, despite Abby's objections. Ashley returned to New York City to wrap things up, tasking a reluctant Abby with bringing Ben up to speed on the cosmetics industry.
Kelly and Ben were surprised when their mother, Maureen, whom they had not seen since Kelly's son Sam's funeral, showed up in town. Kelly acted resentful, accusing Maureen of caring more about defending Ben than her own husband. Maureen calmly said that Kelly had always been a "daddy's girl". But Ben asked Kelly to give their mother another chance. Maureen wanted to stay in town because Ben may have a baby on the way and to try to be a family again, but she had no money, so Kelly got her a room at GCAC.
After their divorce was final, Victoria was disappointed to see Billy move on with Chelsea, openly kissing and dating. She took it out on Ben, asking why he had to lie to her and break her heart. Ben tried to explain, that there was more to the story which he wanted her to know, but they were interrupted by Ben's mother. After they talked, Ben reluctantly agreed it was best that no one know the truth, that he had not killed his father. Some time later, Victoria went to Kelly and Ben, telling them she wanted to stop being angry and let it go. Victoria promised Ben no more mixed signals, saying that she cared about him and wanted to forgive him. They kissed. They were interrupted as Ben was arrested for fraud by a former patient, who turned out to be Jeffrey Bardwell whom he had treated for hemorrhoids.
On Ashley's return, she asked Ben to smell the new fragrance, he found it repulsive, but he kissed her. Ashley revealed that the fragrance contained pheromones, was a love potion, and the kiss had proven it. What she needed was his help to make the scent bearable. Later Ashley bailed out Ben, and asked him to accompany her to Madison on business.
Ben told Maureen that he had decided to tell Victoria the truth and made arrangements to use a private dining room at the athletic club. While waiting for Victoria to arrive, Ben received a call from Maureen whom he found lying on the concrete floor of the Jabot parking garage having chest pains. At the hospital Maureen was diagnosed with a heart attack, and a bypass was scheduled. Five hours later Maureen was still in surgery, and Kelly convinced Ben to leave and locate Victoria. At Victoria's house, Ben found Billy, concerned that she had not picked up Johnny, her car was gone, and she was not answering her cell. Ben and Billy found her car in the Jabot garage, but no sign of her in her office. After hearing her phone ringing in the trash can, Billy and Ben eventually found Victoria locked in the maintenance closet and in labor. They ended up delivering her baby girl in the parking garage. Later at the hospital, Victoria got Ben alone and told him how his mother had locked her in after admitting that she had killed her husband and let Ben take the fall. Ben visited Maureen and told her how upset he was with her. Victor dropped by later and threatened Maureen. When Ben went back to see her again, Maureen had disappeared, and an arrest warrant was issued for her abduction of Victoria. After Victoria told Victor truth that Ben's mother had killed her husband and Ben had taken the rap for her, Victor told Ben that he had always admired him, but he was sorry that Ben had made such a personal sacrifice for someone who did not deserve it.
Ben realized that Kelly was upset after being dumped by Jack, but told her that their mother had disappeared from the hospital, and that Kelly needed to know that Ben had not killed their dad. Their dad had been abusive, and Maureen had killed him. Kelly said their dad had never been abusive. Ben gave her the note that Maureen had left for her telling her the truth. Kelly reacted, asking how their mother could be so selfish to allow Ben to take the blame.
Victoria named her daughter Katherine (in honor of Katherine Chancellor) Rose (after Delia's favorite flower) Newman, to be called "Katie". Billy was ecstatic when the paternity test results named him as the father, but Ben was devastated. Victor sought out Ben and gave him his condolences and encouragement to pursue Victoria again.
Ben showed up in Ashley's office drunk after seeing Billy and Victoria snuggling with their baby. Ashley threw him in the shower to sober him up, and he pulled her in too. They had sex, and Stitch spent the night. Later Victoria had an explanation for what Stitch had seen. Victoria wanted to try again as a couple, but demanded honesty from Ben. Ben and Ashley agreed to tell no one what had happened between them. Victoria and Ben began spending more time together, and Billy apologized to Ben for exposing his past. For Christmas Ben gave Victoria a 3-sided locket for her 3 children, and Victoria arranged for Ben to get a call from Max after she explained to Jenna that Ben had not murdered his father. Ben mentioned that Max was the same age as Reed. Victoria and Ben spent New Year's Eve making love on Victoria's couch.
Victoria proposed that Ben come live with her. Ben questioned her motives, but after she said that she loved him, he moved in.
After Austin Travers wound up dead, Ben recalled that Austin had tried to interview him for an outsider's take on the Abbotts and Newmans, but Ben had refused, as it sounded like exposé, not a documentary as he claimed. After Ben found Abby unconscious in the park and "Shut up or you're next" scrawled on her cell, Ben took her home to stay with him and Victoria. But after another lipstick scrawl on their mirror saying "I'm always watching," Abby got a room at the athletic club with Ben staying next door and hired security for them all.
After Kelly admitted that she had given a false police report that Phyllis had poisoned her, Kelly was arrested. But Victor claimed that Kelly had gotten away from the police but had committed suicide. Jack broke the news to Ben, showing Ben her morgue photo, and telling him that she had overdosed and left a note. Victoria tried to comfort Ben, but he lashed out at her saying she had always blamed Kelly for breaking up her marriage to Billy. Abby got Ben to admit that he was really mad at Kelly for not confiding in him. Ben felt guilty for never being there for Kelly in his zeal to perpetuate the lie that he had killed their father, and letting her hate him. After getting drunk, Ben admitted to Abby that he had cheated on Victoria with Ashley.
After Abby was attacked in the park, Victoria asked Ben to become Abby's body guard. Ben moved into the room next door to Abby at the Genoa City Athletic Club. But after Victoria walked in on Ben and Abby too many times in each other's arms, she decided that she and Ben were not meant to be, and they broke up. Ben told Abby the news, and they kissed, which led them to sex. Jack and Victor decided to put their animosity in the past, and merged Jabot and Newman to create Newman-Abbott Enterprises. Victoria was made C.O.O., and she took over Ashley's office, relegating her to the lab, and reporting to Victoria. Both Abby and Ben ended up reporting to Victoria too, and Victoria began treating them less than fair when it became obvious that they had become lovers.
The more time Ben spent with Ashley, they both realized they still had feelings for each other. Ashley was the first person that he shared how elated he was to find out that the medical board had reinstated him, and that he had been rehired at Genoa City Memorial.
Ben was crushed when he failed to save a fellow Marine named James, a PTSD survivor, whose heart had stopped. James had mistrusted doctors ever since the war, but Ben had won him over. He promised James that he would personally track down his next of kin, and give them his purple heart. Feeling that he failed James, and Abby being out of town on business, Ben poured his heart out to Ashley, who set him straight about discontinuing being a doctor. Ben admitted that it was easier to talk to Ashley than her daughter Abby. After detective Mark Harding was discovered to be the killer and was killed, Abby decided to move back home and asked Ben to join her. But Ben was reluctant to agree.
Concerned that Abby was getting too involved in her work, Ben asked Abby to travel to Europe together. But after Victoria admitted that she and Ben had planned the trip, Abby accused them of plotting against her, got mad and broke up with Ben. The Newman quarterly reports showed that Chelsea 2.0 had dropped back to the level prior to the spike.
Out of the blue, Ben began to propose to Abby, but they were interrupted by Ashley. Abby confided in her mother, saying that she intended to accept when he asked again. Ashley confronted Ben, asking how dare he propose to her daughter when not that long ago he had propositioned Ashley for another chance with her. But in the end, Ashley gave them her blessing.
In 2015, the annual Delia Halloween costume party benefit was held at Top of the Tower, and everyone attended. Ben discovered a fire in the electrical room, and opening the door caused an explosion, knocking him out. Ben awoke to no working fire alarm, firehose, or cell phone. He managed to make it to the top floor and warned everyone at the party. Later Ben and Ashley were propelled down a hallway by a fireball, landing in a room where the ceiling fell in, trapping and injuring Ben. Unable to move, Ben told Ashley to save herself, but she refused. Ben admitted to Ashley that he loved her. They were found by Abby and rescued by Adam who carried Ben's unconscious body down the stairs and out the front door over his shoulders in a fireman's carry.
Ben awoke in his hospital bed with Abby at his side. Feeling guilty over what had happened between him and Ashley, Ben tried to tell Abby that he was in love with Ashley, but Ashley interrupted. When they were alone Ashley told Ben that they had just been overcome by their circumstances, and not to break Abby's heart, that her happiness was more important. Reminding Ben of his past relationships, Ashley told Ben, "Don’t screw this one up."
Ben finally admitted to Abby that he and Ashley had exchanged I love yous during the fire, but did not mean it. Abby reacted badly and called off the wedding. But Ashley was able to convince Abby that she did not love Ben, and that Ben really loved and wanted to marry Abby. Abby began planning a New Year's Eve wedding, but the venue she wanted was booked for 2 years. Victor assured her that the Top of the Tower would be ready in time.
Ben was upset that his son Max was not being allowed to attend the wedding, but the New Year's Eve party/wedding was a well-attended beautiful occasion. Abby's hair and gown were lovely, the gown being a gift from Chelsea for convincing Victor to return Chelsea's company. The ceremony began with Dylan and Victoria standing up for them, Faith as flower girl, and Victor giving away the bride to flute and harp music. Ashley, who was escorted by Dr. Neville, fainted into the aisle, but she came to right away. Afterward both Ben and Dr. Neville showed concern to Ashley about her condition. Abby and Ben snuck out after the ceremony, and after making love, they left for their tropical honeymoon. But they cut it short when Billy got beaten up, hit by a car, and went in a coma. Another shock awaited in the form of Ben's son Max, shipped in from Australia by Child Welfare after his mother Jenna had been killed in a car accident. A belligerent Max accused Abby of causing her death because Jenna had been on the phone with Abby at the time. Though Ben and Max hardly knew each other, Abby and Ben agreed they needed to take Max home with them. But Max disappeared from the athletic club. When told that Max has being detained by Kevin at Crimson Lights, Abby was disappointed when Ben said he had to go pick him up himself. Days later, Abby had not seen her new husband since that night as he stayed with Max at the club. Abby visited, and brought Max a pre-launch copy of a new video game. Max pretended to not be impressed and accused Ben of caring only for Abby, not him.
Ben told Abby how much he missed her, and they ended up making love. But they were interrupted by Max. The next day Ben told Abby that he had had a heart to heart with Max, had quit letting Max run his life, and they were moving back into their home with Abby. Abby discovered she was pregnant, and she and Ben were overjoyed. Ben told Max who claimed he was ok with it, but Max had visions of pushing a pregnant Abby down a flight of stairs. Max led his teacher to believe that his father was mistreating him. Ben was investigated for child abuse by CPS, but they dropped the case when Max admitted that he had been mad at his dad and exaggerated. Abby and Max were at Crimson Lights when Max caused her to get up quickly. Abby had some pain, and asked for help, but Max hesitated to call 911. She had to beg him to call, Max finally did, and Abby later left the hospital pronounced okay. It seemed that Max was only happy when he was allowed to play in the Jabot lab with Ashley and Dr. Simon Neville.
Ben was shocked to learn that his sister Kelly had faked her death, and working for Victor, had held Jack hostage in Peru. Jack had woken up next to a murdered Kelly and escaped, unaware if he had killed her or not. Ben accused Victor of causing Kelly's death and dropped Victor as a patient, Victor reacted by warning Ben that he had better get his son Max in hand, and quit making his daughter Abby miserable.
Ben was delighted when Max suggested they throw a baby shower for Abby at the Athletic Club. But as Abby came down the stairs for the surprise, she tripped and tumbled down the stairs. Later at the hospital, Abby lost their baby which had been a girl. Abby and Ben were inconsolable. Meanwhile viewers saw Max with a sly grin, removing the tripwire he had installed on the stairs. Because of the way he was acting, Abby began to suspect that Max had something to do with her fall. She asked him if he had done anything, and Max told his father that Abby hated him and was accusing him of causing her to lose their baby. Max refused to live in Abby's house anymore, so he and Ben left to stay at the athletic club. Then after Max overheard them talking about checking security footage, a fire broke out in the athletic club server room, destroying all data. After Lily's son Charlie admitted that Max had talked him into getting Max the master keycard, and Max confessed both crimes to Ashley, Max was taken away for evaluation by Child Protective Services crying for his daddy – something he had never called Ben before. Ben was livid with Dylan for not giving his best friend's son a break.