General Hospital

General Hospital’s Maurice Benard & Kate Mansi On Being Broken And Reclaiming Your Life

The DAYS and GH actress details how just choosing to claim the pain helped her cope with anxiety and depression.

Long before she graced the halls of General Hospital as Kristina Corinthos-Davis, Daytime Emmy winner Kate Mansi stole hearts over at Days of our Lives as Abigail Deveraux. Maurice Benard sat down with the newest addition to his GH family on the very special video podcast of State Of Mind celebrating World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2023, a subject both actors know a thing or two about.

Kate Mansi: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Lexi Ainsworth announced she would be leaving General Hospital in May of this year. Ainsworth was the fan-favorite actress who portrayed Kristina Corinthos-Davis, the daughter of mobster Sonny Corinthos, played by Maurice Benard, and Alexis Davis, played by Nancy Lee Grahn. Kate Mansi’s first scenes aired the week of May 22, and with a can-do attitude and a natural chemistry, she has been winning over fans and cast members ever since.

Mansi calls herself an open book and told her co-star early on that her father also had bipolar disorder, so they had an unspoken understanding. She shared with Benard how she had gotten into acting, landing the dream job at Days of our Lives after suffering a breakup with her boyfriend of five years the night before, a surprise connection to her on-screen mom, Melissa Reeves, and going on to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as Abigail in 2017.

Her life off-camera didn’t always live up to the dream as she suffered from severe depression and anxiety all of her life and went through a divorce during the Covid crisis that left her broken.

 

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“When I was working on the lot [Burbank Studios], I met someone who worked on the Leno show. We met at the commissary,” Mansi said, detailing the beginnings of their relationship. “We started dating about two years into my time at DAYS. We dated for about six or seven years, and then we got married. We had been engaged, but during Covid, our wedding was canceled five times. During that time, we got married legally and signed the paperwork but kept planning our destination wedding. Things kept getting canceled and canceled.”

Unfortunately, as life under quarantine lightened, issues at home were getting more tense. “When things started opening up in 2021, they said, ‘We still have your registration and fees, so you can still have the exact wedding you were planning.’” That is when her husband dropped a truth bomb. “About six weeks before the planned wedding, my husband had a crisis of consciousness and didn’t want to go through with it.”

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There was a disconnection that she had to address. “And I said, ‘Well, if you don’t want to walk down the aisle with, technically, your wife, then maybe we should just separate because why would you not want to go through with it?’”

Triggers And Trauma

The feisty actress waxed philosophical about their breakup. “It is hard to say why. I am not going to speak for him, but I have gone through the gamut of emotions, anger, etc,” she shared, trying to come to terms with her feelings. “I think at the time, he was just so lost. Now that I look back on it, I think maybe he was just finding himself. He was going through a journey, and something didn’t feel authentic for him. He needed to work through whatever he needed to work through.”

For Mansi, it was overwhelming. “It was brutal. I have had depression and anxiety for my whole life. For me, in that moment, that wasn’t like anything else.” She described her rock bottom moments. “When he finally came to me a year later and said, ‘I’m calling it, I want a divorce,’ I didn’t leave the house for six days. I was on the floor, depressed. I have my coping skills and my toolboxes to reach for, but with something like that, there is no tool big enough to ease that blow.”

It is sometimes in those moments that the epiphanies seep in. “I better own it,” Manzi realized. “I was sitting on the floor realizing that I was not only grieving for the relationship that I had, I was grieving the future that I thought I would have, looking forward to having children, etcetera, etcetera. In that moment, there was just so much peace and freedom.”

Mansi decided she couldn’t do things as she had always done. “I am going to choose to go this way,” the actress declared. “I don’t know where it is leading, and trust that this is the path leading me to my better self.”

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