General Hospital star Robert Gossett opens up to Maurice Benard about his son's tragic suicide

Posted Monday, March 18, 2024 9:05:50 AM
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General Hospital's Maurice Benard gave co-star Robert Gossett a space to talk about the heartbreaking death of his son.

In November of 2022, General Hospital star Robert Gossett (Marshall Ashford) experienced the worst tragedy a parent could imagine when his 24-year-old son Luke took his life. It was something Gossett didn't see coming, as he explained to Maurice Benard on his mental health program, Maurice Benard: State of Mind.

Gossett thanked Benard for giving him to opportunity to finally express his feelings publicly after not wanting to talk about Luke for so long. In fact, he went to work at GH just days after Luke passed and didn't tell anyone he had just lost his son, despite his agent suggesting he let the powers that be know.

Gossett explained that Luke had always been a creative and empathetic soul, defending kids who were bullied at school and writing a blog with his spiritual thoughts. In the year prior to his death, Luke had been traveling the world and had only been back in L.A. for a month when he told his father he wanted to leave again. When Gossett asked him not to, Luke told him, "I'm not Caleb," referring to the older brother who lived life differently.

The actor admitted that he never thought much about mental health issues, but all that has changed since Luke passed.

"Mental illness and help, therapy, was never part of my...but this was so traumatic, and I was so lost...I have now engaged," Gossett admitted. "Grief and trauma and a loss has an effect on us, and that has sort of introduced me to therapy and therapists, so now I have so much more appreciation."

However, the "what ifs" are still there.

"In this appreciation, I have this profound sense of know, your son, he's your child and I'm his father...that I didn't have enough wherewithal to be able to see or understand enough about my son to take him by the hand and put him with a therapist. He was dealing with these demons and the fact that I didn't see it, that I couldn't f*&^%ing see it."

Benard, who has been transparent about his own mental health issues for decades, including his struggles with bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts, explained how he has been able to mask his feelings and hide them from his loved ones.

It was during December's Daytime Emmy Awards when Gossett won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series that he made the split-second decision to talk about Luke.

"Not talking about it, I thought, was what I was supposed to do. My therapist says I gotta honor him," Gossett explained. "The Emmy night, if you saw my speech, I didn't want to...but once I mentioned Sonya [Eddy, Epiphany, GH] and Nneka [Garland, GH producer), their passing, in my mind I said, 'Do it, Robert. Don't be ashamed of your son. Honor him. Say his name out loud.' And I did. It kinda opened me up, so I'm going to talk about Luke."

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If you or anyone else needs help, call or text 988 for the national suicide crisis helpline. And please, do what you can remove the stigma from mental health care. We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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