Soap opera star Steve Burton separates from pregnant wife, says the child isn’t his

steve burton
Gregg DeGuire / Stringer / Getty Images

Former General Hospital star Steve Burton took to his Instagram story on Wednesday to announce his separation from his wife of 23 years, Sheree Burton, after the latter announced her fourth pregnancy this week. In a separate Instagram story, which was shared by a General Hospital fan site the same day Burton made his announcement, the 45-year-old showed off her growing baby bump.

“Life sure is full of surprises!” she captioned over the photo — which is really saying something, given her estranged husband’s reaction, which could have been plucked right from a soap opera script.

“I wanted to clear something up. Sheree and I are separated,” Burton wrote in his own story. “She recently announced that she’s expecting her 4th child. The child is not mine. We are still co-parenting our three beautiful kids. We would appreciate privacy at this time. Much luv, Steve.”

steve burton
Steve Burton / Instagram

As People points out, Steve and Sheree married in 1999 after meeting on the set of General Hospital and share daughters Makena, 18, Brooklyn, 7, and a 16-year-old son Jack. Neither Burtons clarified how long they had been separated or who the father of the child is.

What’s notable about the timing, however, is that Burton’s announcement comes six months after his departure from General Hospital for refusing to comply with the production’s vaccine mandates. He is now set to reprise his role as Harris Michaels on Days of Our Lives, which he first began portraying in 1988, in addition to the second season of the Peacock spinoff, Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem.

“I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital, and I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” Burton said in an Instagram video, over his exit from the long-running soap. “Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied, which, you know, uh hurts.”

“But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anyone should lose their livelihood over this,” he continued. “But with that being said, you know me, I’ll always be grateful for my time at General Hospital, I love it there. I grew up there, I grew up with some of you, so … I believe when one door closes, multiple doors open. That’s always been my perspective so I’m excited to see what the future brings.”

“And maybe one day if these mandates are lifted I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan,” Burton added. “That would be an honor. And if not, I’m gonna take this amazing experience, move forward, and be forever grateful.”