Ava Jerome on GENERAL HOSPITAL has been through a lot, and every time something awful happens to her, we are reminded that she’s a cat with quite a bit more than just the nine lives. Every time her back has been against the wall, she comes back fighting, and has survived everything… including being burned alive! Ava made her first appearance in May of 2013 when actress Maura West joined the cast of GH. West was previously best known to daytime fans for her Emmy-winning portrayal of AS THE WORLD TURNS’ Carly, though she also had a brief stint as THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Diane in between Oakdale and Port Charles!
Ava is the daughter of the late mob boss, Victor Jerome, and his ex-mistress, Delia Ryan Coleridge (played by Ilene Kristen). She had a better relationship with her brother, Julian Jerome than her sister, Olivia Jerome, who returned from the dead hell-bent on taking revenge against her family!
Ava arrived in Port Charles hoping to get a share of ELQ since her daughter, Kiki Jerome, was fathered by Franco Baldwin, who was believed to be a Quartermaine at the time. But it turned out that Ava had been lying, and Dr. Silas Clay was actually Kiki’s real babydaddy. Kiki dumped Morgan Corinthos after learning he’d known the truth and kept it from her, and Ava was hated by everyone she’d deceived. So the two found comfort in each other as Ava and Morgan began an affair!
When Ava called Derek Wells Julian, it was revealed that he was really her brother, and the siblings joined forces to build the Jerome family back up in the Port Charles mob scene, targeting Sonny Corinthos for a big fall. When Sonny’s girlfriend, Connie Falconeri, was murdered, she scrawled “AJ” in blood, which many assumed to mean A.J. Quartermaine was her killer, but the initials actually stood for Ava Jerome!
When A.J. confronted Ava, Sonny walked in as he was strangling her and joined in the fight, ultimately shooting A.J. dead! Ava and Sonny bonded over their shared secret and after A.J.’s funeral, had sex together in the Quartermaine crypt. But when Sonny learned that Ava was Connie’s killer, she warned him he couldn’t kill her for revenge because she was pregnant and the baby was either his child or grandchild (she’d also been sleeping with Morgan, remember)!
While escaping Sonny’s men trying to kidnap her, Ava accidentally ran down Jason and nearly went into premature labor. She was able to carry to term, but upon giving birth to Avery, an unhinged Nina Reeves abducted the child hoping to start a family with Franco! Once Avery was brought home safely, though, Ava was arrested for Connie’s murder. Oh, and by the way, the child turned out to be Sonny’s!
Ava nearly managed to escape from prison but was confronted by Carlos Rivera, who shot her. Sonny found her dangling from a bridge but refused to pull her up so she fell to her presumed death. Luckily, Silas had found her and secreted her away to nurse her back to health, though he discovered Ava had terminal leukemia and was forced to use Avery’s bone marrow to save her life.
Returning to town with dark hair and calling herself Denise DiMuccio, Ava was soon exposed but was able to avoid jail time when the tape of her killing Connie disappeared. Wanting custody of Avery, Ava entered into a long, ugly battle with Sonny and Carly over the little girl. When Kiki became involved again with Morgan, Ava tampered with his bipolar medication to cause trouble for them, but Morgan’s downward spiral led him to steal Julian’s car which exploded, killing him!
Having finally made progress with Sonny regarding custody arrangements for Avery, Ava scrambled to cover her tracks, but the truth finally came out, and Sonny and Carly confronted her after the Nurses Ball. Under pressure, Ava cracked and confessed to switching out Morgan’s meds and knocked over a lantern to start a fire. Sonny and Carly managed to escape unscathed while Ava herself suffered horrible burns all over her body.
As she struggled with the guilt of what she’d done to Morgan and having her beauty scarred for life, Ava found a shoulder to cry on in Griffin Monroe. Valentin Cassadine offered Ava a way to restore her face at a shady clinic in Russia if she agreed not to testify against him in Nikolas’ murder, and she reluctantly agreed. But at the clinic, she met the mysterious Patient Six (who turned out to be Jason Morgan) and helped him escape so he could return home to his family in Port Charles. Griffin showed up in St. Petersburg to help Ava get out of there alive as well. Once back home, Ava’s appearance was slowly restored, and her relationship with Griffin heated up. In fact, after they slept together, he decided to leave the priesthood!
Unfortunately, while Ava tried to be a better person for Griffin, it wasn’t always possible, especially when battling Sonny over Avery’s custody arrangements. Things came to a head at the Nurses Ball when Ava dumped Griffin and he found comfort in Kiki’s arms! They both agreed to keep their one-night stand a secret, but it came out in court when Kiki was suing Dr. Bensch for sexual harassment and Ava blew her top. She plotted revenge against them both, and while her schemes and manipulations didn’t have much effect on Griffin and Kiki’s budding romance, her new friend’s did! Ava had sought treatment from Dr. Kevin Collins, but didn’t realize he was secretly his evil twin, serial killer Ryan Chamberlain. And when she expressed her desire to see Kiki punished, Ava was horrified when her daughter was found dead!
Ava wanted revenge on her daughter’s killer and was shocked to eventually learn that she was literally sleeping with the enemy. After helping lure him out of hiding, Ava wanted to kill him, but Ryan’s kidney was needed to help save Jordan’s life so she only stabbed him in the back! Struggling to put her life back together, Ava regretted her decision to do a cover story interview for Crimson after the internet comments came flooding in. She sought out psychics to contact Kiki’s spirit and ended up receiving a ghostly visit from her late daughter that didn’t bring her any peace.
When she saw Nikolas Cassadine on Halloween, Ava was convinced she was seeing ghosts again and committed herself to Shadybrook in order to finally receive therapy. But the actually alive Nik visited her there and tormented her into telling him the whereabouts of the portrait of Helena Cassadine containing the codicil to Mikkos’ will. Nina urged Ava to join her in bringing down the Cassadine men who had been lying to them. Ava auctioned off the portrait in her gallery, but after the winning bid was placed, the painting burst into flames! At Wyndemere for Valentin and Nina’s wedding ceremony, Ava found herself alone on the parapet with the groom, who insisted he tell her where the codicil is. When she refused, he pushed her over the edge into the water! Thankfully, Nikolas pulled her out of the drink and together they interrupted the ceremony to bring Valentin down.
Ava continued to work at her gallery, hiring Trina Robinson to work there as an intern. She also convinced Nikolas to marry her because she had the codicil and wanted to be a Cassadine. He agreed, but even though their union was a business arrangement, their agreement forbade either one of them from cheating with anyone else. Of course, the pair soon realized how much they had in common and soon confessed their true feelings. And when Nikolas popped the question to make it official, Ava tearfully said yes!
When Ava began receiving creepy packages in the mail, she assumed they were from Ryan, though he was supposed to be completely incapacitated. She also worried about Nikolas as he got involved with Cyrus Renault in order to protect his Aunt Alexis in prison. Thankfully, Nik broke that off quickly, but Ava grew frightened when the stalker’s activity intensified and forced her to break up with Nikolas. He thought his son, Spencer Cassadine, was behind it, but while he was setting a trap for Spencer, Ava found her car on fire in a parking garage! Fearing for her safety, Ava filed a restraining order to keep Nikolas away from her and planned to go to Europe until the stalker could be found and brought to justice.
But then it was revealed that Spencer was behind the stalking, and Ava she immediately had him arrested. She tried to make a deal with him but he refused and agreed to serve his time, furious she had been put in charge of his trust fund. As part of his sentence, Spencer was ordered to volunteer at the Jerome gallery and Ava had him report to Trina. She and Nikolas presented a united front against a recently returned Victor Cassadine, though when Esme Prince convinced Nik to let her move into Wyndemere with Spencer, Ava called off the vow renewal and refused to let Nikolas anywhere near her!
She was right to be wary of Esme, as Spencer’s supposed girlfriend ended up seducing Nikolas! When he finally confessed to the infidelity, Ava confronted Esme at Wyndemere, a fight that ended when Esme went tumbling off the parapet! After being unable to find Esme’s body, Nikolas helped Ava cover up the accident. They tried keeping everyone in the dark about what happened but at the Quartermaine picnic, Spencer overheard them arguing about his father sleeping with Esme! Furious at Nikolas, Ava stormed off and was attacked by someone wielding a giant hook!
Thankfully, Ava survived and recovered, and for a bit, suspected Nikolas could have been her attacker. As The Hook continued rampaging around Port Charles, Trina seemed to be the real target, so Ava did what she could to protect her young friend. Eventually, Nikolas signed divorce papers and lied that he’d had an affair with Elizabeth Webber. He also signed over Wnydmere and Spoon Island to Ava in the settlement. Ava gave Spencer Nikolas’ taped confession about shoving Esme off the parapet to use in his custody battle against his father for Esme’s baby. When a furious Nikolas threatened to take Avery away from Ava, she snapped and hit him over the head, believing she’d killed him! After stumbling across the scene of the crime, Austin Holt gave Ava a hand hiding Nikolas’ body, and she told everyone Nik had left town.
Ava found herself being held hostage with Felicia Scorpio by Ryan and Heather Webber, who was revealed to be The Hook. When Heather revealed how Ryan had schemed with Esme to destroy her marriage to Nikolas, Ava grabbed a gun and confronted Ryan. She found her gun empty but thankfully, Mac Scorpio shot the serial killer before he could take another victim. As the police searched Spoon Island for clues, Ava and Austin were surprised when they didn’t find Nikolas’ body in the stables where they’d hidden it!
Stay tuned to see how her story continues!
Love GH? Be sure to join our We Love General Hospital Facebook group to chat about all the latest storylines and juicy gossip!