Viewers don’t see as much of TJ Ashford on GENERAL HOSPITAL these days, so it’s totally understandable many aren’t aware of his history in Port Charles. The character first appeared in January of 2012 played by Krys Meyer, but by August, the role had been recast with EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS actor Tequan Richmond. But when he eventually went on recurring status with the soap, TJ’s appearances became less and less frequent. And in November of 2018, the role was recast once again with Tajh Bellow stepping into TJ’s shoes.
TJ traveled to Port Charles from Baltimore, MD, to live with Shawn Butler when his mother, Jordan Ashford, couldn’t handle raising him anymore. Shawn was reluctant to take him in but felt guilty because he is the son of one of his military buddies whose death he was partly responsible for. TJ enrolled in Port Charles High and befriended Molly Lansing, who tutored him when she realized he had trouble reading.
After TJ was arrested for stealing a car, Molly’s mother, Alexis Davis, got the charges dropped, and Shawn hoped Molly would be a good influence on the teen. But instead, TJ turned out to be a bad influence on Molly, throwing a raging party that ended with the house destroyed and Molly passed out with alcohol poisoning. Alexis forbade them from seeing each other, so they had to do it on the down-low, but eventually, JT and Molly convinced her to let them date.
Although Molly insisted they were just friends, TJ was jealous of her relationship with Rafe Kovich, and punched him when she admitted they’d shared a kiss. Molly dumped TJ, who began dating Taylor DuBois. After they slept together, TJ regretted his choice and managed to convince Molly to take him back. The couple also decided that they were ready to have sex for the first time.
TJ was drawn into Shawn’s job in organized crime when he was taken hostage by Carlos Rivera and also witnessed Morgan Corinthos accidentally shooting Max Giambetti. Shawn called Jordan to get her son, but TJ refused to leave Port Charles, so Jordan opted to stay with him Port Charles. TJ was shocked when his mother was arrested for drug trafficking, and urged Rafe to stop using. When Rafe was killed in a car accident, TJ comforted Molly.
Things took a turn when Jordan and Shawn confessed to TJ that Shawn actually killed his father, Tommy, in self-defense when he’d discovered they were having an affair. Things got more complicated when Jordan ended up arresting Shawn and revealed that she was actually an undercover cop the whole time. And worse, TJ found out that Shawn was actually his real biological father shortly before the guy was shipped off to prison!
Following that series of explosive revelations, TJ and Jordan’s relationship was obviously strained, but over time they have gotten back to normal. He even approved of her decision to marry Curtis. TJ has continued dating Molly and started attending medical school, though after his mother’s kidney transplant, announced his decision to take some time off to work and help pay off her medical bills.
Unfortunately, as TJ worked up the nerve to propose to Molly, she was annoyed with the complicated wedding plans of her friend and he realized the timing was off. But when he wasn’t able to intercept the waitress, the diamond ring was delivered anyway and TJ’s heart was crushed when Molly turned him down. He disappeared and Jordan received a text saying he needed some time alone, but it was soon revealed that the evil Cyrus Renault had him abducted and beaten to force Jordan into getting him out of prison!
Stay tuned to see how TJ’s story continues, and for more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.
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