Wiley Cooper-Jones on GENERAL HOSPITAL is really Jonah Corinthos, but that’s just the start of the confusion in this complicated baby-switching storyline. As the twists and turns have piled up, some viewers found themselves more than a little confused about all of the details, so let us break things down for you in the hopes of clearing up some misconceptions! The kid was originally played by adorable twins Erik and Theo Olson from his birth in 2018 until September 2021 when the role was recast with the equally adorable Caleb and Kyler Ends, who had previously played James West on GH. Then, in December of that year, child actor Viron Weaver stepped into the role and continues to play Wiley to this day.
Happily married Brad Cooper and Lucas Jones decided to start a family and began the process of adopting a baby. When the infant was finally born, the new parents were overjoyed to take him in and named him Wiley. But when Brad brought the baby home for the first time, Wiley passed away of SIDS in his crib. The distraught father packed the infant up in the car and drove towards the hospital but stopped on the side of the road to collect himself. Then Nelle Benson appeared, having just given birth to the baby she and Michael Corinthos were expecting, and offered Brad a swap.
Overwhelmed with grief, Brad agreed to take Nelle’s baby and decided to pass it off as the same one that he and Lucas had just adopted. Meanwhile, Nelle was found by the authorities and claimed her baby was stillborn, breaking Michael’s heart. With Nelle in prison, Michael grieved on his own, and found himself drawn to Wiley, not realizing that the boy is really his own son who he had posthumously named Jonah.
When Brad and Lucas learned that the birth mother of the baby they had originally adopted wanted the baby back, Brad was terrified his deception would be exposed, so he secretly confided to Lucas’ father, Julian Jerome. But he only told him that the birth mother’s son died and lied that he came upon a homeless woman who begged him to take her baby. Julian stepped in to convince the birth mother, Willow Tait, to back off. And to complicate matters further, Willow confessed that the baby’s father was Shiloh, the leader of the Dawn of Day cult!
Even worse, Michael continued to bond with Wiley, even becoming the boy’s godfather (Sam McCall was named godmother), not aware that he’s his own son. Willow also continued to see the boy, eventually becoming Wiley’s nanny. And when Julian finally put two and two together and realized that Wiley was really Michael’s son, he was furious and wanted Brad out of his son’s life so badly that he tampered with the brakes on his car!
Knowing that they were raising Michael’s son and Willow had no idea that her baby was actually dead had Brad consumed with guilt and he finally decided to blurt out his confession that Wiley was really Nelle and Michael’s son as Lucas was driving. Tragically, the brakes on the car failed and after the crash, Lucas was stuck in a coma. Meanwhile, Nelle got out on parole and wormed her way back into her son’s life, determined to get him back and run away with him.
Brad thought he might be in the clear when Lucas came out of the coma with no memory of the big confession, but as they planned to move to Portland with Wiley, Lucas’ memories came back and he remembered the truth about Wiley’s parentage! Brad was forced to explain and Nelle tried to kidnap her son but both of them were arrested and locked up. Heartbroken, Lucas gave Wiley back to Michael, who took him home to the Quartermaine mansion and tried to figure out a way to retain custody of the child while keeping Nelle as far away as possible. When Wiley fell ill, Michael rushed him to the hospital where he learned that the boy required heart surgery just like Michael did when he was young. Unfortunately, Nelle refused to sign off on the invasive procedure and they had to fake her signature!
Furious, Nelle vowed to fight for custody of her son, and Michael scrambled to figure out a way to keep Wiley away from her. He thought about marrying Sasha, but Diane warned that Sasha’s checkered history wouldn’t help. So Sasha and Chase decided to “help out” by pretending to be having an affair to push Michael and Willow together to marry and make a family for Wiley a judge couldn’t resist. But while Michael and Willow married to present a happy family for the judge to pick, Nelle blackmailed Julian into marrying her to do the same thing!
Thankfully, the judge awarded custody of Wiley to Michael and Willow and denied Nelle visitation rights. As their relationship hit some rough spots, Michael and Willow remained devoted to Wiley. After the revelation that Nina Reeves is Nelle’s mother, she was eager to get to know her grandson. But when she told the tot that she was his grandma because Nelle was his real mom, not Willow, Michael forbid her to see Wiley until he was forced to by Jasper Jacks. Michael continued to protect his son as Brad was granted parole and released from prison.
As Michael and Willow continued to refuse Nina the opportunity to spend any time at all with Wiley, she grew more and more frustrated, eventually taking the pair to court to sue for visitation. Sonny attempted to persuade Michael and Willow to settle out of court, but they refused and ultimately, the judge denied Nina’s petition. So whenever Wiley would run into Nina he would be excited to see his grandma, but Michael and/or Willow would immediately snatch him away and get rid of her. Wiley was excited when his parents told him that he would be getting a baby sister, but he had no idea that Willow was gravely ill.
Michael shielded Wiley from the worst of it when Willow nearly died giving birth to Amelia, and the little boy was delighted to participate when his parents tied the knot. When Willow finally received her bone marrow transplant, Wiley was there at the hospital to help offer his love and support. And when she finally got to come home from the hospital, he helped his daddy create a French honeymoon at home. And when Willow invited Nina to be part of her “bubble” as she recovered, Wiley was able to spend some time with his grandmother.
Stay tuned to GH to see what happens next to this poor kid!
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