Stephen J. Burton, who starred on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” in the 1990s as vampire Lestat, blamed the show for not allowing him to vaccinate his children — a point the show noted, tersely, in a statement to The New York Times.
Burton, who played the serial killer Lestat on “General Hospital” from 1993 to 2003, wrote in his memoir that after signing a medical contract with the show, he received two cease-and-desist letters from the show’s attorneys demanding that he stop “further use of the show’s trademarked title” in his novels.
The show claimed the use of the word “Lestat” in his books was misleading because the show had rights to the title and to Burton’s portrayals of the title character. The show also sued the HarperCollins children’s book publisher Chamelion, which had published Burton’s Lestat fiction series, which was a predecessor to his “Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles” books.
The show released a statement to The Times, saying, “General Hospital and HarperCollins took necessary legal action after failing to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of this matter, as should be the case with any matter involving both parties. We are confident that any dispute over how our characters are introduced will be determined in the arbitration or before a court.”
In his book, Burton also described being fired from the show in 1998. “I would have to tell all of my friends in my little circle that I was no longer ‘with’ them,” he wrote. “I would then have to explain why they would see me all the time, why I would be walking around in sunglasses and motorcycle boots (a habit I wore even while under contract at GH), why the advertisements would show my hands in close-up, why I would be spending so much time wearing very close-fitting T-shirts, and why I would suddenly disappear from the post-show parties.”