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GH’s Maurice Benard & B&B’s Scott Clifton Discuss Healthy Uncouplings

The Daytime Emmy award-winning actor spoke of his recent separation, Kristoff St. John, Don Diamont, and his past with Benard.

maurice benard interviewed scott clifton on state of mind.The former GH co-stars had a lot to talk about.

Scott Clifton may play Liam Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful now, but he got his start in Daytime back in 2003 when he took on the role of Dillon Quartermaine on General Hospital, the teenage son of Tracy Quartermaine, played by Jane Elliott, and Paul Hornsby, played at the time by Paul Satterfield. The two reminisced about old times and much more on Benard’s video podcast this week, State Of Mind.

Scott Clifton Talks Easing Into Breakups

The episode rolled out like two old friends catching up over coffee on the good, bad, and the ugly since they last met up. Since Clifton left Port Charles in 2007, he has become the first actor to win Daytime Emmys in the Younger Actor category, Supporting, and Leading Actor for his role on B&B. As friends will do, the two discussed his announcement in February that he and his wife, Nikki, were separating after more than 10 years of marriage. 

The actor spoke of how the breakup came about. “It was her that said, ‘I release you. I can’t love you the way you deserve to be loved. And you can’t love me.'” Clifton described how he handled the news. “At first, I was hurt, but then, it was such a kind, compassionate, rational thing for her to do, and now I thank her for it every day.”

Clifton discussed how the couple approached telling their son, Ford, who just turned 7 in May. “At the end of the day, everything that you try to do is to raise happier and healthier kids than you were,” he said. “And, thankfully, there was never this big heavy talk that we needed to have with our son. We never had to do the, ‘We still love you. This is not a reflection of you. We just fell out of love with each other.’ It was none of that.”

The actor told Benard how they found a healthy way to deal with the separation. “I just saw her today, and we were hanging out with our kid. So, part of it again is that we are so privileged that when we separated, we got to buy another house, and they are very close together, and our son gets to go back and forth between the two. It is about a five-minute drive from each other.

“We will have family dinner at her house one night,” Clliften continued, “and then she’ll come over to my house, and we will have family dinner at my house.” The couple committed to creating an environment that diminished the impact of the breakup. “We still create this family unit thing. And the nature of our relationship, I am sorry, Nikki [speaking to his ex on camera], was that we were not romantically compatible. We loved differently. It took us way too long to figure that out. But once we did, things got better.”

Their son took the split in stride. “As far as he was concerned, it was, ‘I’m getting another house? This is great!’”

Friends, Growing Up, And Father Figures

Scott Clifton had nothing but kind things to say about his ex, whom he still considers his best friend, and credits her special brand of magic that is the gift of inclusion for helping him with his own people skills. “The reason I brought this up is that Nikki is the opposite of me. She is a social genius,” he said. Clifton went on to relate her gifts. “She can meet anybody and, within seconds, make them fall in love with her. She knows how to read people immediately. She knows exactly what their sense of humor is, what will make them feel secure, and what will make them feel safe in the conversation.”

Benard and his old friend spoke of Clifton’s parents and their difficulties, growing up as an only child and lacking communication skills, foregoing high school for an acting career, and behind-the-scenes stories of working together on the set of General Hospital. The actor/musician shared his early impressions of the method actor and host of SOM, including a story involving old Hollywood, the Isley Brothers, and two different memories of the same event.

The Daytime Emmy award-winning actor revealed a bittersweet memory of Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) from The Young and the Restless before his untimely death in February of 2019, tied to his own Lead Actor win. The two discussed father figures, and Clifton disclosed why his TV father, played by Don Diamont, is a real-life Super Dad. Watch the full episode here.

Fans will truly enjoy this refreshing episode that unraveled like an intimate peek into their friendship. Follow Scott Clifton on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and his Official website. To follow State Of Mind and subscribe, go to YouTubeInstagram, and Twitter. Fans can now purchase inspirational merchandise for Benard’s State Of Mind. Check it out.

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