Fans had grown to love Hayden Barnes on GENERAL HOSPITAL so they were understandably upset when Rebecca Budig confirmed that she was leaving the soap. Originally introduced as a con artist, Hayden was only on for a few months before she was shot and put into a coma. But the character woke up a couple months after that and began making a new life in Port Charles. Sadly, that all came to an end when her past caught up with her and she made her escape. But now the soap has revealed that Budig is coming back and bringing plenty of drama with her!
Hayden first appeared on GH in March of 2015 claiming to be the wife of Jake Doe, who was later revealed to be Jason Morgan (and ultimately found to be Jason's twin brother, Drew Cain!). However, the whole thing was a big scam and she was really working for Ric Lansing, who wanted to get Jake away from Elizabeth Webber so he could have her for himself. Hayden fell for Nikolas Cassadine and realizing that he knew Jake was actually Jason, used it to her advantage.
After Ric and Hayden’s scheme was exposed during the Nurses Ball, Hayden tried to blackmail Nikolas but he urged her to go ahead and tell the truth. However, when Hayden went to the garage where Jake worked, she was shot in the head! Although it was assumed Shawn Butler was the shooter, under orders from Sonny to take out Jake, it was really a hit man sent by Nikolas! At the hospital, Hayden fell into a coma before she could tell Jake the truth about his identity.
Months later, Hayden awoke from her coma but didn’t remember anything, and Nikolas wanted to keep it that way. But Hayden’s memories returned and the truth was finally revealed. She started working for Tracy Quartermaine to help her get ELQ back and continued to see Nikolas as part of their plan. Heck, they even got married in Vegas! Although the couple's feelings for each other were questionable, Hayden did form a genuine bond with Nik’s son, Spencer.
Eventually, it was revealed that Hayden’s real name is Rachel Berlin, the daughter of Raymond Berlin, a banker who swindled billions of dollars out of his clients. Furious, Nikolas demanded a divorce, but she threatened to reveal he tried to have her killed if he dumped her. Later, Heather revealed that Hayden’s mother, Naomi, had an affair with Jeff Webber back in the day and realized that Hayden is his child — making her Elizabeth’s sister!
Hayden found herself drawn to Dr. Hamilton Finn and helped him deal with his drug problem. After contracting the same disease that was killing him, they were finally cured and began a relationship. But they were both startled to learn Hayden was pregnant, and she worried that she wasn’t ready to become a mother. After thwarting Liesl Obrecht’s scheme to have Finn fired from the hospital by tampering with his drug tests, Hayden and Finn were targeted by the doc for revenge.
Obrecht brought Hayden's ex-husband, Jared, to Port Charles as part of her plan to destroy Finn's life. Jared had gone to prison to protect Hayden, who had gotten drunk and hit a girl walking her dog. He threatened to reveal the truth unless Hayden paid up, and she very nearly did, but reconsidered and came clean to Finn herself. He still wanted to marry her, but on their wedding day, Hayden pulled a disappearing act and left Finn desperate for answers!
With Curtis' help, Finn was able to track down Hayden, but all the detective found for the doctor was a letter. In it, Hayden apologized for taking the coward's way out and hoped he would find someone who truly deserved him. She also told him that she had lost the baby, but in a flashback shot of Hayden writing the letter, after glancing at her new passport with the name Madison Ford, she stood up to reveal that she was still very much pregnant!
Much later, Curtis delivered a letter to Finn from Hayden from France, and in a private section for Finn's eyes only, she asked him to come visit her so they could talk. Finn, who had moved on to a relationship with Anna Devane, was torn about what to do and ultimately declined to meet with her. The doc is now planning to propose to Anna, which seems the perfect time for Hayden to re-enter his life with their baby in her arms to turn everything upside down!
Stay tuned to find out how Hayden's story continues, and for more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.