Y&R fans will be happy to know that Neil Winters is returning to Genoa City! Young and the Restless actor Kristoff St. John is coming back after a “four-month-plus hiatus,” reports Entertainment Weekly.
The 52-year-old actor will return to the CBS set next week, and the new episodes including St. John will begin to air sometime in April.
Fans of the beloved actor are aware that he has been in a lot of personal pain the past few years due to the 2015 suicide of his son, Julian. St. John has reportedly “battled depression” since losing Julian, describing to ET that it was “every parent’s nightmare.”
Julian St. John, just 24 at the time of his death, had been residing at the La Casa Psychiatric Health Facility in Long Beach, being treated for schizophrenia. He was to be checked every 15, as he was under a suicide watch.
Staff did not comply with that rule, as later discovery. He was left unchecked in his room for “over an hour.”
When staff did go into his room, Julian was found dead, “face down” in the bathroom, with a plastic bag over his head, asphyxiated.
According to Entertainment Tonight, a wrongful death lawsuit was made against the facility by Julian’s parents, Kristoff, and his ex-wife, Mia St. John.
They had viewed surveillance video, a deeply emotional, and shocking experience for the couple. Yet this information proved that Julian’s room had not been checked for “over an hour.”
What was worse was that “nurses and staff doctored up documents” and covered up their errors of neglect. The staff denied any wrongdoing at that time.
After a lengthy battle, the couple eventually settled out of court, using those funds to help others with mental illness, in Julian’s name and memory.
Since Julian’s death, his parents have fought hard to make changes, such as removing plastic bags from patient’s rooms in mental care facilities everywhere.
More recently, in October, the actor took a leave of absence from the show, after a reported mental health “scare.” There were reports that Kristoff had tried to take his own life with a gun. The actor made the news, with sensationalized headlines.
His ex-wife Mia went public on ET, explaining that “there is inaccurate, and fabricated information being reported by certain online outlets.”
She made it clear that this was not a “gossip story,” or an “interesting headline.” Mia explained that his heart was heavy, and Kristoff was “dealing with a tragedy.”
She went on to say, “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever. The death of our beloved son Julian, has taken a toll on both of us. He is an actor and while he may appear whole on the outside, his heart is broken. As a society we need to start taking mental health seriously and realize that no one is immune.”
Recently, the fan favorite went to Instagram to announce he was ready to return to the CBS soap, with such hashtags as #journey, #brandnew, and of course, #youngandtherestlesscbs.
“The comeback kid. I’m ready.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the last time Kristoff was seen on Y&R, was on November 29, when Neil had to head off to New York City to be with Moses, as Sofia, the child’s mother, had been injured in a car accident.
Kristoff St. John has portrayed Neil Winters a remarkable 27 years, starting his journey on the most popular soap opera on television in 1991.