General Hospital’s Genie Francis won’t ‘defend’ controversial 1970s rape scene which led to marriage


 General Hospital star Genie Francis has said she won’t defend the controversial rape scene from the 1970s which led to her character’s eventual marriage with the rapist.

The 60-year-old soap opera legend was candid about the notorious history of her character Laura Spencer during ABC’s Television Critics Association presentation on Wednesday.

Genie had been involved in a controversial date rape scene with Anthony Geary’s character Luke  in 1979 which fans had questioned ever since.

Revealing: General Hospital star Genie Francis has said she won’t defend the controversial rape scene from the 1970s which led to her character’s eventual marriage with the rapist

Notorious: Genie's character Laura Spencer had been involved in a controversial date rape scene with Anthony Geary's character Luke in 1979 which fans had questioned ever since and perplexingly led to their wedding in November 1981

Notorious: Genie’s character Laura Spencer had been involved in a controversial date rape scene with Anthony Geary’s character Luke in 1979 which fans had questioned ever since and perplexingly led to their wedding in November 1981

What was even more perplexing was that Luke and Laura eventually fell in love and eventually married.

At the recent panel, Genie put her foot down over the infamous scene as she said: ‘I don’t defend it anymore.

‘You know, as a young kid, at 17, I was told to play rape, and I played it. I didn’t even know what it was. But, at 17, you follow the rules, and you do as you are told, and you aim to please. At 60, I don’t feel the need to defend that anymore.’

In the shocking scene, Laura denies Luke’s advances but her forces himself onto her before the camera cuts away only to come back showing Luke with an unbuttoned shirt and Laura crawling away from him on the ground.

The 60-year-old soap opera legend was candid about the notorious history of her character Laura Spencer during ABC's Television Critics Association presentation on Wednesday pictured left to right: Kristina Wagner, Chris Van Etten, Maurice Benard, Tabyana Ali, Genie Fracis, Nicholas Chavez, Donnell Turner, Dan O'Connor, and Rebecca Herbst

The 60-year-old soap opera legend was candid about the notorious history of her character Laura Spencer during ABC’s Television Critics Association presentation on Wednesday pictured left to right: Kristina Wagner, Chris Van Etten, Maurice Benard, Tabyana Ali, Genie Fracis, Nicholas Chavez, Donnell Turner, Dan O’Connor, and Rebecca Herbst

Genie continued: ‘I think that the story was inappropriate, I don’t condone it, and it’s been a burden that I’ve had to carry to try to justify that story, and so I’m not doing that anymore.

‘I think, when a woman says “No,” that she should be listened to, and if you replay that scene, you don’t have Laura just saying “No.” You have her screaming “No.”‘ 

Laura and Luke eventually became a ‘power couple’ on the daytime soap opera as their wedding brought in a whopping 30million viewers on November 17, 1981.

It was not exactly the storybook ending for Laura who talked about how difficult it was to film the nuptials as she explained at the panel: ‘I think of what an uncomfortable day that was to shoot.

'You know, as a young kid, at 17, I was told to play rape, and I played it': In the shocking scene, Laura denies Luke's advances but her forces himself onto her before the camera cuts away only to come back showing Luke with an unbuttoned shirt and Laura crawling away from him on the ground, the stars are seen in 1985

‘You know, as a young kid, at 17, I was told to play rape, and I played it’: In the shocking scene, Laura denies Luke’s advances but her forces himself onto her before the camera cuts away only to come back showing Luke with an unbuttoned shirt and Laura crawling away from him on the ground, the stars are seen in 1985

‘You know, in super-spiked high heels, sinking in the mud. I have got that headdress on, which is pretty, but it was wired, and it was sticking in my head, and I was not allowed to sit down because you couldn’t wrinkle that dress.

‘And that was very, very physically uncomfortable, and everybody was super tense because it was such a big deal.’

Genie said it wasn’t an easy day of filming but things did start to turn around a bit when they filmed the dance scene.

It was not exactly the storybook ending for Laura (pictured in April 2015)  who talked about how difficult it was to film the nuptials as she explained at the panel: 'I think of what an uncomfortable day that was to shoot'

It was not exactly the storybook ending for Laura (pictured in April 2015)  who talked about how difficult it was to film the nuptials as she explained at the panel: ‘I think of what an uncomfortable day that was to shoot’

She explained: ‘There’s a picture, I think, that they showed where we start to dance. That was after the ceremony, and we started to dance the Virginia reel, and then I actually started to have fun. But, before that, it was a very tough day of shooting.’

Despite the hard feelings, Genie does recognize the magnitude of the event and impact that it has had on fans.

She said: ‘You know, it’s hard to put that in just one sentence. It’s still sinking in to me how big a deal it was.

'It's still sinking in to me how big a deal it was': Despite the hard feelings, Genie does recognize the magnitude of the event and impact that it has had on fans

‘It’s still sinking in to me how big a deal it was’: Despite the hard feelings, Genie does recognize the magnitude of the event and impact that it has had on fans

‘At the time, I knew it was popular, but I never dreamed that we would be celebrating the 60th [anniversary] and still talking about that moment.’

Genie has starred as Laura on/off for over 45 years from 1977 to current day. 

Her on-screen husband Anthony starred from 1978 to 1984 before a return from 1993 to 2017. 

General Hospital is the longest-running American soap opera in production as it will celebrate its 60th anniversary in April.

Icon: Genie has starred as Laura on/off for over 45 years from 1977 to current day

Icon: Genie has starred as Laura on/off for over 45 years from 1977 to current day

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