Kristoff St. John, who played the role of Neil Winters on "The Young and the Restless" for a quarter of a century, was found dead in his home.
Kristoff and his ex-wife Mia St. John lost their son Julian to mental illness, and Mia is convinced that it was the grief of losing Julian that claimed her ex-husband on February 4.
On the day of Kristoff's death, he had been texting and calling his ex-wife, and according to her, he sounded depressed and as if he'd been drinking.
Mia said: "When Julian passed, he died of a broken heart. These mental health issues are real. Kristoff suffered from bipolar, our son had schizophrenia, and I just felt like it was so hard for people to pay attention."
She added that he called her at 11 a.m. and sounded "just so depressed." Kristoff was drinking and "just saying nonsense," she explained.
Mia says that during the conversation, Kristoff was so out of it and disoriented that he said that their deceased son was at the door.
“He said, ‘Julian is at the door I gotta get the door.’ [He] said, ‘Okay, let’s talk to Julian, bring Julian in.’ Julian came in, and he said, ‘Julian is gonna take me for a walk now,’ and I said, ‘No you aren’t going for a walk right now.’"
The police were sent to his home, but when they arrived, they found him on the floor. They tried to perform CPR, but they were unable to revive the 50-year-old actor.
The police are yet to reveal a cause of death as they are awaiting the toxicology reports, but Mia does not doubt that St. John's mental problems caused his death.
In the aftermath of St. John's death, "Young and the Restless" aired a short tribute to the longtime soap star. During the segment, St. John speaks about his experience playing Neil Winters since 1991:
"It feels like a real accomplishment," St. John said. "I've been a part of something that will somehow be in a time capsule... and I'm part of that? Yeah, I'm one of the brothas on 'The Young and the Restless,' I'm one of the sons.'
"I'm one of the family members. I was there. Yeah, man, Neil Winters was an integral part. Thank you for sharing in this adventure," he said, "this mighty ship that has sailed for so long. I love you."
The broadcast ended with an image of St. John accompanied by the words: "In loving memory of our dear friend."