|“||Call me all the names you want, but many women adore me! Do you wanna know what I was doing? I'll tell you, diddums: I was whacking the donkey with painted ladies, they loved me! Yes, I did leave you! There, now I confessed, so what?! We're at sea! And I'm a GOD at sea!!||„|
|~ Grant revealing his true nature to Joanna by admitting his betrayal and affairs with other women.|
Grant Stayton III is the main antagonist of the 1987 comedy film Overboard. He is the rich and charming, yet unfaithful, husband of rich heiress Joanna Mintz-Stayton.
He was portrayed by the late Edward Herrmann.
Grant briefly married Joanna Mintz with the blessing of her mother Edith Mintz. Together, they bought their own yacht with a loyal crew to spend their lives indulging in the wealth that Joanna inherited from her mother. Grant is first seen shooting skeets as they make a stop at Elk Cove, Oregon, as Joanna hired a carpenter named Dean Profitt to build a new shoe rack. Though Dean successfully gets the job done in two days, Joanna arrogantly refuses to pay him as she wanted the rack to be made out of cedar instead of oak, despite Dean furiously telling her that she didn't requested this at the start. This prompts Joanna to fire Dean and throw him and his tool kit out of the yacht. That night, Joanna receives amnesia after accidentally going overboard while attempting to reclaim her wedding ring, and is sent to a hospital. Upon hearing what happened, Grant initially attempts to fetch for her, but later changes his mind and abandons her, as it turns out that he only married Joanna for her fortune.
Without any qualms, Grant leaves with Joanna's yacht and uses it to embark parties with younger women, much to the disgust of the crew. Around the same time, Dean learns of Joanna's predicament and takes her to his residence, where he falsely claims that she's his wife Annie and gets her to do chores and tend to his four sons in order to pay off her debt while he works on two jobs. At first, Joanna has difficulty living with Dean and his sons, but after four months, she warms up to them, and Dean starts to have second thoughts, wondering if he should tell the truth or not. Around the same time, it was revealed that Grant lied to Edith about Joanna for a month, claiming that she went shopping or is unavailable. However, Edith learns about Joanna's predicament and gets Grant on the phone as he is making out with another woman.
Unaware of what Grant is doing, Edith confronts him for lying to her about Joanna and threatens to hire mercenaries to hunt him down if he doesn't get Joanna back. Not wanting to lose hold of Joanna's fortune, Grant reluctantly ends his affairs and heads back to Elk Cove, where he heads off to Dean's house to meet Joanna, who finally regains her memory and realize what Dean did to her. Distraught of what just happened, Joanna berates Dean for using her and leaves in a huff with Grant in their limo, despite Dean's sons begging her to stay as they think of her as a true mother figure. However, Grant tells the boys to back off as he rides off with Joanna, leaving the boys heartbroken.
Back in the yacht as the Staytons are leaving for New York, Grant and Edith get Dr. Norman Korman to perform an analysis on Joanna in hope of getting her spoiled self back. However, Joanna has second thoughts as she realizes what a selfish person she was after witnessing Grant and Edith mistreating the crew. Realizing now that she misses Dean and his sons, Joanna gets the captain to turn the yacht around back to Elk Cove while telling Grant that she wants a divorce as she no longer loves him. Upon hearing this, Grant becomes insane and takes over the helm, intending to go out to the sea so that he can keep Joanna and her fortune under his thumb. Grant also confesses to Joanna that he deliberately left her at the hospital for her fortune and that he made affairs with the women in the yacht, making Joanna realize what a lying, greedy, cheating scoundrel that Grant truly is.
However, Dean and his sons rent up a Coast Guard boat to rescue Joanna, and Dean goes overboard to swim over to the yacht. Using a spare lifejacket given by her butler Andrew, Joanna jumps in as well to reunite with Dean. Upon seeing this, Grant grabs a bow and arrow, intending to kill Joanna in order to obtain the fortune for himself. However, Andrew pushes Grant overboard before giving him his two weeks notice. Grant is last seen being reeled back into the yacht while Joanna reunites with Dean.
It is unknown what happened to Grant afterwards, but with his actions exposed, it can be implied that he is forced to oblige to Joanna's wishes in getting a divorce, leaving him penniless as a result while Joanna decides to marry Dean so that she can have a daughter and pass down the fortune to their children.