Julia Roberts revealed a unique story about her birth – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, paid her parents’ hospital bill after she was born.
During a September interview with Gayle King for the History Channel’s “HISTORYTalks” series, Roberts opened up about her family’s unexpected connection to the two historical figures.
“The King family paid my hospital bills,” Roberts said.
“Not my family,” joked Gayle King, since she has the same last name as the civil rights leader. “Martin Luther King Jr.”
Roberts explained that his parents, Walter and Betty Lou Roberts, had owned an acting school in Atlanta called the Actors and Writers Workshop. Coretta Scott King asked if her children could be enrolled in school, as they were struggling to find other places that would accept her children.
“And so they all became friends and they helped us out of a mess,” said Roberts, who was born on October 28, 1967 and turned 55 last week.
“Yeah, because in the ’60s there were no little black kids interacting with little white kids in drama school,” said Gayle King, who also co-hosts “CBS Mornings.” “And your parents were like, ‘Come in.’ And I think that’s extraordinary and lays the foundation of who you are.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was from Atlanta and became one of the most prominent civil rights leaders in the United States. With nonviolent protests, Martin Luther King Jr. helped lead the movement to advance the rights of people of color. Less than six months after Roberts’ birth, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, followed by a national day of mourning.
The interview went viral this week after business consultant Zara Rahim tweeted an excerpt to honor Roberts on her recent birthday.
Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King Jr., also tweeted a snippet of the interview on Sunday, saying she was “grateful” that Roberts told the story and that “so many people in were impressed.” “
“I know the story well, but it’s moving for me to remember the generosity and influence of my parents,” she added.
The “HISTORYTalks” series began in 2019 and features live talks with several top speakers each year. This year, former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush, and George and Amal Clooney were among the speakers.