Award-winning actress Julia Roberts shockingly revealed that iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. paid the hospital bill for her birth.
Julia revealed the interesting fact during a recent interview with Gayle King for A+E Networks and History Channel’s HISTORYTalks on Sept. 24. She added that Coretta Scott King helped to cover the hospital bill for her birth as well.
“The King family paid for my hospital bill, [both] Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta. My parents [Betty and Walter Roberts] obviously couldn’t pay for the hospital bill,” she said.
Today is Julia Roberts birthday! 55 years ago MLK and Coretta Scott King paid for her parents hospital bill after she was born. Can’t stop thinking about this since I read it. Here she is talking about it with @GayleKing https://t.co/5HvpNSUIYb pic.twitter.com/147x6d807W
— Zara Rahim (@ZaraRahim) October 28, 2022
Gayle then inquired about the relationship between her parents and the Kings.
“My parents had a theater school in Atlanta called the ‘Actors and Writers Workshop,'” the actress replied. “One day, Coretta Scott King called my mother and asked if her kids could be part of the school because they were having a hard time finding a place that would accept her kids. My mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over,’ and so they all just became friends, and they helped us out of a jam.”
“Yeah, because in the ’60s you didn’t have little Black children interacting with white kids in acting school,” Gayle said. “And your parents were like, come on in. I think that’s extraordinary.”
Due to the racial climate of the time, Julia’s parents’ efforts weren’t achieved without hostility. In a 2013 essay written by Edgar Award-winning author Phillip DePoy, Phillip revealed that a Ku Klux Klan member blew a car up outside of the theater. The hostile incident was reportedly in response to him kissing Martin and Coretta’s daughter, the late Yolanda King, during a play scene.
“I kissed a girl, and 10 yards away, a Buick exploded,” the author wrote. “I was on the back of a flatbed truck that had been converted into a swamp. I was a fox. The girl was a terrapin. We were in Atlanta, it was a very nice summer day in 1965, and I was 15 years old. The girl was Yolanda King, daughter of Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr. I was primarily Caucasian and Yolanda wasn’t. That’s what the trouble was about. I don’t know who owned the Buick, but I know who blew it up.”
Julia celebrated her 55th birthday on Oct. 28.