Julia Roberts reveals a unique story about her birth – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, pay their parents’ hospital bills after their birth.
During a September interview with Gayle King for the History Channel’s “HistoryTalk” series, Roberts talked 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, as his surname is similar to that of the civil rights leader. “Martin Luther King Jr.”
Roberts reported that his parents, Walter and Betty Lou Roberts, had a theater school in Atlanta called the Actors and Writers Workshop. Coretta Scott King asked if her children could be enrolled in the school, as she was having trouble finding other places that would accept her children.
“And so, they just became friends and they helped us out of a jam,” said Roberts, who was born on October 28, 1967, and turned 55 last week.
“Yeah, because in the ’60s you didn’t have little black kids interacting with little white kids in acting school,” said Gayle King, who also co-hosts “CBS Mornings.” “And your parents were like, ‘Come in.’ And I think it’s extraordinary and it lays the groundwork for 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. Along 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 was born, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, which was followed by a day of national mourning.
The interview went viral this week when business consultant Zara Rahim tweeted a clip of it to honor Roberts on his recent birthday.
Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King Jr., also tweeted a clip of the interview on Sunday, saying she was “grateful” that Roberts told the story and that “so many people are scared of it.”
“I know the story all too well, but I am going ahead by reminding me of my parents’ generosity and influence,” she said.
The “HISTORYTalks” series began in 2019 and features live talks with several high profile speakers each year. This year, former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush and George and Amal Clooney were among the speakers.