Julia Roberts revealed that the hospital bill for her birth was paid for by Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King.
In a September interview with Gayle King, the Ticket to Paradise actress was asked who it was that helped her family pay for her birth. “Okay, her research is very good,” Roberts laughed. “The King family paid for my hospital bill. [Martin Luther King] and Corretta.”
The connection between the Roberts and the King families came through a theater school that Julia’s father, Walter, ran in Atlanta. “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,” Roberts, who was born in October 1967, said. “My mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over,’ and so they just all became friends, and they helped us out of a jam.”
"In the '60s, you didn't have little Black children interacting with little white kids in acting school," Gayle King added. "And Julia's parents were welcoming, and I think that's extraordinary, and it lays the groundwork for who Julia is."
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
MLK’s daughter Yolanda King got her start as an actor at the Roberts family’s acting school in the ‘60s. In an essay written by actor Phillip DePoy for ARTS ATL in 2013, it was previously noted that a Ku Klux Klan member targeted the Academy Theater in Atlanta after the Roberts family cast Yolanda in a role that saw her kiss a white actor.
“A man, a tangential member of the Ku Klux Klan, had seen me kiss Yolanda the day before in the same parking lot,” he wrote. “The Klansman had come around the day before the explosion in order to make trouble. The workshop was offering a free show in the Carver Homes housing project, an exclusively African-American wonderland filled with hammered lives and children with nothing to do. The guy only heckled us the first day, said words that everyone had heard a million times before, finished his case of PBR, and was about to leave when I kissed Yolanda.”
Sign up for the Complex Newsletter for breaking news, events, and unique stories.