Julia Roberts Says Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Paid for Her Birth

A clip of Julia Roberts explaining that the Kings picked up her hospital tab has gone viral.

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Julia Roberts Says Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Paid for Her Birth
Julia Roberts arrives at the Premiere Of Universal Pictures’ Ticket To Paradise at Regency Village Theatre on October 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, Photo:Steve Granitz/FilmMagic (Getty Images)

There’s a fun fact sweeping the internet, and it involves personage no less distinguished than Hollywood royalty Julia Roberts and civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. In celebration of Roberts’ 55th birthday last week, word that the Kings funded her birth went viral. A clip of Roberts explaining the connection to Gayle King at a HISTORYTalks presentation in September recirculated.

“My parents had a theater school called the Actors and Writers Workshop, and 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, and my mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over.’ And so they all just became friends and they helped us out of a jam,” explained Roberts, who was born in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna, Georgia.

King, in turn, explained how rare such integration was at that point. “In the ’60s, you didn’t have little Black children interacting with little white kids in acting school. And Julia’s parents were welcoming, and I think that’s extraordinary, and it lays the groundwork for who Julia is,” said the interviewer.

This integration, you can imagine, was not popular with nearby white supremacists. In 2013, playwright/author Philip DePoy published an essay about a Ku Klux Klan member blowing up a Buick in a parking lot where DePoy performed alongside Yolanda King, Martin and Coretta’s daughter, “in a makeshift swamp on the back of a flatbed truck, dressed as a fox and a terrapin.” That happened in 1965.

Anyway, the Kings stepped in when Roberts’ parents were unable to pay the hospital bill for her birth. And as a result, another Scorpio flourished.

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