Kerry Washington Reveals Shocking Family Secret That Turned Her World Upside Down
Kerry Washington opens up that enduring sense of “not quite belonging” in her family, which she had since childhood, was a result of a long-hidden family secret. The mystery was revealed when the actress planned to participate in Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s where celebrities explore their ancestry through DNA testing. Her parents began freaking out when it was Washington’s turn to submit her sample.
Washington’s decision to explore her roots prompted a private conversation between her parents and the host, who advised them to discuss such revelations privately before filming a show. In the spring of 2018, Washington received an invitation to a family discussion. While the revelation brought clarity to her own narrative, it also unearthed a sense of relief after years of feeling that her parents were withholding information.
Reflecting on her past struggles with anxiety, self-esteem issues, and an eating disorder, Washington speculated that these challenges might have been subconscious responses to sensing her parents’ concealed truth. She explains it as dissonance stating that lying about her body led her to think that “there was something in her body she had had to fix.”
Washington mentioned that she remained composed, posed numerous questions, and sought to extend grace to her parents during what was evidently a challenging moment for them. She discovered that, grappling with fertility challenges, they had chosen to utilize an anonymous sperm donor for conception and confessed that they had nearly decided never to disclose this information to her.
“I’ve always had this weird disconnect with my dad, but I thought that was my fault. I thought I wasn’t a kind enough person. But the idea that I was not his never occurred to me. It was just, why can’t we be closer?” the Emmy-winning actress recalls.
This confession not only did not undermine their family bond but also strengthened it. “I really started to have so much more love and compassion and understanding for my parents,” the actress says. “Taking this deep dive into our family history made me put myself in their shoes and think about the things that they’ve had to navigate and what they’ve been through and what they’ve sacrificed.”
Empowered by the newfound information, Washington felt compelled to share her authentic story with the world in her memoir Thicker Than Water. Washington has made efforts to find her biological father, but despite her best attempts, his identity remains unknown.
In her memoir, the actress acknowledges the difficulty her parents faced with the revelation but mentions their overall support. Reflecting on her experience, she says, “I’m still grappling with the absence of knowledge about half of my biological heritage. At least now, the puzzle doesn’t have any incorrect pieces.”
Before you go, be sure to check out another article where Drew Barrymore opens up about the non-traditional relationship with her mother and how it affected her life.