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Julia Roberts Reveals Little-Known Connection To Martin Luther King Jr.—And Fans Are Floored

Roberts told Gayle King the civil rights icon and his wife paid her parents' hospital bill after her birth.

Julia Roberts; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Lia Toby/Getty Images; Jack Sheahan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Many people have interesting stories about their births: moms giving birth in taxis, last-minute miracle arrivals of parents and relatives from far away, risky pregnancies with happy endings.

Actor Julia Roberts has a unique birth story of her own, mostly about who paid for it.

In a recent interview with Gayle King, Roberts revealed her birth left a hospital bill that was a financial strain for her family. But the bill was paid by none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Why, one might ask?

Well, it seems Roberts’ parents ran a small acting school that accepted the King’s children at a time when many acting schools would not have integrated classes. The Kings and Roberts’ parents became friends.

One thing led to another and Roberts’ birth hospital bill was paid for by the Kings.

Reactions to the Roberts’ revelation were numerous.

For some, it’s a really cool fact to know about an actor they already love.

Then there were those who were surprised.

In a few cases, it boggled the minds of fans to put Julia Roberts at the same time as Martin Luther King, Jr., as one feels quite contemporary while the other is more of a “historical” figure.

A reaction to the interview brought forth another story involving the Kings.

Roberts’ parents’ acting school—one of the few accepting Black students at the time—had a car bomb go off outside because Yolanda King was cast opposite a White romantic lead.

Finally, someone noted it actually speaks volumes this is the first time many of us are learning this fact about Roberts.

The interview with Gayle King—no relation to MLK—was in honor of Roberts’ 55th birthday.