Kerry Washington, one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses, had the discovery of a lifetime when going on the family history show Finding Your Roots. The Scandal star shared how her life turned upside down when her parents uncovered a secret they’d been keeping for 41 years. “My parents shared with me that my dad — my beloved dad — is not my biological father,” Washington says. “I was born from a sperm donor, at a time in the ’70s where … it was considered risky and important to remain secret.”
In her memoir, Thicker than Water, she recounts her journey of self-discovery, highlighting the deep emotional bond she has forged with her parents since learning the truth. This newfound understanding has brought them closer together, bridging the emotional distance that had always lingered between them.
The news came as a shock to Washington, but she emphasized that her parents had always loved and cherished her as their own. She described herself as a “very, very prayed for, wanted, and loved child.” Her parents had struggled with infertility for years before turning to artificial insemination as a solution. However, to maintain a sense of normalcy, they were advised to keep the truth hidden.
Washington said to People that finding out the truth was relieving in a way. “When I got this information, I was like, ‘Oh. I now know my story,’ I didn’t know what my story was, but I was playing the supporting character in their story.”
“I really started to have so much more love and compassion and understanding for my parents,” she 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. And it really made me feel closer to them.”