Julia Roberts
Credit: LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

In a candid conversation with Gayle King, Julia Roberts has revealed a little-known bond she and her family had with Martin Luther King Jr. According to the actress, the King family paid for the hospital bills after her birth when her parents couldn’t afford it.

Roberts explained that her parents met Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King in the 1960s, during the height of segregation in the United States, when the actress’ parents were running a theatre school in Atlanta.

“One day Coretta 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 told the news anchor. “My mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over,’ and so they all just became friends, and they helped us out of a jam.”

The special bond did not go unnoticed. According to a previous report an extremist group at the time, the Klu Klux Klan, blew up a car outside the theatre in response to their daughter Yolanda King being cast in a lead role where she kissed a white actor. (If you need context, the award-winning film Blackkklansman is a good place to start).

Martin Luther King Jr.
MONTGOMERY, AL – MAY 1956: Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his wife Coretta and first child Yolanda in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

It seems Roberts was always destined for stardom with roles in the likes of Pretty Woman, Notting Hill and Erin Brockovich which earned her an Oscar for Best Leading Actress in 2001. Her success inspired Meghan Markle to become an actress, who in an old interview gushed over the now 55-year-old.

“[Roberts] was the first person I saw onscreen and thought, ‘That looks like so much fun; I wanna do that,’” Markle said in an interview with Glamour. “When I was younger, someone once told me, ‘You kind of look like Julia Roberts in profile.’ It was the best compliment of all time.”