Skip To Content

    Julia Roberts Just Explained Why Martin Luther King Jr. Paid The Hospital Bill When She Was Born

    Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up when the Roberts's family was in "a jam."

    Julia Roberts has a pretty unexpected connection to the late Martin Luther King Jr. — and it goes back to the day she was born.

    A closeup of Julia

    Back in 1967, Julia's family found themselves in a bind when they couldn't afford the hospital bill for her birth.

    Young Julia poses with her mom

    When their friends, the King family, heard about the situation, they stepped in and offered to pay the bill on behalf of the Roberts family.

    A closeup of Martin and Coretta

    Julia recently explained the family's friendship all began when Coretta Scott King reached out about her children attending the acting school that Julia's parents ran.

    A closeup of Julia

    "My parents had a theater school in Atlanta 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," Julia shared during a HISTORYTalks interview.

    Martin poses with Coretta and two of their children

    She continued, "And my mom is like, 'Sure, come on over.' And so, they just all became friends."

    Martin poses with Coretta and two of their children

    During a time when segregation was still prevalent, it appears that the kindness of Julia's parents left a lasting impression.

    A closeup of Julia

    And when the King family later financially covered Julia's hospital bill, she says it really helped her parents "out of a jam."

    A closeup of Julia

    Julia didn't mention whether she still keeps in touch with the family, but Martin and Coretta's daughter Bernice did share she was "grateful" that Julia shared the story.

    A closeup of Bernice

    "Grateful that #JuliaRoberts shared this story with @GayleKing and that so many people have been awed by it. I know the story well, but it is moving for me to be reminded of my parents’ generosity and influence," Bernice wrote on Twitter.

    A closeup of Bernice

    You can hear all that Julia had to say below.

    Today is Julia Roberts birthday! 55 years ago MLK and Coretta Scott King paid for her parents hospital bill after she was born. Can’t stop thinking about this since I read it. Here she is talking about it with @GayleKing https://t.co/5HvpNSUIYb

    @ZaraRahim / A+E Networks / History Channel / Via Twitter: @ZaraRahim