Skip To Content

    Actress Maria Bello Comes Out In A Touching Personal Essay

    The star of ER and Prisoners shared details of how she came out to her 12-year-old son.

    Over the weekend, 46-year-old actress Maria Bello revealed she's in a relationship with her best friend.

    She shared the moment she sat down and told her 12-year-old son Jackson:

    "Sometimes you can be friends with someone, and then it turns romantic, and then you’re friends again. Like with Dad and me," she explained.

    “So are you romantic with anyone right now?” he asked.

    This is when things got interesting.

    In the column, Bello admitted to going back and re-reading journals she had kept.

    I read about the handful of men and the one woman I had been in romantic relationships with, passages rife with pain and angst. It seemed when I was physically attracted to someone, I would put them in the box of being my "soul mate" and then be crushed when things didn't turn out as I had hoped.

    It wasn't until she came across an old photo of her friend Clara that she realized her true feelings.

    We had an immediate connection but didn't think of it as romantic or sexual. She was one of the most beautiful, charming, brilliant and funny people I had ever met, but it didn't occur to me, until that soul-searching moment in my garden, that we could perhaps choose to love each other romantically. What had I been waiting for all of these years?

    Bello also touched upon a moment this past summer when she became very ill — it was her unconventional family that rallied around her.

    Clare rarely left my side and called every doctor and connection she knew to help figure out what was wrong with me. It was Dan who brought our son to see me every day and kept him feeling safe in such a scary situation. It was Chris whose arms I fell into when I couldn't get up. It was my mother who stroked my head for hours at a time. And it was Jackson who walked me through the halls with my IV and made me breathe.

    Her son's reaction to her coming out? “Mom, love is love, whatever you are."

    Read her full New York Times coming out piece here.