Julia Roberts. [Source: CNN Entertainment]
We are learning even more about the heritage of Julia Roberts.
Not long ago, the internet was all abuzz about the fact that civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. had paid the hospital bill for her birth.
Now comes news that there was a big secret in the “Ticket to Paradise” star’s family.
On Wednesday’s episode of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Roberts is shown learning that she was not actually related to her supposed great-great-grandfather, Willis Roberts.
Gates shared the news with the Oscar-winning actress that the elder Roberts had actually died more than a decade before her great-grandfather, John, was born to her great-great-grandmother, Rhoda Suttle Roberts, in the 1800s.
“But, oh wait, am I not a Roberts?” she asked Gates.
He explained that through DNA, they were able to tie Roberts and her cousin to a man named Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr., who was her biological great-great-grandfather.
“So we’re Mitchells?” Roberts asked Gates.
“You’re Julia Mitchell. You are not a Roberts biologically,” he responded.
“Wow,” Roberts said. “Is my head on straight still? Am I facing you?”
According to the research Gates and his team did, Mitchell was married with six children and his mother lived four houses away from Rhoda Suttle Roberts.
“On the one hand, truly my mind is blown. And it is fascinating,” Roberts said. “And on the other hand, there is, you know, part of me when I’m calmer, you know, can still wrap my arms around the idea that, you know, my family is my family. And I do prefer the name Roberts.”