Julia Roberts has revealed her birth was paid for by Martin Luther King Jr

The actress, whose films include 'Ticket to Paradise', told the story to TV presenter Gayle King

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Julia Roberts has told the story of her birth, revealing her little-known connection to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Roberts was interviewed by Gayle King for HistoryTalks in September, when the television presenter asked her about her birth and how Martin and his wife, Coretta Scott King, helped her parents out when she was born by paying the hospital bill.

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The story is now gaining traction online after an extract from the interview was shared on Twitter by Zara Rahim, a former strategic adviser to Barack Obama.

"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," Rahim wrote on Friday, which was the actress's birthday.

Roberts joked that Gayle's "research is very good", when she was asked to recount the story.

Roberts said: "The King family paid for my hospital bill ... Martin Luther King and Coretta."

In the story she explained the families' connections, saying that her parents, Betty Lou and Walter Roberts, owned a theatre school in Atlanta, the Actors and Writers' Workshop.

“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 said. “My mum was like, ‘Sure, come on over,’ and so they all just became friends.”

"They all became friends and they helped us out of a jam," Roberts said of her parents being unable to pay the hospital bill when she was born.

Gayle then noted: "In the '60s, you didn't have little black children interacting with little white kids in acting school.

"And Julia's parents were welcoming, and I think that's extraordinary, and it lays the groundwork for who Julia is."

Updated: October 31, 2022, 9:37 AM