Actress Kerry Washington Says Parents Didn’t Tell Her She Was Conceived Via Sperm Donation Until 2018

Kerry Washington
Josh Brasted/Getty Images for Neutrogena

Actress Kerry Washington recently discussed her reaction to finding out that the man who raised her was not her biological father, but she was conceived via sperm donation instead.

The “Scandal” star revealed how she learned the truth while promoting her new memoir, “Thicker Than Water.”

Washington told the New York Times that she realized there could be an issue with her background when she asked her parents for DNA samples in 2018 when she was going to be featured on the PBS show, “Finding Your Roots.” She said that’s when her parents started acting strangely. 

“I said: ‘I just don’t think they’re going to agree to it. My dad’s really uncomfortable,’” she told the outlet. 

“I’ve always had this weird disconnect with my dad, but I thought that was my fault. I thought I wasn’t a kind enough person. But the idea that I was not his never occurred to me. It was just, why can’t I be better to him? Why can’t we be closer? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with us?” the 46-year-old said. 

Ultimately, her parents shared the secret they kept from her for more than forty years.

“I immediately felt guilty because I could see how much pain my parents were in, my dad in particular,” she added.

Washington revealed that her mother planned to tell her the truth about being conceived via sperm donation by leaving a note in a safe deposit. 

“I was birthed into a lie. I was playing a supporting character in my parents’ story,” she told NYT. “I know that their intention was to protect me, to love me, to take care of me, to keep my world simple. I get many years of not telling me, but I’ve been an adult for over two decades.”


Washington further discussed her feelings during an interview with People, saying, “It really turned my world upside down.”

“When I got this information, I was like, ‘Oh. I now know my story,'” the actress added, saying she felt relieved to finally know the truth. “This is really kind of me working to understand my life up until now, given this new information that I have that, in many ways, felt like sort of the missing puzzle piece,” she said.

While Washington said her parents were “not thrilled” about her sharing the information publicly, she said it ultimately made them closer.

“I really started to have so much more love and compassion and understanding for my parents,” Washington told People. “Taking this deep dive into our family history made me put myself in their shoes and think about the things that they’ve had to navigate and what they’ve been through and what they’ve sacrificed. And it really made me feel closer to them.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Actress Kerry Washington Says Parents Didn’t Tell Her She Was Conceived Via Sperm Donation Until 2018