Actress Jodie Foster Sunday night made her most explicit comments ever about her personal life while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at its annual Golden Globe Awards. And though she used phrases like “coming out” and thanking her “ex-partner in love,” she never used the words gay or lesbian.
The actress/director, who started acting at age 3 and has long cited her desire for privacy in her personal life for not commenting on the matter, held to that notion but also pulled the curtain back further than she’d ever previously done.
“I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, co-workers, and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met,” Foster said.
“But now, apparently, I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a primetime reality show.”
She also said, “You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo child.”
She made several jokes in the speech. After announcing she had a “declaration” and that she was ready to be “loud and proud,” she announced she is 50 and single, but even then, said she was “kinda kidding.”
Foster closed her speech by thanking long-rumored partner Cydney Bernard.
“There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love, but righteous soul sister in life; my confessor, ski buddy, consigliere, most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you, Cyd.”
Reaction was mixed in LGBT circles with some viewers saying Foster was a class act her deserves personal space, while others, like long-time lesbian activist Cathy Renna, saying the speech “would only have been worse if she talked like ‘Nell,’” referencing one of Foster’s Oscar-nominated roles.
“I am sure she prefers gay woman to — God forbid — the ‘L word,’” Renna wrote on Facebook.
Foster had thanked Bernard previously in public but had always stopped short of acknowledging any “coming out.” Even Sunday night’s speech, although seemingly obvious to all those at the ceremony, stopped short of any unequivocal “I’m a lesbian”-type language.