Kerry Washington is opening up about discovering that she was conceived through a sperm donor.
While promoting her upcoming memoir "Thicker Than Water," Washington admitted that she had feelings of "not quite belonging" in her family since childhood.
“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?” she said in a interview with the New York Times.
Washington said she discovered the long-hidden secret that her dad wasn't her biological father after she decided to participate in Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s PBS Series Finding Your Roots in 2018. The former Scandal star said she noticed her parents' hesitation when she went to collect DNA spit samples for Gates' show.
“I said: ‘I just don’t think they’re going to agree to it. My dad’s really uncomfortable,'” she recalled.
When Gates went to speak to Washington's parents privately, they asked whether the actress not being their biological child would "come up in the testing." Washington said she had mixed emotions upon making the discovery, including feelings of guilt “because I could see how much pain my parents were in, my dad in particular."
“I was birthed into a lie. I was playing a supporting character in my parents’ story,” she added. “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 said she's attempted to locate her biological father but despite her “best efforts, there remains no way to determine his identity.”
“I’m still missing this piece of not knowing where half of my biology comes from,” she said. “At least I don’t have any of the wrong pieces in the puzzle anymore.”
Washington's upcoming memoir dives into the shocking revelation as well as her various mental health conditions including depression, an eating disorder, and insomnia. "Thicker Than Water" is expected to be released on Tuesday (September 26).