Jodie Foster came out Sunday in an emotionally raw Golden Globes speech in which she defended her decision to protect her privacy for most of her career and thanked her former partner.
Although Foster's sexuality has been an open secret for years, she addressed it more publicly Sunday than she ever has before. Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement, she said that she came out to the people she is close to "about a thousand years ago."
The 50-year-old actress said she opted not to speak out publicly because she had spent 47 years in the spotlight and valued her privacy.
"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 prime-time reality show," she joked.
But she thanked former partner Cydney Bernard by saying, "There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging the deepest loves of my life my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, my ski partner, consiglieri, most beloved BFF for 20 years, Cyd Bernard. Thank you, Cyd."
Foster had previously referred to Bernard — without outright identifying her as her partner — while accepting an award at the Women in Entertainment Breakfast in 2007. At the time, she thanked "my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss."
Foster's thanks to Bernard on Sunday came at the end of a somewhat rambling speech. It soon became apparent that she was stalling before discussing her personal life.
When the personal details came, they were at first confusing.
"I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud… I am, uh, single,” she said, to laughter.
She added that she was "kidding, but not really kidding." And then she said she had to make a declaration that she was "a little nervous about."
Foster said she hadn't come out earlier because she had been a public figure since she began acting as a toddler and didn't want to share her personal life with the world.
"I am not Honey Boo Boo Child," she said.
She also made closing comments that indicated to some that she was quitting acting. But she said backstage that she had no intention of quitting.
"This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else," she said onstage. "Scary and exciting and now what? Well, I may never be up on the stage again, on any stage for that matter. Change. You gotta love it. I will continue to tell stories, move people, by being moved. The greatest job in the world."