Jodie Foster silences the critics
JODIE Foster has finally come out as a lesbian to pay tribute to her lover of 14 years. The fiercely private star has always resolutely refused to discuss her sexuality.
But after winning an award at a Women in Entertainment breakfast, she broke her taboo to thank "my beautiful Cydney".
Her emotional speech brought tears to the eyes of some of her audience at the Beverly Hills Hotel, revealing a vulnerable side to a star who has long resisted calls from gay rights activists to clarify her personal life.
Foster, 44 and a double Oscar winner, praised her film producer partner Cydney Bernard "who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss".
The couple met on the set of the film Sommersby in 1993 and are raising two sons, Charles, 9, and Kit, 6, at their Malibu home.
Although she gave birth to both boys, Foster has never revealed the identity of the father or the circumstances of the boys' conception.
As with most questions about her personal life, she has refused to comment on gossip that the father was an old university friend, who is also gay.
Accepting a leadership award, Foster offered an insight into the insecurities that haunt her.
"I feel fragile, unsure, struggling to figure it all out, trying to get there even though I'm not sure where there is," she said.
"I've been working in this business for 42 years and there's no way you can do that and not be as nutty as a fruitcake."
The motive behind Foster's decision to go public was the subject of much speculation.
One theory is that she is forging a new career off camera as a director and producer, and feels less pressure to compromise with Middle America.
Earlier this year the leading US gay magazine Out carried her photo on the cover with the headline, "The glass closet: Why the stars won't come out and play".
Critics suggested she feared her career could suffer if she spoke of her personal life.
Kathy Belge, of the website Lesbian Life, applauded Foster's move.
"Perhaps it was because her children are getting older and she didn't want them to think there was anything wrong with being gay. Perhaps she was simply sick and tired of life in the closet. Whatever her reasons, we are pleased that Jodie found the courage to be true to herself."
Foster won her Best Actress Oscars playing rape victim Sarah Tobias in The Accused in 1988 and Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs three years later.
source: Herald Sun Homepage | Australia's biggest selling daily newspaper