Meredith Baxter Reveals She's Gay
After recent reports say 'Family Ties' mom Meredith Baxter was spotted on a gay cruise, the actress is coming clean on 'Today,' saying: "I want to say I'm a lesbian, and it was a later-in-life recognition." In an interview with Matt Lauer, Baxter -- who has been married three times and has five children -- says she figured out her sexuality seven years ago.
"Some people would say, well, you're living a lie and, you know, the truth is – not at all. This has only been for the past seven years," Baxter told Lauer. She says she didn't disclose this before because she has "always lived a very private life," and that "to come out and disclose stuff is very antithetical to who I am."
Baxter says that she realized she needed to come forward because she "got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was an awakening. I understood why I have the issue in my life ... I was involved with people who made me think they're the problem. It never occurred to me, that it was me," Baxter said.
The actress has been dating building contractor Nancy Locke for four years and acknowledges that she's the reason she decided to come out publicly.
"As much as my family knew, I was not ready to make any big announcement, I didn't want to do that. And there was one time when I was concerned that there might be some press interest ... I didn't know but I got a little paranoid and Nancy's a general contractor so she has a truck ... And I said, 'Could you park down the street, please?' and she said, 'No.'" Meredith explained.
"I had to reach a level of comfort because it wasn't fair to push her back into secrecy. We live very out lives in Los Angeles," she said.
According to LimeLife, Locke, who is 54, and Baxter met through mutual friends.
Speculation about Meredith's sexuality was raised when tabloid magazine The National Enquirer reported that she was spotted on a gay cruise recently.
Baxter shot to fame thanks to her role as matriarch Elyse Keaton on the hit '80s sitcom 'Family Ties.' Before her success there, she already had a long career in showbiz, with acting gigs dating all the way back to 1971. She had stints on 'The Love Boat,' 'Family' and 'Bridget Loves Bernie,' among other shows and movies.
Baxter has five children from three separate marriages. She had two children with husband Ted Bush, and later had three more with David Birney.
In recent years, Baxter has become very focused on charity work since she survived breast cancer. She's since started her own charity -- the Meredith Baxter Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
Amy Graves, WireImage
David Livingston, Getty Images
Michelly Rall, Wire Image
Ron Galella, Wire Image
Neilson Barnard, Getty Images
Jason Kempin, Wire Image
Jeffrey Mayer, Wire Image
- Jennifer Aniston
- Paris Hilton
Kate Middleton is officially a princess. She walked the aisle in an Alexander...
According to Denise, she's not sure that her estranged ex is completely sober....
Popeater Hot Topics
- Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs Separate After 10 Years of Marriage
- Kevin Federline, Britney Spears' Ex, Expecting Baby Number Six with Wife Victoria Prince
- Kim Kardashian Debuts Post-Baby Bikini Body, Drew Barrymore Reveals She's Having Another Baby Girl: Top 5 Wednesday Stories
- They’re Good As Gold! Kim Kardashian Calls Kanye West The ‘Most Romantic, Sweetest Person’ She’s Ever Met
- EXCLUSIVE: Oscar De La Hoya released from rehab
- Rachael Ray's cousin blames TV chef's family for tragic death of her mother
- Nigella Lawson blurts 'I am not a drug addict,' cop says
- Lea Michele Talks About Cory Monteith's Death in First TV Interview: "He Would Want Me to Live My Life"
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review Roundup: Critics Can't Find Middle Ground on Middle-earth
- Mena Suvari's Awkward Christmas Card With Her Boyfriend and Cat Is Absolute Perfection—Take a Look!