- Hollywood actress
- Pro-Democrat activist
- Strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
- Claims that global warming is caused by industrial and automotive pollution
Julia Roberts was born on October 28, 1967 in Smyrna, Georgia. She moved to New York after high school and never attended college. “I couldn’t see bolting out of bed at 8 a.m. to be ten minutes late for some fu**ing [college] class with some fu**ing guy who’s just gonna stick it to me again,” she once explained.
After appearing in a few relatively obscure movies, Roberts in 1989 co-starred in the popular film Steel Magnolias, for which she garnered her first Oscar nomination. She subsequently had starring roles in such box-office hits as Pretty Woman (1990), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Dying Young (1991), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Erin Brockovich (2000), America’s Sweethearts (2001), Mona Lisa Smile (2003), and Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), commonly earning as much as $25 million per film.
Apart from her creative achievements, Roberts boasts that she also has “lots of ideas” about politics and social issues and is “willing to share them.”
Bestselling author Michelle Malkin describes how Roberts in 1997 attempted to involve herself in a high-profile “human rights”/asylum case that eventually proved to be a hoax. Writes Malkin:
“In 1997, a West African calling herself ‘Adelaide Abankwah’ entered the United States illegally … from Ghana. She told immigration authorities in New York that she was the daughter of the dead ‘Queen Mother’ of a Ghanaian tribe, the ‘Nkumssa,’ which allegedly practiced female genital mutilation. The young ‘princess’ said she feared she would be subjected to a cutting ritual, known as a clitoridectomy, if the tribe discovered she had engaged in premarital sex.
“When the Immigration and Naturalization Service challenged ‘Abankwah’s’ story and detained her, women’s groups, churches and Marie Claire magazine rallied. [Gloria] Steinem, [Julia] Roberts, New York Democrats Charles Schumer and Carolyn Maloney, and First Lady Hillary Clinton joined the campaign to ‘Free Adelaide’ — and open the gates to every alien claiming fear of female genital mutilation.
“A lower federal court rejected ‘Abankwah’s’ asylum claim, saying her personal fear did not constitute persecution. But the 2nd Circuit Court reversed the ruling…. But investigators had gathered evidence that this royal was a royal joker. ‘Adelaide Abankwah’ was actually Regina Norman Danson, a hotel worker who had stolen the real Abankwah’s identity and cooked up her story to help her gain asylum. According to the evidence, Danson’s mother was alive when Danson made her claim, she and her mom had never been members of the Nkumssa tribe, and there was no tradition of genital mutilation in the region where Danson lived in Ghana.”
In June 1999, Roberts was one of many celebrities who signed on to Handgun Control, Inc.’s “Open Letter to the National Rifle Association,” demanding the implementation of a number of gun-control measures. Among these were the abolition of “semi-automatic assault weapons” and “ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds.”
That same year, Roberts said: “’Republican’ comes in the dictionary just after ‘reptile’ and just above ‘repugnant’ … I looked up ‘Democrat.’ It’s ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.’”
In March 2001 Roberts characterized the newly elected U.S. president, George W. Bush, as an “embarrassment” to the United States and said, “He’s not my president. He will never be my president.” That same month, when Bush’s twin daughters were implicated for possible underage drinking, Roberts quipped: “We all need to take a deep breath and think about being a Bush daughter and having that cross to bear. I’d go out and have a couple of drinks, too.”
In 2001 as well, Roberts implied that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was guilty of racism, for not giving Denzel Washington an Oscar Award for “Best Actor.” “He [Washington] should be on his third Oscar by now, and that might not be enough,” she told Newsweek. “I mean did you see Malcolm f***ing X and Hurricane and Philadelphia?… I cannot absorb living in a world where I have an Oscar for best actress and Denzel doesn’t have one for best actor.” At the following year’s Academy Awards ceremony, Washington won the Oscar for best actor, and Roberts introduced him as the winner.
Roberts has been particularly outspoken on environmental issues. In December 2007, Variety magazine interviewed her and reported that she had “a desire to be an organic supermom who grows and makes all of her own food and does as many crafts as she can fit into a day with as little impact on the environment as possible.”
In May 2009 Roberts appeared—along with George Clooney, Al Gore, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine’s “Special Green Issue,” alongside the headline: “A Threat Greater than Terrorism: Global Warming.” That same year, Roberts was a spokeswoman for a campaign by the Dallas-based company Earth Biofuels, encouraging the use of biodiesel in more than 500,000 school buses nationwide. “The use of biodiesel is a positive step toward minimizing pollutive emissions and greenhouse gases,” said Roberts. “[W]e can affect the health and well-being of the people most susceptible to that pollution—our children—today.”
Contrary to her professed concern about “pollutive emissions and greenhouse gases,” however, Roberts is well known for her frequent use of private jets. And while she occasionally drives a Prius, she also has owned gas-guzzling SUVs for many years.
Roberts is a great admirer of Barack Obama. Early in Obama’s presidency (March 2009), the actress said: “We [Americans] were headed down a bad path. Everybody knew it and there was no way to correct it. Now he’s here to slowly, but surely, save us from ourselves…. We asked this man to be our president, a job that I don’t know why anybody would want anymore after eight years of George Bush. I mean really, the fact that someone as bright and capable as Barack Obama wanted to be president, we should all be eternally grateful.”
When Obama was running for re-election in 2012, Roberts spoke at a June fundraiser on his behalf, where tickets cost up to $25,000 per couple. Similarly, in October 2014 she attended an exclusive Obama fundraiser at the Brentwood, California home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Roberts also has the highest regard for Hillary Clinton, whom she considers “a personal hero” because of “who she [Clinton] is and her convictions as a woman and mother and humanitarian.” In May 2011, Roberts and Clinton co-authored a piece in USA Today stating that the toxic fumes produced in homes around the world by stoves that burn wood, dung, charcoal, or agricultural waste create “carbon dioxide, methane, and black carbon, which contribute to climate change.” Citing also the gender-related implications of this issue, the authors wrote: “On average, women and girls in developing countries spend up to 20 hours a week searching for fuel—time they could spend going to school, running a business, or raising their families. And if they live in areas of conflict, leaving home to search for fuel puts them at great risk of assault or rape.”
In a 2014 interview, Roberts said it would be “really great, really great” if Mrs. Clinton were to be elected president in 2016. At a Broadway fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton a month before the 2016 election, the actress said: “Wouldn’t it be great if every time an actor so scared and out of their element said ‘fuck,’ you just had to instantly give five hundred dollars [to the Clinton campaign]? Let’s, okay let’s fucking make that what goes on right now. I don’t know. I’m just saying. I’ve been dragged out here. I’m scared and tired. Oh, my kids are watching this. So for every bad mother that says the F-word—could all the mothers that relate — just five hundred bucks.”
In a February 2015 public-service announcement produced by the environmental organization Conservation International, Roberts narrated the voice of “Mother Nature.” Reminding human beings that they could be sealing their own fates if they failed to be good stewards of the environment, Mother Nature said: “I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years—22,500 times longer than you. I don’t really need people…. I have fed species greater than you and I have starved species greater than you. My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests, they all can take you or leave you.”
In a May 2019 post on social media, Roberts urged schools across the United States to make all of their restrooms gender-neutral. “I wish they all said this,” the actress wrote in a caption to a photo of a “gender neutral restroom” sign. On Instagram, she lauded the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as an organization that seeks to “improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.” “GLSEN makes schools safe for every student no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity,” Roberts added.
In December 2019, Roberts accompanied Michelle Obama on a trip to Southeast Asia, where the former First Lady said at the Obama Foundation’s leadership conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: “We’re still not where we need to be in the United States of America when it comes to race. People thought electing Barack Obama would end racism. That’s 400 years of stuff that was going to be eliminated because of eight years of this kid from Hawaii? Are you kidding me?” During that same trip, Roberts and Mrs. Obama together spoke to an audience of female students at a high school in Vietnam.
Roberts today has a net worth of approximately $200 million. In 2015 she placed her historic beachfront home and estate in Hawaii up for sale. She had purchased the property for just under $14 million a few years earlier, and was now asking $30 million for it.