In a frank, emotional and occasionally baffling speech, Jodie Foster spoke publicly about her sexuality for the first time last night, as she accepted the Cecil B DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.
Foster first announced to the assembled Hollywood dignitaries that she was single, before explaining, "I already did my big coming out about a thousand years ago in the stone age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, and family, co-workers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her." Now, she went on, "every celebrity is expected to honour the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show."
During the speech, the 50-year-old actor and director acknowledged "one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love", film producer Cydney Bernard, who was present at the ceremony with their two sons, Charlie, 14, and Kit, 11. Drawing tears from audience members, including fellow Globe-winner Anne Hathaway, Foster also paid tribute to her mother, Brandy, who suffers from dementia.
Despite her uncharacteristic openness about her private life, the star also made an impassioned case for privacy. Foster, who first appeared onscreen in television commercials aged three, said, "If you had been a public figure since the time you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too would value privacy above all else."
Foster broke through in 1976, when she starred in Bugsy Malone and received her first Oscar nomination for her performance in Taxi Driver. She went on to win two Academy Awards, for The Accused (1988) and Silence of the Lambs (1991). She recently directed and starred alongside Mel Gibson in The Beaver. Foster is the youngest woman ever to receive the Cecil B DeMille award, which recognises "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Speaking to reporters after her acceptance speech, she explained that her work was "evolving", and that such an honour helped in re-assessing "the patterns of your career, and how they express you psychologically."