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Whoopi Goldberg addresses her sexuality after being told she gives ‘lesbian vibes’

‘I have always had lesbian friends because they’re just my friends’

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Wednesday 23 August 2023 16:41 BST

Whoopi Goldberg has spoken candidly about her sexuality during a recent episode of Raven-Symoné’s podcast The Best Podcast Ever, after The View co-host was told she gives “lesbian vibes”.

Raven implored Goldberg to share whether she is a lesbian after the former That’s So Raven star told the talk-show host that she thought she was queer while working with her.

“I want to just dig into your business a little bit, this is a safe space,” Raven, 37, said to Goldberg while they filmed the podcast via a video call. “Honestly, when I was around you, I loved you so much like I just wanted to be up underneath the t***y the whole time! But that’s also because you just kind of gave me lesbian vibes!”

After the women laughed, the former Disney Channel star continued to double down on her comments: “But, like, sometimes Whoops, you give me lesbian vibes, you give me stud vibes…”

“I think this is a secret fantasy of Raven’s!” Raven’s wife and co-host, Miranda Maday, chimed in and joked: “I think she just wants everybody to be gay and she’s just really hoping you’ll come out right here right now.”

Raven admitted that her partner was right, and then added: “So if you want to tell us anything, Whoops, you’re more than welcome to!”

Unphased, Goldberg took Raven’s line of questioning in stride, taking the opportunity to let audiences know that, while many have asked about her sexuality since she first made a splash in Hollywood, she is not a lesbian.

“I know lots of them, and I’ve played them on television,” the Sister Act star explained. “But I have always had lesbian friends because they’re just my friends.”

Raven responded that it made her happy to hear because she finds that there’s “something beautiful about a woman being able to embrace their masculine and feminine at the same time and wear it so well,” as Goldberg does.

The former child star didn’t come out until college but previously said that she had known she was gay when she was 12 and an actor on The Cosby Show. In a 2016 interview for the It Got Better series on YouTube, she said: “I knew I couldn’t say it out loud because: ‘Oh my god, little Olivia is gay, this is crazy’.”

Although there were other stars publicly out at the time, the timing had rarely felt right for her. She explained in the video: “It was always negative. So, if you don’t see other people going through it in a positive way, why would you say anything? There was nothing that would have made me want to deal with my own issue at that time.”

After the actress came out, she publicly dated model AzMarie Livingston from 2012 until 2015, and in June 2020, she married social media manager Miranda Maday.

Meanwhile, Goldberg has been married three times. She was married to Alvin Martin from 1973 to 1979, and shares a daughter, Alexandrea, with him. Later on, she married David Claessan from 1986 to 1988, and then Lyle Trachtenberg from 1994 to 1995. Recently, the Academy Award winner said on The View that each time she divorced her ex-husbands, she was “dancing and prancing” every single time.

“Look, people expect you to have a boyfriend. They expect you to get married,” the actress said in a July 2019 interview with The New York Times: “So I kept trying to do that, but I didn’t want to share information with somebody else. I didn’t want anybody asking me why I was doing what I was doing, or to have to make the other person feel better.”

After years of doing what she was “supposed to,” Goldberg said she realised that she didn’t have to “conform”.

On social media, the exchange has been met with mixed reactions, with some critical of Raven’s comments. “Why would Raven Simone tell Whoopi Goldberg that she gives her stud vibes!?” one person asked, while another wrote: “Why would Raven say that?”

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