Former “Family Ties” star Meredith Baxter has revealed she is a lesbian.
Meredith, who starred as Michael J. Fox’s mother on the hit ‘80s television show, confirmed the news to Matt Lauer on Wednesday’s “Today.”
“I guess I wanted to… say that I’m a lesbian,” Meredith revealed on the NBC morning program. “It was a later-in-life recognition of that fact.”
Meredith, 62, has been living life as a lesbian for seven years and confirmed to Matt that she has been involved in a relationship for four years with contractor Nancy Locke. But it was only after becoming involved with another woman that Meredith realized why her three marriages to men didn’t work out.
“I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with and it was that kind of awakening and I never fought it because it was like, ‘Oh! I understand why I had the issues I had early in my life,’” Meredith said. “I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships… Sometimes, I assumed I was a bad picker, which I was indeed, but I also was involved with people who made me think, ‘Oh, they’re the problem,’ because there were problems with the people I chose. It never occurred to me to think, ‘Oh, it’s me.’”
Meredith told Matt that sharing the news of her sexuality with her children, who range in ages from 25-42, was a lot easier than she expected.
“I said, ‘I think I’m gay.’ My oldest boy said, ‘I knew,’” Meredith laughed. “[They] are just very loving and supportive… The support from my family and anyone close to me has been so immediate and unqualified. I’ve really been blessed.”
The actress also revealed that her television family co-stars are aware she is gay.
“All my pals in ‘Family Ties’ know,” she said. “They all knew [when we had a reunion on ‘Today’ two years ago]. We all had dinners together and [TV husband] Michael Gross and his wife and Nancy and I go out, we’ve gone out many times. It’s all OK.”
Meredith said she and Nancy “live very out lives in Los Angeles” and the actress even went on a cruise with 1,200 lesbians not too long ago. But as for why she is speaking out now, Meredith said, in part, it was to share her story in her own words before a tabloid could put their spin on her life.
“I don’t want to be worried all the time and there’s some level of concern just because I am so private and you know, I knew I was pushing it,” Meredith said. “I was taking the step thinking, ‘OK, let’s just let it happen.’ … But the truth is, I did not want some tabloid to take a story and make it up, so I wanted it to be in my own words.”
The actress also said her life before she realized she was gay, was truthful.
“Some people are saying, ‘We’re you living a lie?’ The truth is, not at all. This has only been for the past seven years,” she said.
As for life now, Meredith said things are going really well.
“I’m extraordinarily happy,” she said.