Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts reveals the sad reason she waited so long to come out

Robin Roberts at a red carpet event.

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts has admitted that she was hesitant about coming out, fearing what could happen if she was shunned – as well as opening up about her relationship with wife Amber Laign.

The 63-year-old daytime media personality said that she was petrified by the ramifications of coming out while hosting the ABC Network show, causing her to stay in the closet.

“It’s not the Robin Roberts show, it’s Good Morning America,” she said in a two-part interview on the Jamie Kern Lima Show. “There are so many people whose livelihoods depend on the success of our show. So, if I do something that hurts the show, that hurts them.

“I thought about that. I didn’t want to do anything to hurt those people who I’ve been working with and absolutely adore.”

The veteran newscaster, who has worked as a co-anchor on the programme since 2005, finally came as a lesbian in 2013.

She met Amber Laign several years before that, saying that while she wasn’t out publicly, she wasn’t secretive about their relationship when asked. The couple tied the knot last year after Roberts shared that she intended to marry her girlfriend after 18 years together.

You may like to watch

Robin Roberts with her wife, Amber Laign.
Robin Roberts (L) with wife Amber Laign. (Getty)

“I would walk down the street with Amber, and if somebody saw us, I would introduce her,” Roberts said. “I wasn’t trying to hide but yet I wasn’t ready to [come out] full… part of it is, and I’ve never said this before, because of my Christianity.

“I was afraid. People think you can’t be gay and a Christian. And I am. I was so fearful that I would be shunned.”

Her fears were quickly assuaged after she received a wholly supportive letter from her church.

“I received a letter, a beautiful letter from the National Office at the Presbyterian Church after I announced about Amber, fully supportive, and I think about all those years I wasted, worried, needless worry.”

Robin Roberts says wife helped her ‘unlearn’ dysfunctional relationship hang-ups

Roberts noted that many of her hang-ups about publicly revealing she was a lesbian were down to a relationship she had been in before meeting massage therapist Laign – one that she had never talked about before.

“I’d had dysfunctional relationships that I didn’t know were dysfunctional at the time,” she said. “[Amber] had already told me: ‘I’m not going to do one of those make-up, break-up things’, so it’s about a year in… and in my mind I was like, ‘I’m out of here’, because there’s no drama.”

The broadcaster said she was used to equating conflict with love, adding that she felt anxious if the relationship was “easy-going,” saying that it “must not be sexy, it must not be fun. The relationship was really good but this was my thinking”.

Robin Roberts during a 2005 red carpet event.
Robin Roberts’ fears proved totally unwarranted. (Getty)

After she initially tried to break up with Laign, Roberts initially believed she would demand that they stay in the relationship, but was met with “such confidence” instead.

“I was stunned,” Roberts said. “I thought she would be like: ‘You must stay with me’, and she did just the opposite with such confidence [and said], ‘I know what you had and I know what you have now and if that’s what you want’. I didn’t go through with it.”

That and so many moments, Roberts said, helped her “unlearn” what she thought she knew about relationships, and she has been happy in her easy-going marriage ever since.

“We’ve been together almost 19 years and we truly feel like newlyweds. Love it, I wish someone had told us earlier how great married life is,” she said.

Roberts gave a health update on her wife last year after Laign was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021, saying: “She is doing extremely well. The cancer is at bay, she’s recovering well and ready to move on to the next stage.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.