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After a DNA test: Julia realized she wasn’t Roberts

Julia Roberts is not who she thought she was, People reports.

The Oscar winner appeared on PBS’ “Finding Your Roots,” where host Henry Louis Gates Jr. surprised her with the fact.

After researching Roberts’ family tree, Gates Jr. discovered that the man believed to be her great-great-grandfather, Willis Roberts, had actually died more than a decade before her great-grandfather, John Roberts, was born.

While her great-great-grandmother Rhoda Suttle Roberts had been married to Willis since 1850, his death in 1864 remained a mystery regarding the child Rhoda bore much later, John Roberts. Who is it from?

Photo: Getty Images

The broadcast team is doing some DNA tests with Julia’s relatives. “Oh wait! Aren’t I Roberts?” asked the “Ticket to Heaven” star as Gates Jr. filled her in on his findings.

Gates Jr. then explained that he had dug up “a bunch of matches” in public databases that traced Roberts, 55, to a man named Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr.

It turns out that his mother Elizabeth lived near Rhoda, and apparently Henry and Rhoda had an illicit affair, which produced Julia’s great-grandfather, John, but with the name Roberts. Henry had a wife Sarah and six children and lived further afield. However, as a good boy, he often visited his mother.


“So we’re Mitchell?” Roberts asked. “You’re Julia Mitchell,” Gate Jr. confirmed as she laughed. And added, “You’re not Roberts, biologically.” However, she said she likes the name Roberts.

“My mind can’t handle it! Is my head in the right place? Can I see you?” she laughed at the host.

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