In an interview about her new memoir Thicker Than Water, Kerry Washington revealed that she recently discovered her dad isn't her biological father.
"Right before I sold the book is when I got some really revelatory information from my parents about our family history that really turned my world upside down," she shared in an interview with People, as seen above at the 1:30 mark. "So every time I would sit down to write this other book idea that I sold, I just couldn't write it. It just didn't feel honest to write about anything other than [the] emotional journey I found myself on."
Her editor encouraged her to write about her parentage in the book, instead, and that's ultimately what became the focus of Thicker Than Water. Her parents, Earl and Valerie, revealed the news to her when she was gearing up to appear on Finding Your Roots, the PBS series that sees celebrities track their ancestry.
"I didn't know what my story was, but I was playing the supporting character in their story of what our family was," she shared. "When I got this information, I was like, 'Oh. I now know my story and I get to figure it out and tell it step into being the most important person in my life.' And that was scary, like, to give myself the permission to be the most important character in my life. Not my parents 'cause they were not thrilled about me writing this. Not my kids, 'cause this isn't about my marriage and my children. This is really a book about me. That was terrifying."
Despite the initial shock of learning her dad isn't her biological father, the 46-year-old Scandal actress said it brought her closer to her parents. "I really started to have so much more love and compassion and understanding for my parents," she added. "Taking this deep dive into our family history made me put myself in their shoes and think about the things that they've had to navigate and what they've been through and what they've sacrificed. And it really made me feel closer to them."
Washington's memoir Thicker Than Water is out now.