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Memoir Revelation: Whoopi Goldberg Says Mother Never Divorced Clergyman Father After Learning He Was Gay

whoopi goldberg estranged father gay mother never divorced him pp
Source: Steven Bergman/AFF-USA.com / MEGA

Whoopi Goldberg disclosed that Emma remained loyal to husband Robert James Johnson, who was described as an absentee father in Whoopi's memoir, 'Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me.'

May 3 2024, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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Whoopi Goldberg opened up about her childhood and estrangement from her clergyman father in her new autobiography, RadarOnline.com has learned, detailing how she was raised by her single mom before she became a Hollywood star.

She recalled how her mom, Emma Harris, whom the actress and daytime personality bears a striking resemblance to, never wanted to apply for welfare and worked as a nurse to make ends meet as a parent of two. Harris died of a stroke on Aug. 29, 2010.

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whoopi goldberg estranged father gay mother never divorced him
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Goldberg opened up about her childhood and estrangement from her clergyman father within the pages.

Whoopi, whose real name is Caryn Johnson, had an older brother, Clyde K. Johnson, who later passed away from a brain aneurysm in 2015 at the age of 65.

She disclosed that Emma remained loyal to husband Robert James Johnson, who was described as an absentee father in Whoopi's memoir, Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me, despite a stunning revelation about his sexuality.

"My mother didn't talk about the marriage ending because she stayed married to him until the day he passed, nor do I think she ever thought of it as a failure," The View host candidly shared in an excerpt published by The Sun. "It turns out that my dad was gay. Which couldn't have been easy either."

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whoopi goldberg estranged father gay mother never divorced him pp
Source: @whoopigoldberg/Instagram

Whoopi, whose real name is Caryn Johnson, had an older brother, Clyde K. Johnson, who later passed away from a brain aneurysm in 2015 at the age of 65.

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Whoopi later had a conversation with her mother about how she knew he was gay, but never got the full story. Whoopi said that Emma lost interest dating as he was "the love of her life."

Over the years, Robert had also worked as a diamond merchant and a postal worker.

Whoopi claimed that her mom tried to get her dad to pay child support, but helping Black women in the projects in New York in the 1960s was "not high on the state court's priority list" and she didn't have the financial means to recruit a lawyer.

Within the pages, the Sister Act star detailed a tough chapter in her life when her mother had a mental breakdown and ended up hospitalized for two years, at which point Whoopi said her dad and grandfather did step in to help the family.

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"It turns out that my dad was gay. Which couldn't have been easy either," Whoopi wrote.

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Whoopi saved her mom from suicide at one point as she tried to put her head in their oven, revealing how that experience and more shaped her as a person.

The star admitted that writing her memoir was at times a daunting task, revealing it "was almost harder to do because it was like losing them again."

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The star admitted that writing her memoir was at times a daunting task, revealing it "was almost harder to do because it was like losing them again."

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While it was equally cathartic, Whoopi told PEOPLE she wants the autobiography to serve as a way for "people to get a little bit more insight into me."

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"It's a little bit more of where I come from and the people I've come from, what my blood is, who my blood is."

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