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'I Never Intended to Harm Good Morning America'

‘I Never Intended to Harm Good Morning America’

Robin Roberts reflects on her coming out journey and the challenges she faced reconciling her identity with her Christian faith. In the first part of a two-part interview on The Jamie Kern Lima Show, Roberts, 63, shared how she overcame fears of being shunned to ultimately find love.

The Good Morning America anchor came out as gay in 2013, expressing gratitude for her “longtime girlfriend, Amber” in a year-end Facebook post. Roberts and Amber Laign, who started dating in 2005, made their red carpet debut at the GLSEN Respect Awards in 2014.

Roberts confided in Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics and author of the bestselling book Worthy, about her initial hesitance to come out, worried about the potential damage it could do to Good Morning America. “It’s not the Robin Roberts Show, it’s Good Morning America,” Roberts explained. “If I do something that hurts the show, that hurts them. I didn’t want to do anything to hurt those people who I’ve been working with and absolutely adore.”

The anchor continued, “I would walk down the street with Amber, and if somebody saw us, I would introduce her. I wasn’t trying to hide, but yet, I wasn’t ready to fully… And part of it is because of my Christianity.”

Roberts admitted that the fear of rejection due to her dual identities fueled much of her hesitation. “I was afraid that people would think you can’t be gay and a Christian. And I am. I received a beautiful letter from the National Office at the Presbyterian Church after I announced about Amber, fully supportive. I think about all those years I wasted, worried, needlessly worried.”

Roberts and Laign, 48, have kept their relationship largely private since their first blind date over drinks in 2005. However, Roberts opened up about their bond during the interview, revealing that they tied the knot in September 2023.

“I had dysfunctional relationships that I didn’t know were dysfunctional at the time. Amber had told me, ‘I’m not going to do one of those makeup, breakup things,’ so it was about a year in… and I thought, ‘I’m out of here,’ because there’s no drama,” Roberts shared. “I equated conflict with love. If the relationship was easygoing, then it must not be sexy or fun. The relationship was really good, but this was my thinking.”

Recalling the night she attempted to break up with Laign, Roberts revealed Laign’s response surprised her. “Amber told me, ‘Robin, I know the relationship you had before. If that’s what you want, knock yourself out,'” Roberts said. “I was stunned. I thought she would be like, ‘You must stay with me,’ and she did just the opposite with such confidence.”

The beloved anchor expressed gratitude for Laign, as the experience made her “unlearn” previous notions about relationships. “Why did I think that was love before? Why do I think now that it’s no drama and it’s easy…why do we look at that as not being sexy or not being a true relationship?”

In January 2023, Roberts revealed they planned to marry. “I’m saying ‘yes’ to marriage. We’re getting married this year,” she announced. The decision came after postponing due to Laign’s 2021 breast cancer diagnosis. Roberts also faced her battles with breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome during their relationship.

“It was a rough year; her journey with breast cancer took some unexpected twists and turns. But she is doing really well,” Roberts told ET in March 2023. “The doctors had to find the right treatment fit for her.”

Roberts confirmed that Laign’s prognosis was “excellent,” and they planned to start anew. “It is so exciting to know I’ve been with this person for 18 years, and we’re still excited to start this new chapter together.”

The couple married on September 8, 2023, in their backyard in Farmington, Connecticut. JoAnn Gregoli, their event planner, and designer Jen Gould helped create an “ethereal, enchanted garden” theme focused on sustainability and giving back. “They were in shock,” Gregoli said of the couple’s reaction to the venue. Amber’s vision came to life with trees, Spanish moss, and thoughtful decorations.

After the ceremony, 250 guests celebrated with the couple. The event included thousands of flowers, hundreds of candles, a 360-degree photo booth, a Prosecco truck, and “love wins” displays throughout. “The entire wedding was filled with thoughtfulness to each other. They were so cute,” Gregoli gushed.

In February, Roberts updated ET on her married life, saying, “We’ve been together almost 19 years, and we feel like newlyweds. I wish someone had told us earlier how great married life is.” She also provided a positive update on Laign’s health, revealing, “She is doing extremely well. The cancer is at bay, and she’s ready to move to the next stage.”

Watch part one of Robin Roberts’ interview on The Jamie Kern Lima Show below.