BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - Hollywood actress Jodie Foster confirmed long-running speculation that she is gay by coming out at the Golden Globes awards on Sunday, but joked she wouldn't be holding a news conference to discuss her private life.
The notoriously private Foster stunned the audience of stars and Hollywood powerbrokers as she accepted a life-time achievement awarded by announcing she was now single.
"Seriously, I hope that you're not disappointed that there won't be a big-coming-out speech tonight," she said, "because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age."
Foster said she had always been up front with trusted friends and family about her sexual orientation.
"But now apparently, I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference ... that's just not me," she said.
Foster, 50, then talked to her "ex-partner in love" Cydney Bernard, from whom she recently split, and their two sons in the audience.
"Thank you Cyd, I am so proud of our modern family, our amazing sons," Foster said.
Over the years, Foster had come under withering criticism from the gay community for not publicly recognizing she was gay.
The two-time best actress Oscar winner for "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The Accused" said she had valued her privacy because of her early acting career, which started at the age of three.
"If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you'd had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you, too, might value privacy above all else," she said.
(This story has been corrected to fix spelling of Bernard's first name to Cydney in paragraphs 6 and 7)
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Mary Milliken; Editing by Jon Boyle)