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‘Feisty’ Eva Longoria recalls how she protected her older sister during childhood

Longoria also said her sister Liza taught her a profound lesson about compassion.
/ Source: TODAY

Eva Longoria says she has been fiercely protective of her sister Liza Longoria from a young age.

The “Unplugging” star, 48, opened up about her close relationship with Liza, who is about nine years older than she is, on the June 13 bonus episode of the “Making Space with Hoda Kotb” podcast.

“I don’t really know any other way to be or any other dynamic in a family other than being selfless, because everything revolved around my older sister who had special needs,” Longoria said.

“Could we go to Disneyland? We can’t go because Liza can’t endure the ride. Or can we go to dinner at this place? But we can’t go, because Liza probably won’t, you know, last for the whole dinner," she continued. "Everything was, can Liza go?’”

Longoria says considering her sister’s needs in this way gave her great empathy.

“Growing up that way makes you selfless in everything you do,” she said. “It put me in somebody else’s shoes.”

Eva Longoria (R) and sister Liza Longoria (L).
Eva Longoria (right) and her sister Liza Longoria.Darren Abate / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The actor and director also said she protected her sister “a hundred times” as they grew up, recalling how “feisty” she was as a little girl.

“If you think I’m feisty now,” she said with a laugh, “you should have seen 8-year-old Eva."

She recalled one time in particular when Liza came home from high school without her letterman jacket.

“My mom was like, ‘Where’s your letterman jacket?’” she said. “And it had been stolen. Somebody stole it off her body.”

Longoria, who was 9 at the time, was ready to fight whoever had stolen her sister’s jacket.

“I was like, ‘I’m going to kick their ass,’” she said. “I was ready to go to this high school and find whoever took my sister’s letterman jacket.”

But when she asked Liza about the incident, her sister’s response floored her.

“I said, ‘Liza, who stole your jacket?’ And she said, ‘Somebody who must have been cold,’” the actor recalled. “She didn’t think it was a mean person. She thought, ‘Oh, somebody must have needed it more than me.’”

“She’s taught me a lot about compassion and putting yourself in other people’s shoes,” Longoria added. “She was like, ‘There’s no bad person in the world. There’s just people who make bad decisions.’”