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Julia Roberts with niece Emma Roberts; Eric Roberts© Getty Images

Julia Roberts' famous brother reveals why he 'can't talk about her' or his daughter Emma

The Pretty Woman star has two siblings, both of whom are actors

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
July 9, 2024
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Julia Roberts has quite the famous family, and it's not just her niece Emma Roberts. Both her siblings, older brother and Emma's father Eric Roberts and older sister Lisa Roberts Gillan, are actors as well.

The actress, 56, was reportedly estranged from her older brother, 68, for several years, and while they've mended fences in recent years, they will shy away from talking about each other to maintain a sense of privacy.

Eric, who boasts credits like Runaway Train, The Dark Knight, and Babylon, spoke in a recent interview about not being able to speak much about his sister and daughter, 33.

On the Still Here Hollywood podcast, when he was asked about his Oscar-nominated sister, he simply responded: "You'll have to ask her. I love my sister, but I can't talk about her. She don't want to talk about it."

He also admitted that his daughter had also "told me not to talk about her, but I stumbled and do. I'm not supposed to talk about either of them. But I do."

However, Eric then resorted to praising his daughter's work and immediately became the proud dad. "I'm in love with my daughter's work these day. I can't believe how great she's become. I'm so proud of her I can't see straight."

Eric Roberts and Julia Roberts© Getty Images
Eric and Julia were estranged for a few years, stemming from the former's substance abuse issues

He continued: "Since her performance in Maybe I Do until right now, she overwhelms me with pride and just, 'Oh my God, here she goes again.' And I'm just so happy to be her dad, because she's kicking [expletive]. And I'm so proud."

When Eric was asked whether he did anything to contribute to her success, he responded: "Absolutely nothing. Except I gave her that name."

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In a 2018 Vanity Fair interview, he opened up for the first time about the years of estrangement from both his sisters, stemming primarily from his years-long substance abuse issues.

Actress Julia Roberts arrives with her niece, actress Emma Roberts (R) at the "Valentine's Day" Los Angeles Premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 8, 2010.© Getty Images
His daughter Emma "told me not to talk about her, but I stumbled and do. I'm not supposed to talk about either of them. But I do."

"I wouldn't characterize it as a falling-out," he remarked "I was crazy about my sisters. Loved them, adored them. They were precious to me, and we had times of great closeness. We all felt very protective of each other, but the hardest person to protect yourself from is yourself." 

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The actor admitted he was "exhausting to be around," adding he was "complainy, blamey, unable to enjoy enjoyment. Everyone in my world needed a break sometimes, and that must have included Julia."

Eric Roberts, daughter Emma and wife Eliza during "Snow White - An Enchanting New Musical" Premiere - Arrivals at Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, United States.© Getty Images
Eric took to praising his daughter Emma for making her own mark in Hollywood

He also credited himself with first achieving success in the late '70s for paving the way for his little sister and daughter with Kelly Cunningham to make their mark in the industry.

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"If it wasn't for me, there would be no Julia Roberts and no Emma Roberts as celebrities, as actresses, and I'm very proud of that. When Julia first came to New York, I went into William Morris and I said, 'Which one of you is going to sign my sister Julia?'" 

Emma Robert and Julia Roberts attends the Los Angeles premiere of "Jesus Henry Christ" at Mann Chinese 6 on April 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.© Getty Images
Eric has credited the birth of his sister's twins for bringing them back together

"And I am so proud that everybody knows I was first, because I was first by a long shot. I was first to get Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations, so I'm proud of that."

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