The untold truth
Susan Sarandon is one of the best known actresses in Hollywood, and has been on our screens since the 1970’s, a career which has spanned five decades. But how much do you really know about her off screen? For example, do you know the truth about her relationship with her children, and the shocking confession which she made recently about her pregnancy with her daughter Eva? Join us as we discover the untold truth.
Susan and Eva
What makes this story even more interesting, is that you’ve probably seen Susan’s daughter Eva Amuri already. In fact, she is also an actress! She might not have achieved the same dizzying heights of fame as her mother (we wonder if that’s awkward at family get togethers) but you might recognize her from parts in TV shows like Californication and How I Met Your Mother. The two look similar, but are they close?
But despite knowing both Susan and Eva, it took until 2013 before the real truth came out about Susan’s pregnancy with her daughter. Sarandon, for the first time ever in an interview, decided to tell the world what she had always kept secret. What would the reaction be, and how would it change her relationship with both her daughter and the public? That was unknown, but it would certainly never be the same again.
Susan has spoken about her early life in the past, including one interview with Time Out magazine where she talked about being the oldest of nine children! She said that she spent a lot of time looking after her siblings, acting as somewhat of a mother figure to them. “Being at the top, I had a lot of responsibility, which was a good thing, as I tended to be spacey and always daydreaming.” Imagine the queue for the bathroom!
Susan and Chris
While we know her as Susan Sarandon, she was actually born Susan Tomalin, taking her husband Chris’s name when they met and married right in college. Susan was just 20 years old when she walked down the aisle, and her and Chris were married for 12 years, as Susan was starting to break out into the show business world, with hits like Thelma and Louise already under her belt. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in 1979.
As Susan began to carve a space for herself in the entertainment industry, she seemed to hardly notice the heartbreak of leaving her first husband. In fact, she was busy acting up a storm, proving that she was so much more than ‘just a pretty face’, if anyone thought she was. One epic horror film she did which the critics loved was the 1983 movie The Hunger, a classic Vampire flick which she kicked butt in.
An ‘extraordinary’ romance
But that’s not to say that she was so busy with work that she didn’t have time for a love life. She had quite a few flings, most notably with rock and roll legend David Bowie. “Bowie’s just a really interesting person, and so bright. He’s a talent, and a painter, and… he’s great.” When asked to expand more on her feelings for him, she said “he’s worth idolising. He’s extraordinary.” Obviously a romance which left an impression!
But it wasn’t just David Bowie and their romance which caused drama on the set of The Hunger. Susan Sarandon was plagued with bleeding and fainting spells, which led to her calling for medical attention. The doctors gave her some grave news – she was diagnosed with endometriosis. For Susan, who hadn’t decided whether she wanted to have children, the idea that she may need surgery to get to that point was shocking.
But Susan tried to put the idea of problems getting pregnant out of her head. After all, she wasn’t currently seeing anyone seriously, and was enjoying dating casually, the way that she had missed out on in her twenties thanks to her early marriage. Even her childhood hasn’t been carefree, with eight siblings to look after, so she didn’t want to be tied down too quickly anyway. Many say she enjoyed her relationships with unavailable men, like Philip Sayer who ended up coming out as gay.
’A half-assed diagnosis’
That’s not to say that Susan believed the doctors had done a good job with her diagnosis, quite the contrary. In fact, in 2011 at the 2011 Blossom Ball, Susan spoke about her experience, and called it a ‘half-assed diagnosis’. The event was hosted by the Endometriosis Foundation of the USA, and Susan was proud to be a celebrity representative. She obviously felt that there was more that the medical professionals could have done to explain the condition to her, and leave her in a better place.
’Fine with it’
When it comes to the part about having children though, Susan wasn’t as cut up about the whole situation as many women might have been, given the news that they might need surgery to ever manage a pregnancy. “It didn’t break my heart; I had plenty of nieces and nephews by that time,” she admitted in an interview in 2014. “I was fine with it.” All the doctors had done was give her birth control to help with the symptoms, including the bleeding.
Actually, there are quite a few famous faces who you would recognize who struggle with endometriosis. After all, the disease can affect as many as 10% of women who are between puberty and menopause. Did you know that celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg, Lena Dunham and Daisy Ridley have all been publicly associated with the disorder, happy to share their experiences and struggles to help raise awareness and support other women?
By 1984, Susan had stopped taking the birth control pills which she was given when she was first diagnosed with the disorder, perhaps thinking that they weren’t helping her symptoms enough, or that she didn’t need them for contraceptive reasons, as she was so unlikely to get pregnant naturally without surgical intervention. Either way, when she met Franco Amurri on the set of The Tempest, and then ran into him again, they started a relationship without a second thought.
A surprise pregnancy
It must have been a huge shock to both Susan and Franco when that stick turned blue, and they realized that she was pregnant. Despite not thinking she could conceive naturally, here it was, a real existing pregnancy which she had to decide what to do about. She was at the height of her career and her fame, with script offers coming in left right and center. Should she give it all up to a be the mother of a child she hadn’t planned for?
Thinking about Abortion
Believe it or not, Susan wasn’t worried about the thought of an abortion if it was the right choice for her and Franco. She had even been through this decision once before when she was much younger, after a fling had ended in an unwanted pregnancy. She spoke widely about a woman’s right to choose, and even marched at pro choice rallies to support other women around the globe. But this time around, the choice was clear. She wanted to keep this baby.
Meant to be
Talking to Oprah in 2013, Susan was very up front about how she felt about the pregnancy. In fact, she was moved to keep the baby after realizing how unlikely it was that this would happen for her. “I said to Franco, you know, ‘I’ve decided that I’m going to have this baby. And if you want to be part of it, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great too. Because I thought, you know what, if this was an impossibility and it’s happened, clearly it’s meant to happen.”
So Susan continued with the pregnancy, and nine months later, on the 15th of March 1985, they welcomes a healthy baby daughter, Eva Amurri. While Susan and Franco never got married, Susan was happy to give their daughter her fathers last name, and ensure that the two of them had a good relationship, despite Franco not being her romantic partner. The two co-parented Eva, with plenty of frequent trips to Italy!
Meanwhile, motherhood was not taking its toll on Susan Sarandon’s career. In fact, far from it. She had plenty of hit roles, and both award nominations and wins racking up too. In fact, by 1995 she was an Oscar winner, with the coveted Best Actress award under her belt for her part in Dead Man Walking. This is an achievement that many actresses never manage in a lifetime, and Susan had 10 year old Eva at home, too! But that wasn’t all.
Over the past decade since her daughter had been welcomed into the world, Susan had been acting up a storm. She had one of her most famous roles, in Thelma and Louise, as well as parts in movies like Lorenzo’s oil. But back in 1988, she was going to make a movie which would change her life forever, even if she didn’t know it yet. She was cast in the movie Bull Durham. But it wasn’t the acting part which would make all the difference, it was something else.
The movie itself is pretty straightforward, it’s a romantic comedy, and it’s based around a sports team, a minor-league Baseball team out of the town of Durham in Carolina. It stars Kevin Costner in the lead role, and he actually scored two home runs live on camera! Susan was cast alongside Costner, but the real romance was happening off camera, with another one of their co-stars, the talented Tim Robbins. Was love in the air?
The romance begins
After meeting on the set, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins started a love affair which would be one of the most impactful of either of their lives. Tim was 12 years younger than Susan, but that clearly wasn’t an issue for either of them. As the world watched, they began to be seen everywhere together, inseparable and a great support to each other in both their careers and their passions off-screen, a great couple and an inspiration.
In fact, around the time that Sarandon worked on Dead Man Walking, she began to be very involved in the political side of the death penalty, campaigning against death penalty sentences, and working hard to try to raise awareness around this difficult issue. As we said, she was already active in pro-choice activism, so this was not surprising to see her putting her heart and soul into working for another cause which she felt deeply about. But change was happening at home, too.
A growing family
From being the woman who said that she had plenty of nieces and nephews and didn’t need to be a mom herself, to suddenly finding herself pregnant again, must have been quite the turnaround for Susan Sarandon. But by 1988, she was pregnant again, this time with Tim Robbins, and they had a son, Jack Henry. Just a couple of years later, she had a third baby, another son who they named Miles. Three kids must have kept her pretty busy! But what about Tim?
The father of her children
There was a big difference between when Eva was born and now that she had two young sons in the house though. This time, Susan and Tim were very much together, working as a team to bring up these kids. While many people gossiped and wondered why they weren’t tying the knot, Susan and Tim did not feel any pressure to the social convention of marriage. They were happily in love, and happily co-parenting their children together. But would it last?
Unfortunately, no. While Susan and Tim were together for more than twenty years, an incredible record in Hollywood, they did not manage to make it work for a lifetime. And Susan opened up to The Telegraph after the relationship ended in 2009, saying that she had thought not being married officially would be the answer to keeping their relationship healthy! “I thought that if you didn’t get married, you wouldn’t take each other for granted as easily.”
What happened to Eva?
Eva did not seem to suffer in any way from growing up far from her biological father, or living with her stepfather and two half brothers, and witnessing the relationship between her mother and Tim break down. In fact, she has begun to make an acting career for herself, in shows like House, and New Girl, as well as an episode of Friends, which was a show that Susan had a guest role in as well. It’s lovely to see her mother helping her along the way.
And the tumultuous romantic life her mother leads didn’t seem to affect her own ability to find love, either. In 2011, she married her boyfriend Kyle Martino, in a gorgeous wedding that both her mother and Tim attended, showing how amicable the split between them really was. They had a weekend long celebration for their nuptials, attended by close family and friends, and even a fair amount of celebrity guests, too!
Becoming a grandma
And sure enough, before too long, Susan found her family growing again, when Eva announced that she and Kyle were expecting a baby in 2014. Susan told the media, “I feel a little like I did when I was pregnant… There’s some part of your brain that can’t wrap itself around this idea that your child, that your daughter, is going to have a daughter. I mean, it’s just so beautiful and huge.” It must have been overwhelming, when she wasn’t sure if she would even be a parent!
An easier journey
And with the arrival of Marlowe Mae in 2014, Eva became a mother, and Susan a grandmother! And just two years later, a grandson followed, who Kyle and Eva called Major James. Susan laughingly told the press how she feels about being a grandmother, and it’s certainly a simpler ride than being a parent, that’s for sure! “Being a grandmother is so much easier than being a mother. You don’t have that constant worry that’s in your mind all the time.”
Moving on from Tim
But while Eva and Kyle were planning their lives together, Susan had found herself newly single again, for the first time in twenty three long years. Would she step back out into the dating pool, or would she prefer to stay single, and just enjoy her kids and future grandkids, putting romance in the past? Do you even really need to ask? Susan is such a vibrant and strong woman, of course she wouldn’t stay single for long. But who she ended up with, raised a few eyebrows!
In 2011, Susan found love again with none other than Jonathan Bricklin, who was shockingly 30 years younger than her, at 33 to her 63 when they started dating. Susan said she found the whole process of getting used to someone new after Tim, ‘exciting and simultaneously terrifying’ after being in such a long term relationship. Even though in my business I meet lots of people, you think of yourself differently when you’re on the market than when you’re not. So, yes, I’d be lying if I said it was an easy transition.’
Managing the change
But have Susan’s kids found it difficult as well, to watch their mother dating someone who was nearly as young as they are themselves? It can’t be an easy transition, from loved up family unit, to a single mom who people are naming somewhat of a cougar. Susan spoke about it to the Daily Mail in 2013, three years into her relationship with Brickley. ‘One said: “I’m not sure who you are any more.” I said: “I’m the person I was before you came along.”’
Unfortunately, despite spending five years as a couple, Susan and Jonathan could not make it work either. Whether it was down to their age difference or not, we can’t say, but things came to a head when they were on the reality TV show, Connected, together. Jonathan called the experience “psychotherapy, with cameras” and the relationship just couldn’t hold up to the intense scrutiny. Since the show, the couple decided to split.
Jonathan spoke honestly about their relationship, saying “I loved her dating me, and I never felt embarrassed for her dating me. What I felt was, the general public and maybe her family or friends maybe felt that I wasn’t good enough for her.” Ouch. Whatever the reason for their split, this leaves Susan single again, and now, at nearly 70 years old, we wonder whether this incredible woman and actress will ever get her happily ever after?
A lucky family
For now, Susan is happy with the grandchildren and the family she has, and enjoys appearing with them in photos on social media like Instagram, sharing her lucky life with her huge fanbase. She shows no signs of slowing down in her career or her active family life, and we’re glad to see it! And all of this from a woman who thought she may never have her own children at all, it’s really quite incredible when you think about it!