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Eric Roberts on Rumored Feud With Sister Julia: "I Just Stay Out of Her Hair"

The actor just opened up about where his relationship with his famous sister stands today.

For years, there have been rumors of a feud between acting siblings Julia Roberts and Eric Roberts. And while Eric has tried to set the record straight before, the public interest in his relationship with his sister and whether they really had a falling-out in the 1990s persists. In a new interview, Eric once again spoke out about Julia, shared where their relationship stands now, and explained why he thinks the feud rumors started in the first place. Read on to see what the Runaway Train actor had to say.

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Eric thinks the rumors started when he made a joke in an interview.

Lisa, Eric, and Julia Roberts and Jon Voight at the "Runaway Train" premiere party in 1985
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In a new interview with the podcast Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef (via Page Six), Eric, 66, shared that he thinks the rumors of a feud with Julia, 54, began when he gave an interview around 1990.

"Julia and I have always been fine," he said. "I think years and years ago, I was doing a press tour for some movie. I don't even know what movie it was. And it was just when Pretty Woman just got released." Eric said that during an interview he was asked a lot of questions about his newly minted superstar sister. "And I said, 'Hey, excuse me. Can we talk about me?' I think I was very funny," Eric shared.

He believes he made it worse by brushing off the rumors.

Eric Roberts at the premiere of "Elevator" in 2021
Eugene Powers / Shutterstock

Eric said that the media reaction to his interview caused the feud rumors to take off.

"And of course, then it's like, 'Oh, they have a problem. Oh my God, they have a problem,'" he continued. "And suddenly, all these problems I keep hearing about I have with my sister that I don't have with my sister. And they're just popping up all the place. And I'm asked about them as if they're real issues."

He said he tried to brush off questions about his sister but that backfired. He said that his coyness made it so that the situation "blew up and blew up and became all these things it wasn't."

He admitted in the past that their relationship was strained for a time.

Julia Roberts at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival
Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock

While Eric says the only evidence of a feud between them was media speculation, in the past, he did admit that there had been some sort of family rift. In a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair, he touched on how his past drug abuse impacted his relationship with Julia and his two other sisters.

"I wouldn't characterize it as a falling-out. I was crazy about my sisters. Loved them, adored them," Eric said. "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."

He continued, "I was exhausting to be around: complain-y, blame-y, unable to enjoy enjoyment. Everyone in my world needed a break sometimes, and that must have included Julia."

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He also made a disparaging comment about one of her award-winning performances.

Eric Roberts at ABC Primetime Preview Weekend in 2002
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage via Getty Images

According to a 2002 report from The Guardian, Eric had some harsh words about his sister's role in Erin Brockovich, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress.

"I helped Julia [get started], but she has never helped me," he reportedly said. "Everyone's going on about how great she was in Erin Brockovich, but what did she actually do? Wear some push-up bras. It wasn't great acting." According to the article, he added, "When she's been in a position to help, she wanted nothing to do with me."

Their relationship healed after a major life event.

Danny Moder and Julia Roberts and their three children with Kelly Slater at the launch of Outerknown in 2015
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Outerknown

Eric told Vanity Fair that he and Julia became closer after she welcomed her twins, Hazel and Phinnaeus, with husband Danny Moder in 2004. He said that he went to the hospital to drop off some gifts, but, "instead I was ushered into their room and was immediately awash in brotherly and uncle-ly love."

He shared a similar sentiment in a 2010 interview with The Daily Beast. "There was never really a feud. We're brother and sister and we both have really strong opinions about things, so it's a lot of '[expletive] you,' 'no, [expletive] you' and hanging up the phone. But it got so blown out of proportion. We stopped talking and then with the birth of the twins we started talking again," he said (via Access). "Now we talk almost every day. I like her."

They're still on good terms now.

Eric Roberts at Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions Honors Veterans and Celebrates the 94th Oscars in March 2022
Eugene Powers / Shutterstock

In his Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef interview, Eric said that his relationship with Julia is still in a good place now.

"My sister and I, though, we've always talked, we've always [expletive]. I've always had fun, known each other. Simple as that. I love knowing my sister. She's a cool chick, my sister," he said.

Eric also talked about how busy Julia is and how he tries to "stay out of her hair" when it comes to the press.

"And she's got these three adolescent children now," he said. "I mean, her life is not a day at the beach, dude, you know? And she's got a lot of [expletive] she has to deal with. And she's doing a TV series [Gaslit] again now. I mean, she's doing a lot of stuff, so I don't ignore it, I just stay out of her hair with the press. And that's all. Simple. And and she stays out of mine."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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