Oh Dear!

I used to say he was in jail’: John David Washington lied about father Denzel.

John David Washington holding a sign posing for the camera

John David Washington used to pretend his father was in jail.

The 36-year-old star’s parents Pauletta and Denzel Washington are both actors and John David admitted he used to tell fibs about his family as he didn’t want people to judge him based on his famous parents.

He told Mr Porter: “I was related to Denzel Washington. I saw how people changed when they found out who my father was. I used to lie, saying he was a construction worker or in jail, just to have some sense of normalcy. I felt like there was no way people would take me seriously, even if I was good. They would always judge me. So I hid who my father was. I guess I was protecting myself.”

Although John David is based in Brooklyn, he has been quarantining in Beverly Hills with his parents during the Covid-19 pandemic and is enjoying spending time with his family, including siblings, Katia, 32, and twins Malcolm and Olivia, 29, who live nearby.

He explained: “I’ve been loving it. My folks are good housemates. They’re fun. I actually feel like the parent sometimes.”

Meanwhile, John David also spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement, insisting that he is hopeful for change based on the huge outpouring of support from across the globe.

He said: “As an African American, what gives me hope about where we are going is the amount of people that don’t look like me on the front lines. I think they do actually have an understanding, a real understanding of what the problems are, the systemic issues. And they’re paying attention.

“I’ve got friends who don’t look like me in New York who have marched and are risking their safety. Not because it’s cool, not because they feel guilty. Because they are enraged. Because they feel like they’ve got to do something if they want real change for people who look like me. This is a war of attrition, but with these new optics, it feels like having an injection of electrolytes. That is extremely encouraging. I asked my folks and people who lived through the 1970s, was it ever like this? Was it this diverse? A lot of the answers were no. And that makes me very hopeful.”

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