US actress Kerry Washington (“Django Unchained”) only found out five years ago that she was not her father’s biological child. “I always had this strange distance from my father, but I thought it was my fault,” the 46-year-old tells the New York Times.

Her parents didn’t tell her for a long time that she was conceived with the help of an anonymous sperm donor due to fertility problems. It wasn’t until she asked her parents for a DNA sample a few years ago for the genealogy show “Finding Your Roots” that they “panicked” and later told the story of her conception.

The Hollywood actress describes that she then felt sorry for her parents, who obviously suffered greatly from the story. To this day, however, she still cannot understand why her parents withheld such important information from her for so long: “I know that they had the intention to protect me, to love me, to care for me and to keep my world simple ” said Washington. “I understand why they haven’t told me for years, but I’ve been an adult for more than two decades.”

Tomorrow, Washington’s memoir “Thicker Than Water” will be released in the US, in which she writes about past panic attacks and eating disorders and how she found herself.