‘They’re Not Locked In a Dungeon’: Kerry Washington Reveals the Surprising Reason the Public Hasn’t Seen Her Children

Actress Kerry Washington and her husband, former NFL star-turned-actor Nnamdi Asomugha, have made a deliberate choice to shield their children from public scrutiny, a decision influenced by their own experiences as public figures.

The couple, who surprised many with their June 2013 wedding, have three children: 10-year-old Isabella, 7-year-old son Caleb, and Asomugha’s teenage daughter from a previous relationship.

In a recent interview with People magazine, while promoting the upcoming season of her series “UnPrisoned” at the American Black Film Festival, the “Scandal” star explained their commitment to granting their children a level of anonymity, drawing parallels to their approach in safeguarding their own relationship from the spotlight.

“I think just from the very beginning, Nnamdi and I have been really protective of our partnership and our relationship because we wanted it to belong to us,” she said in the sitdown.

(L-R) Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington share two children.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 01: (L-R) Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington attend The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

She added, “We found that we were able to define and create a relationship of for ourselves and with each other outside of the public eye, and I think in many ways we just want to give our kids that same opportunity to define a life for themselves and to enter the public space in their own way.”

Washington, who has been a professional actor since she was a teen in the ABC Afterschool Special “Magical Make-Over,” said that as parents she and her husband are “definitely not as protective” as they used to be.

According to the “Save the Last Dance” actress, the kids are socialized, even as their parents are being careful about who gets to be around them.

“We do take them out. They’re not like locked in a dungeon,” she joked. “We go places. We do things. If you search hard enough, you can find pictures of them, but we do feel like we want to give them agency to engage in a public life the way they want to. … We’ve chosen to be, you know, athletes and artists, and that’s our choice, but we want to let them be kids.”

Several fans weighed in on their decision, applauding them for being concerned about their children’s welfare.

“Bravo! It’s a parent’s responsibility to protect their child at all cost,” one person said. “Parents who choose to be a public figure should not make their children one. Great parenting!”

Another fan chimed in, saying, “That’s how it used to be before social media. We never knew celebrities’ kids.”

A third comment said, “Good for them on putting their kids first by thinking enough of their well-being to keep them out of the public eye.”

Washington has never shared photographs of her children on social media.

In an interview with Essence, she said that the choice felt right for her family.

“It’s hard for me to speak to what the impact of my choices are because, again, I feel like I don’t know,” the Emmy nominee said. “One day if my kids so choose to be interviewed, they would be better to answer that question than I would because their journey is theirs, you know?”

In another interview, she again dispelled the notion that she and her husband are like wicked parents from a bad GBrothers Grimm tale but thinking about their safety.

“It’s not about pulling a Rapunzel and hiding them away in a castle from the world — we don’t want to do that,” she said in an interview with InStyle.

The “Ray” actress understands that celebrity kids, from Willow and Jaden Smith to King and Heiress Harris, are often in the news, and many times not in flattering ways.

Washington and her husband simply seek to spare them of the potential of ridicule.

“I think any parent would want to keep kids from a situation that causes them to feel scared,” she said, adding,  “I don’t want them to be exploited, particularly in this social media world.”

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