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"As a white parent, I'm scared of everything." Sandra Bullock on raising her two Black children.

During this week's episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith, Sandra Bullock sat her daughter, Laila, on her lap as they thanked a woman called April Buencamino, who is a nurse working in a COVID-19 unit in a California hospital, for her tireless effort in fighting the global pandemic.

“April, thank you for — I’m going to try to say this without crying — but thank you for everything that you’re doing because we get to sit here and be home with our families because you are out there doing the hard, hard, hard work,” Bullock said.

“And you as a mum, I know you’re scared, I know you’re scared on so many levels,” Bullock continued. “I bow down to you and your family, I say thank you.”

Her daughter, Laila, then climbed on top of her mother’s lap before adding: “Thank you, April, for doing everything for everyone. Stay safe and your family.”

Bullock then proudly said of her daughter, “She’s our world superhero. She’s the one who’ll save the world in our family, so she’s ready. She’s ready to join you out there, April, in a few years!”

Watch: Sandra Bullock’s with her daughter Laila. Post continues below video. 


Video via Red Table Talk.

The moment was a rare insight into Sandra Bullock’s intensely private personal life, which she has kept that way for the 30 years she has been in the public eye.

Sandra Bullock’s kids

Sandra Bullock adopted her first child, Louis, in 2010 from New Orleans with her then-husband, Jesse James. At the time it had been a tumultuous period for the actress, who discovered her husband’s infidelity in the middle of the couple’s adoption process.

The two divorced, and Bullock became a single parent to Louis, who is now 11 years old. She has steadfastly maintained his privacy.

In 2015, the A-list actor revealed that she also adopted a daughter, three-year-old Laila (pronounced Lila). Bullock had fostered the young girl before finalising the adoption.

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Image: Getty. 

Bullock said on Red Table Talk she found the adoption process "eye-opening."

"It gets deep and it gets dark. When I first went through the process myself, you have to prove that you are a capable parent, and you are in the judgment cage," she said.

Bullock announced the news of her daughter via a cover for People Magazine, after paparazzi threatened to make it public.

"You feel it's very much like witness protection," she told the publication. "Unbeknownst to me, a photographer had followed us and took a photo of us in line. The next day, I learned that a photo of her was being shopped around for sale to every outlet around the world. I had promised and legally agreed to protect her from something like this, and here I was chasing down lawyers — having them begging to keep her safe."

She further told People: "When I look at Laila, there’s no doubt in my mind that she was supposed to be here.

"I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time," she said in 2015.

But she also shared that at the beginning, it took patience for Laila to settle into her new family life.

"I knew she was scared, and all I wanted was for her to know Louis and I weren’t going anywhere."

Since then, Bullock has provided tidbits here and there about her children.

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Image: Getty. 

In 2018, the actress talked about her children in an interview with InStyle: "Let's all just refer to these kids as 'our kids.' Don't say 'my adopted child.' No one calls their kid their 'IVF child' or their 'oh, shit, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child.' Let just say, 'our children'."

The Bird Box actress also shared some information on their personalities, describing her son Louis as "super sensitive". 

"He's wise and kind. I saw that when they handed him to me. There was a spiritual bigness to him," she said.

When speaking of her youngest this week, Bullock said she is sure her daughter will grow up to become president.

"[I'm] going to be at the White House... I'm going to be doing some redecorating," she told People Magazine.

It's not often the actress speaks about her two children, however she beamed while explaining how they view her: "When I'm gone, I'm missed, when I'm there, I'm annoying, and that's exactly the way it should be."

Image: Red Table Talk. 

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When asked if either Louis or Laila think she's a "cool" mother, she said: "No, not at all. Not unless I bring home some kind of treat. Last night I came home with doughnuts. I was so incredibly cool at that moment!

"I love who they are. Every day I get to see who they are. I am one of the lucky individuals that gets to be around my children all the time and see who they get to grow up and be."

On Red Table Talk this week, Bullock opened up about the fear she feels as a white mother of two Black children, trying to keep them safe.

"As a white parent who loves her children more than life itself, I'm scared of everything."

"I know I'm laying all kinds of existential anxiety on them," Bullock said. "I have to think about what they're going to experience leaving the home. They're going to have my fear, but how can I make sure that my anxiety is accurate, protective?"

Bullock also spoke about her decision to educate and be transparent with her son on the systemic racism that exists.

"I let him see everything, I let him see everything on television. I let him process it. He knows how the world works. He knows how cruel it is. He knows how unfair it is, and now Laila is knowing it."

Bullock added: "I let them teach me and tell me what they need to know. I thought I was educated and woke, but guess what? I wasn't."

Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia's entertainment podcast, The Spill. Post continues after audio.


The actress also spoke with The Grio over a sobering conversation she had with her son.

"I have a beautiful Black son, at the age of six he popped on a hoodie and I was like, 'We’re gonna have a conversation. It’s different for you. People are scared and will react to you differently than if you were a white boy'," she said.

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"It’s a scary thing to think that when your beautiful son grows up and becomes a man, someone’s not going to treat him the way that you treat him simply because of the colour of his skin.

"It breaks my heart and makes me full of rage. But all I can do is my job. Protect them. Enlighten them. Show them their power. Show them how to be safe. But the system is not fair.”

"I haven't been alone since that day." Sandra Bullock on her 2014 home invasion. 

Bullock awoke in her Los Angeles home at 5.30am on June 8, 2014, to the sound of “loud banging”. Soon after she heard an explosion.

The actress, who was home alone, then saw a man walk past her bedroom door. Fearing for her life, she rushed to hide in her wardrobe, locked herself in and dialled emergency services as a man “pounded” on her bedroom door.

Image: Getty. 

When police arrested the man who had broken into her home, Joshua Corbett, they discovered this was not a random home invasion.

A notepad the man was carrying contained scribbled diary-like entries. One said, “I love you and you are very special to me. And without you in my life there is only misery. I’ve waited and waited but you never come.”

In other parts, according to court papers obtained by The Wrap, Corbett described “lurid and sexual acts” and entries “detailing his intention” to “sexually assault” the actress. Chillingly, surveillance cameras around Bullock’s home showed that he had skulked outside it three days earlier.

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Speaking on the horrific ordeal on Red Table Talk, Bullock said she has suffered PTSD since and hasn't "been alone since the day" of the invasion.

Years later, Bullock’s convicted stalker died by suicide in 2018 after a standoff with police.

“What’s sad is that the system failed him,” she said on Red Table Talk.

She has since sought treatment for her PTSD and found that EDMR therapy has been the “most healing” option for her.

Sandra Bullock's relationships.

The academy award-winning actress once said she wouldn't recommend dating her, "because I’ll probably make you miserable".

Over the years, though, Bullock has been in a number of relationships, all of which she has kept under a cloak of secrecy. She's even dated a few of her co-stars.

In 2002, she famously dated Ryan Gosling, who she met while co-starring in the psychological thriller, Murder By Numbers. 

Image: Getty. 

The couple made headlines for their age gap. Bullock was 37-years-old when they started dating, and Ryan Gosling was 21-years-old, giving them a 16-year age gap.

"I live my life at a manic pace, and he's taught me to disregard all that isn't important. He's like a little Buddha," she told Cosmopolitan in 2003.

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She also admitted that movie sets are "breeding grounds for that kind of stuff, so you just have to have a good set of rules going into it".

"It's the greatest dating service on the planet. You take two people who normally can't leave the house, who don't know if people are with them for the right reasons, and they get paired up because they have chemistry, and they happen to fall in love."

The couple broke up in 2003.

In July 2005, Sandra Bullock married Jesse James, who was the host of Discovery Channel's Monster Garage.

Image: Getty. 

Asked about her husband's tough public image, Bullock told People in 2005: "No one knows what someone is like based on appearance. There are people who look very innocent, loving and churchgoing who cheat on their spouses, don’t take care of their children and are horrible to humanity."

In 2010, just 10 days after Bullock won the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side, Bullock learned - along with the rest of the world - of her husband's infidelity.

"It's because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way," James said in a public statement at the time. "This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension and I am extremely saddened to have brought this on them. I am truly very sorry for the grief I have caused them. I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me."

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Since 2015, Bullock has been dating photographer Bryan Randall. The two met when Randall was hired to photograph her son's fifth birthday party.

Image: Getty. 

Together for five years, Bullock has remained relatively quiet about her relationship, but did tell InStyle in 2018 that "he's super kind".

"For the kids he’s sort of No. 1," she explained. "And I’m No. 2. But I get it because he’s more fun and has better treats.”

On Red Table Talk, Bullock described her partner as a "very patient" man and "a saint."

Bullock said of their relationship: "He's the example I would want my children to have. I don't always agree with him and he doesn't always agree with me, but he is an example even when I don't agree with him."

Bullock and Randall have made one public appearance together for her Oceans 8 premiere, but have remained out of the spotlight since. And it looks like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

After all, she is one of the few celebrities who do not have any form of social media.

Feature Image: Facebook / Getty / Mamamia.

This article was published on May 11, 2020, updated on December 2, 2021.

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