Kerry Washington Sounds Off on Gay Rumors: 'There's Nothing Offensive About It'

10/31/2013 at 09:55 PM EDT

Kerry Washington Sounds Off on Gay Rumors: 'There's Nothing Offensive About It'
Kerry Washington
Dave M. Benett/Getty
Kerry Washington is known for being intensely private and keeping a tight lid on her personal life.

But the Scandal star, who is expecting her first child with husband Nnamdi Asomugha, was more than willing to weigh in on a subject that continues to pique certain fans' interest: her sexuality.

In a new interview with The Advocate, the 36-year-old sounds off on rumors that she's a lesbian, owing mainly to her radio silence on her personal affairs – and despite the fact that she's married to Asomugha.

The chatter doesn't bother her one bit.



"It's interesting how much people long to fill in the gaps when someone in the public eye doesn't share their personal life. I understand their frustration," she says. "I like how people will post pictures of me with other women that I adore, hugging on red carpets, and say, 'See?' "

But, she wonders, "Are we so uncomfortable with love between two people of the same gender that we immediately label it as sexual?"

Adds the actress: "But I've never been bothered by the lesbian rumor. There's nothing offensive about it, so there's no reason to be offended."

Washington, who stunned fans earlier this summer after it was revealed that she had married Asomugha in secret, also cheekily riffed on why viewers respond to her take-no-prisoners character on Scandal, political fixer Olivia Pope.

Ladies and gents: Bow down to the strut.

"It's all about her walk in the outfits," Washington says, laughing, before striking a more serious note.

"I think they probably appreciate that Olivia is an underdog who's risen to power. She's a woman and a person of color," the actress explains. "She's overcome a lot of limitations that society places on us, and she collects others who have been victimized or rejected by society. She looks out for the disempowered."

Vintage Olivia Pope, indeed.

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