You probably remember her as Blaire’s cousin Jeri on “The Facts of Life,” one of the first disabled characters to appear regularly on TV. Now Geri Jewell has penned her autobiography, in which she reveals that, BTW, she’s gay. Her book’s title, “I’m Walking As Straight As I Can,” thus has a double meaning, referencing her sexuality and her cerebral palsy. Why, after three decades in Hollywood, did Geri Jewell finally decide to come out?
She hasn’t addressed it directly, but the implication from the press releases is that she didn’t want to live a lie. Her book is painfully honest, discussing her drug abuse, failed marriage and abuse by people she trusted in Hollywood.
I always loved her on the show – she showed that people who seem different on the outside actually aren’t all that different on the inside, and she inspired thousands of kids with her strength and her humor, teaching them to be themselves. To me it makes no difference if she’s a lesbian; I’d love to see her in a “Facts of Life” reunion, though!