Jodie Foster and the writing on the wall of the Saban Center

AfterEllen.com reader cappuccinogirlie recently posted some fascinating pictures in the forums. I’ll post them here, too — along with a few more of my own — but I give cappuccinogirlie all the credit for the sleuthing.

Here’s Jodie Foster at the opening event for the Saban Center for Health and Wellness in Woodland Hills, California on July 18. Foster made a significant donation to the Center, a “state-of-the-art therapy and wellness center” that focuses on healthy aging. The Center is a project of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, a health and social services charity for the entertainment industry.

It’s not news that she looks fabulous: The woman is preternaturally photogenic. The news is in the next photo, in the form of some wall art at the Saban Center — specifically, in the Jodie Foster Aquatic Pavilion (is there a manatee wing?). These handprints belong to Foster’s two sons, Kit and Charles:

Take a look at that nameplate: Kit Bernard Foster and Charles Bernard Foster. No, the Foster tykes don’t share a middle name (I doubt Jodie would be quite that cruel, though I do tend to wonder whether the name “Kit” was the wisest choice).

It seems reasonable to assume that the Bernard in question is Cydney Bernard, long rumored to be Foster’s partner. They reportedly met on the set of Sommersby in 1993. Here’s Cydney, Jodie and the kids last year:

And here’s Cydney with Jodie at a Flightplan premiere party in Berlin a few years ago:

Jodie has never officially said that Cydney is her partner, but their relationship is talked about as one of those long-kept open secrets in Hollywood. Have these whimsical handprints and their accompanying plaque effectively outed Jodie? Or is this just more evidence that while never fully confirming, Jodie has never really denied anything either?

Although I have often wished that Jodie would come out — just because, wow, can you imagine better (or better-respected) visibility than that? — I also acknowledge that she should do whatever she wants to do and doesn’t owe anyone anything. We’ve debated the outing of Jodie in other blog posts and articles on this site (for example, here and here and here), and the Saban Center photo certainly makes the issue ripe for comment again. Should she come out? Should she be outed? Should we care?

But maybe coming out, via speech or plaque or Goodyear blimp, isn’t really the point this time. To me, the nameplate seems like a simple assertion that Jodie, Cydney, Kit and Charles are a family, and to them, that’s what really matters. It’s the very picture of health and wellness, and the Saban Center could find no better benefactor.

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