But the 50-year-old Oscar-winner for "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The Accused," who's been protective of her private life and reluctant to discuss her sexual orientation, used this opportunity to speak from the heart in a rambling and emotional speech that confirmed what long had been an open secret. The veteran actress seized control of what is every year a noisy, boozy ballroom; the crowd of A-listers quickly quieted down as it became apparent that she had something serious and important to say.
She was coy at first, suggesting she had a big announcement that would make her publicist nervous. (At this point, the audio inexplicably dropped out of the NBC broadcast, even though nothing off-color was said.)
Then she stated: "I'm just going to put it out there, loud and proud ... I am, uh, single," pausing for dramatic effect before that last word. "I hope you're not disappointed that there won't be a big coming-out speech tonight. I already did my coming-out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age."
She also made it sound as if this would be her last time on stage, but clarified for reporters afterward: "I could never stop acting. You'd have to drag me behind a team of horses. I'd like to be directing tomorrow. I'm more into it than I have ever been."
[Transcript of Jodie Foster speech by The Guardian.]