Marianne Williamson made the stage for Thursday’s Democratic presidential primary debate. Her introduction to a national audience has made some people curious about her family background. She is not married now, but she was once – for a brief time.
The Los Angeles Times has dubbed Williamson a “New Age guru.” Described by the Times all the way back in 1992 as a Hollywood sensation, Williamson was labeled a “tough-talking, quick-witted former nightclub singer from Texas” by the newspaper who captivates audiences “with her blend of religion and self-help.”
She joined nine other candidates – including top-tier candidates like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden – on the debate stage on Thursday, June 27, 2019. You can read where Marianne Williamson stands on the issues here. She’s been Oprah’s spiritual adviser and once endorsed Bernie Sanders. You can read about her net worth here; she’s made a fortune over the years.
Williamson weighed in on healthcare in her first big debate moment. Williamson explained: “We have to get deeper than these superficial fixes.” She said Americans “wait until somebody gets sick…we need to talk about why so many Americans have unnecessary chronic illnesses..that gets into… chemical policies, environmental policies, food policies, drug policies.” She also strongly criticized President Trump’s immigration policies and family separations at the border, saying, “If you forcibly take a child from a parent’s arms, you are kidnapping them…this is collective child abuse…these are state-sponsored crimes.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Marianne Williamson Is Currently Single But She was Briefly Married
According to the LA Times, Williamson has previously described herself as a “Jewish unwed mother.” She told the Times that she was once married “for a minute and a half.” She did not give her former husband’s name, however. That article was in 1992, so the marriage was quite some time ago.
The 1992 article in the Times said that, at that time, Williamson had a daughter who was then 21-months-old and named India Emmanuelle, but who was called Emma. The newspaper reported that Williamson wouldn’t name the father of the child.
Her past boyfriends included producer Howard Koch Jr. and actor Dwier Brown, according to The Times. She has had an interesting life, especially for a politician; In 1973, she moved to New York and was “sidetracked, as she once put it, by ‘bad boys and good dope,'” Los Angeles Magazine reported. She was in her 20s then.
“She was doing A Course in Miracles at a little church on Fairfax,” Howard Rosenman, a producer and friend of Williamson’s, said to the magazine, describing how Williamson didn’t lack for male attention. “We called it the ‘handsome boys’ religion’ because all these good-looking guys flocked to her. Marianne made spirituality hip, which nobody was doing back then. She was so sympathetic and charismatic.”
To the magazine, Williamson said her daughter, called India Emma, and born in 1990, “inspired her” to move to Montecito. “I didn’t want to raise my daughter as a single mom in L.A. I look back now and think that is ridiculous,” she told the magazine, again refusing to say who India’s father is. She did say that her daughter now lives in London.
The New York Jewish Week reported in 2018 that Williamson gave birth to her daughter at age 38,
and is “pursuing a doctorate in history” in London and “is very involved in her synagogue.”
Marianne Williamson Was Born in Houston & Went on a Quest for Spiritual Understanding
On her website, Marianne Williamson explains that she was born in Houston, Texas in 1952.
“My mother was a traditional housewife and my father was an immigration lawyer. My parents were world travelers, taking my brother Peter, my late sister Jane and me traveling with them around the world when we were children,” the website explains. “The fact that I traveled internationally at such a young age made me a different person than I would otherwise have become. I learned very early, with the clarity of a child, that everyone deep down is the same.”
She referenced her daughter in that biography, writing, “I have a wonderful daughter, India, age 28; and I am now at the point where my deepest desire is to take what I’ve learned and express it in a way that best serves others. Like millions of Americans, I am sickened and saddened to see the state of our country and I believe that I can help.”
She explained how Oprah Winfrey gave her career a boost. She discusses on her website how she had a spiritual reckoning. “The most consistent thing about my early Twenties was a search for spiritual understanding,” she wrote. “I had a voracious appetite for topics of comparative religion and philosophy, and in my mid-20’s I began reading a set of books called A Course in Miracles. The Course is not a religion, but rather a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy based on universal spiritual themes. There is no dogma or doctrine; it is simply a book on how to forgive.”