The Heartbreaking Way ‘This Is Us’ Star Mandy Moore Discovered a Life-Altering Family Secret

Mandy Moore may play matriarch, Rebecca Pearson, on the hit NBC show, This Is Us, but in real life, she’s like the rest of us, sorting through family issues the best she can. Though mostly tight-lipped in regards to her personal life, there’s one series of incidents that changed her life forever.

Mandy Moore doesn’t discuss her private life often

Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore attends the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

This Is Us star, Mandy Moore, hit superstardom at a young age. The accomplished pop singer and actress found success in a variety of places such as her first big single, “Candy” when Moore was just 15 years old.

Career aside, Moore opened up on a previous appearance on The Howard Stern Show saying both of her brothers, one older and one younger, are gay. Moore said both came out “early in life.”

With This Is Us fame, Moore admitted more fans ask about her family, but she feels “protective” over them.

“I definitely won’t stand for [intolerance],” Moore told Byrdie in 2016. “But I feel like we’re at a time in our culture when we’re able to have a much more open dialogue. I’m encouraged and excited that eventually we’re going to get to a point where none of this matters. Sexual preference or orientation just won’t factor in anymore. I think we’re inching closer to that.”

Here’s how Moore discovered a shocking family secret

Moore’s need for family privacy comes for good reason. When the star was 23, at the height of her rising career, Moore accidentally discovered a family secret during a Christmas trip to North Carolina.

She told Stern she’d bought her parents both laptops and had set up their email accounts when she came across an email her mom drafted for Moore and her brothers.

“I thought, ‘why is Mom writing me?'” Moore said. “It was basically her telling us how she had fallen in love with a friend and was going to leave Dad.”

The friend her mother planned to leave Moore’s father for was another woman. It was their last family vacation together.

“At the time I was left with no choice but to compartmentalize what was happening,” she said. Now, “everyone is in a much better space, and they’re with the people that are better suited for them. All of that is a very happy ending, but it didn’t come without real struggle.”

Moore credited time and therapy for helping her understand her mom’s decision. However, it still affected Moore’s own life in ways she didn’t realize at the time.

In March 2009, Moore married musician, Ryan Adams, with whom she later revealed she had an oppressive relationship. She previously spoke to Glamour about why, at the time, it felt right.

“I couldn’t control what happened to my immediate family, but I could control starting my own.” She said. “Not the smartest decision. I didn’t choose the right person.”

Six years later, Moore and Adams divorced but she felt “spiritually and fundamentally stuck” in all areas.

“I don’t feel guilty for it. I don’t fault myself for it,” she said of the divorce. “When people said, ‘I’m sorry,’ I was like, ‘No. Sorry would have been had I stayed in a very unhealthy situation.’ I didn’t. I found my way out. And when I did, things opened back up again.”

She later met her [now] husband, Taylor Goldsmith.

“I was still dealing with the trauma of my divorce when we started dating. Taylor was steadfast in his support — that was a huge sign for me,” she added.

Moore says this is where things stand now

Plenty of time has passed since the initial shock of revelation. While enjoying the success of This Is Us, where family is central, Moore and her family have all come to terms and healed.

“Nobody is hiding who they are. There are no secrets in our lives. I love and support my mom and my brothers with my whole heart,” she said.

“And nothing makes me happier than seeing anybody live their authentic self, and to choose love. If anyone can find love, I support it, I salute you and I celebrate that.”

Moore’s mom, Stacy, is still with her partner, professional tennis player Claudette Laliberte.

Moore added in that same Byrdie interview that her family is now “exactly where they should be,” saying, “Everyone’s so much happier, richer, and more fulfilled, being their authentic selves.”

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.