NEW YORK (WPIX)—Meredith Baxter hit the media circuit Wednesday revealing a shocking disclosure.
The 62-year-old actress, who is best known for her role as Elyse Keaton, the laid-back mom on the hit 80's television sitcom "Family Ties," confirmed rumors that she is a lesbian.
"I am a lesbian, and it was a later-in-life recognition," Baxter told Matt Lauer on the "Today Show." "Some people would say, well, you're living a lie and, you know, the truth is - not at all. This has only been for the past seven years."
Baxter, who has been married to men three times and is the mother to five children, said it wasn't until she began a relationship with a woman seven years ago that she realized she was gay.
"I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was that kind of awakening," she said. "I never fought it because it was like, oh, I understand why I had the issues I had early in life. I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships."
Baxter is currently in a relationship with Nancy Locke, a building contractor. The pair have been together for the past four years after being introduced by mutual friends.
Baxter said coming out was not an easy decision - since she likes to keep private matters to herself. However, she said since Locke is openly gay, she didn't want to push her partner "back into secrecy." She said the pair live "very out lives in Los Angeles."
The National Enquirer recently printed an article, in which sources claimed to have seen Baxter on a lesbian cruise through the Carribean with a "female friend." The story was then picked up by a myriad of celebrity blogs - including Perez Hilton.
In addition to the "Today" show, Baxter also interviewed on Sirius XM Radio's "The Frank DeCaro Show."
In an interview with People magazine, she said, "I feel like I'm being honest for the first time." Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy