Aussie star reveals shocking family secret
TV personality Todd Sampson opened up about a bombshell family secret in the latest episode of Anh's Brush With Fame.
Speaking about his upbringing as host and artist Anh Do painted his portrait, Body Hack and Gruen presenter Sampson explained he grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada to working class parents.
His mother worked the till at the local KFC. Before he was even born, she had left home and fell pregnant at just 15.
"At the time and in the area, it was quite religious. She was basically told she had to give up the child. She gave up the child to her sister - and she was raised as my cousin," he revealed.
He called his mum's decision to hide her daughter's true identity "the biggest regret of my mother's life," and recalled the extraordinary circumstances that led to him learning his occasionally seen 'cousin' Wendy was actually his older sister.
"I was such an investigative kid - also known as a little sh*t. I used to record my parents' conversations when I would go to bed. I got a recorder for Christmas, and just before I'd go to bed, I would hit record under the sofa where my parents were, then go off to sleep."
The next day, he'd listen back to what his parents had discussed.
"That day, I'm listening to the recording and I'm like, 'Wait now, did they just say that Wendy's my sister?' They were debating at night whether they should tell us, and whether we were old enough to comprehend what had happened. But Wendy had been in and out of our lives as our cousin," he said.
Sampson recalled the moment he confronted his mother to ask if Wendy was really his sister.
"I remember her face - it was just shock and relief. She said, 'Yes, she is.' Then, it was only as an adult, many many years later, that I reconnected with her as my older sister. Now I'm super-proud that she's my sister, and all that she's done in her life.
Do said he couldn't imagine doing what Sampson's mother had done - but as Sampson pointed out, "(You're) not 15 in a convent situation. She had Wendy in a room by herself."
Anh's Brush With Fame airs 8pm Tuesdays on ABC
Originally published as Aussie star reveals shocking family secret