Kerry Washington Reveals Why She and Her Husband Keep Their Children Out of the Public Eye (Exclusive)

The actress and husband Nnamdi Asomugha share three children together

<p>Jordan Strauss/JanuaryImages/Shutterstock </p> Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington

Jordan Strauss/JanuaryImages/Shutterstock

Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington and husband Nnamdi Asomugha are protective of their three children.

In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE while promoting UnPrisoned at the American Black Film Festival earlier this month, the actress, 47, opens up about raising her kids — daughter Isabelle, son Caleb and a stepdaughter, whose name she has kept private — out of the spotlight.

"I think just from the very beginning, Nnamdi and I have been really protective of our partnership and our relationship, because we wanted it to belong to us, and we found that we were able to define and create a relationship for ourselves and with each other outside of the public eye," she says.

"And I think in many ways, we just want to give our kids that same opportunity to define a life for themselves and to enter the public space in their own way," continues Washington.

Noting that the duo are "definitely not as protective as we used to be," the Scandal alum adds with a laugh, "They're not, like, locked in a dungeon. They do, you know, come to set, we go places, we do things. We do feel like we want to give them agency to engage in a public life in the way they want to, because this is what we do. We've chosen to be athletes and artists, and that's our choice. But we want to let them be kids."

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<p>Alekandra London/Getty</p> Kerry Washington at the American Black Film Festival on June 13, 2024

Alekandra London/Getty

Kerry Washington at the American Black Film Festival on June 13, 2024

Related: Kerry Washington's 3 Kids: Everything She's Said About Parenting

Washington and Asomugha, 42, welcomed their first child together, daughter Isabelle, on April 21, 2014. Their second child, son Caleb Kelechi, was born on Oct. 5, 2016. (Washington is also stepmom to Asomugha's teenage daughter from a previous relationship.)

The proud mom has been open in the past about raising the three kids, telling InStyle in 2020 that while she's "really, really vigilant" about keeping her kids out of the spotlight, she doesn't necessarily want to keep them hidden.

"These are their lives. But it's not about pulling a Rapunzel and hiding them away in a castle from the world — we don't want to do that," she said. "I think any parent would want to keep kids from a situation that causes them to feel scared. I don't want them to be exploited, particularly in this social media world."

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Still, in an interview on Sunday Today, Washington explained there are times when she does want to share her kids with the world, stating, "I have moments where I take pictures or videos of one of my three amazing kids and I wanna post it online, and I tend to just send it to my parents or my shrink instead. I'm like, 'My kids are so cute and I don't wanna post about them, so look how cute they are!' "

UnPrisoned season 2 premieres July 17 on Hulu.

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