Hillary Busis
September 13, 2013 AT 02:47 PM EDT

Roseanne debuted 25 long years ago — but even now, tales of its explosive backstage drama are still circulating. And on yesterday’s edition of The Talk, one of the sitcom’s stars revealed that she underwent her own share of personal turmoil on set — while dating her onscreen love interest, no less.

Long before creating The Talk for CBS, actress Sara Gilbert got her start playing Roseanne‘s sarcastic Darlene Connor. In the sitcom’s fourth season, her character started dating David Healy, played by future Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki — and soon enough, Gilbert and Galecki were a real-life item as well. “I thought he was super cute and I had a total crush on him,” Gilbert said yesterday on The Talk. (It’s currently the show’s “secrets week.”) “And we started dating and he would come over and we would, like, make out. And then I would start to get depressed.”

Why? Because Gilbert was slowly realizing that she was actually a lesbian — and to Galecki’s credit, she says, he was extremely understanding when she broke the news. “[I] eventually told him I thought it was about my sexuality, and he was super sweet about it,” she said. Though Gilbert eventually began dating a woman, she remained in the closet “for years” — and Galecki continued to keep her secret. “I always felt so scared,” she recalled. “If it came out, what could happen? Could I lose my career? Will I ever be able to play a straight role again?”

Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. Gilbert is now out, proud, and engaged to prolific singer/songwriter Linda Perry. She and Galecki are also still close — Gilbert revealed that he even offered to come on the show Thursday and “hold [her] hand” as she told her story.

“We do often say things like ‘it gets better,’ and it does get better. And like I said, I have an amazing life,” Gilbert explained. “But I want people to know that there can still be a struggle with it, and that’s okay. That it really is a process, and that there can be a part of you that doesn’t want to feel different, or feels scared. And that maybe is more important than any of it.”

You May Like