The TV producer who is Jodie Foster's close friend and according to some reports lesbian partner, and co-mother of Foster's son Charles born in 1998. She was present at his birth.

Ms Bernard is nine years older than Foster, at about 48. They met about six years ago at the filming of Sommersby. It was reported in the National Enquirer that they wear identical rings, and live together or at least are together and dine together much of the time.

This has not been confirmed by either of them, of course, but some in the gay community have taken up the story with interest, seeing Jodie Foster as an important role model if she can be persuaded to admit its truth.

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