How Chrysta Bilton Discovered Her 35 Siblings—And More Life-Changing Truths

On this week’s episode of Inside the Hive, cohosts Emily Jane Fox and Joe Hagan, along with Eric Lutz, dive into the latest revelations from the January 6 committee and explore what could happen next as the panel draws to a close.

Then Chrysta Bilton and her husband, Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton, join Fox to discuss Normal Family, Chrysta’s memoir recounting her discovery of 35 biological siblings from the same sperm donor. She describes her colorful upbringing, the shock of a lifetime in finding out that she was perhaps unknowingly dating her half brother, and how this experience shaped her views on nature versus nurture.


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Joe Hagan: Let’s talk about Liz Cheney for a minute. Because one of the things about this hearing that I think has been very effective, is that while the committee members have shown a little bit of personality, they haven’t turned it into a thing about themselves. They have been really cool. And especially Liz Cheney, you know, that Foreigner song comes into my head. “Whenever I see her, she’s as cold as ice, she’s willing to sacrifice our love.” Liz Cheney doesn’t give a shit about the Republican Party because they hate her anyway. She is just coolly committed to filleting Donald Trump down to the molecular level. And it’s working, and it’s making her into something.

Eric Lutz: She’s been fantastic in these hearings. I think she’s been a highlight. Again, we’re not talking about a moderate Republican, we’re talking about a very, very conservative Republican, someone with whom I would personally disagree with on just about everything, within the normal bounds of political disagreement. And I think that the way that she has presented the evidence against Donald Trump has been one of the most compelling parts of the hearing. Not just her opening statement Tuesday, talking about how he’s a 76-year-old man, really directly pointing the finger at Trump. But this is the second week in a row where she has ended the hearing with a bombshell about potential witness tampering. She is presenting a very compelling case—she’s presenting some of the most interesting and potentially damning information about Donald Trump. And I think she’s been one of the clearest in basically presenting this as a road map to prosecute.


Emily Jane Fox: It was the first time that I came to visit Lee in Los Angeles. We’d been dating for two and a half weeks. You guys set us up, and you invited us over for brunch. I walked into your house. And there were 12 women who looked exactly like Chrysta.

Nick Bilton: You guys walked in and I think Lee’s face was like, Wait, what?! Like, is Chrysta a Gremlin? It was a little Twilight

Chrysta Bilton:Zone. Okay, well…Yeah, so I discovered in my mid-20s, that the man I had known as my dad turned out to be a more complicated story than I knew. It turned out that after I was born, he became one of the most prolific sperm donors, and that I had anywhere between several dozen and possibly over 100 biological siblings growing up all over the U.S.

My mom desperately wanted to have a kid but as a lesbian in the early 1980s, that was a complex thing. She didn’t know a single gay woman who had had a child at that point. So she was really making it up as she went along. Then she felt guilty not giving me a father figure. Because she just didn’t know anyone else who had done that. So she then paid him to play a role in my life as well.

These transcript excerpts have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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