A 1989 profile of actress Sandy Dennis in People says she had a live-in relationship with Eric Roberts for five years at a seven-bedroom house she rented in Connecticut. The relationship began several years after her 1974 parting from boyfriend Gerry Mulligan, a jazz musician who had lived with Dennis in the same house (whose Connecticut location was identified as Westport or Wilton in different People magazine articles).In 1981, some months after Roberts began living with Dennis, he was in a debilitating car accident near their home. His ordeal was described by People magazine years later as “a month-long hospital stay after a bad car accident in 1981. ‘I tried to climb a tree in a CJ-5 [brand name for his Jeep],’ he says. Leaving the Wilton, Conn, house of his then girlfriend, actress Sandy Dennis, 44 at the time, Eric hopped into his doorless Jeep for a ride with her German shepherd. The dog leaned out too far. Roberts released the steering wheel to get a hold on the wayward pooch and ended up in a coma for three days.” Dennis, an animal lover who cared for a lot of dogs and cats, was relieved to learn her German shepherd was not injured in the accident. After Roberts recovered, his live-in relationship with Dennis lasted a few more years.
Roberts has a daughter, Emma Roberts, from a live-in relationship with Kelly Cunningham; Emma was born on February 10, 1991. She eventually became an actress as well, making her major-film debut at age 10 in the 2001 drama Blow. After Roberts's relationship with Cunningham, he married Eliza Garrett (daughter of actors David Rayfiel and Lila Garrett) in 1992. His stepson, Keaton Simons, is a singer-songwriter, and his stepdaughter, Morgan Simons, is a chef. Roberts became a grandfather for the first time in December of 2020 when Emma gave birth to her first child, a son named Rhodes, with actor Garrett Hedlund.
On January 12, 2001, Roberts visited The Howard Stern Radio Show with his wife, actress Eliza Roberts, during a segment called "The Gossip Game" with Mike Walker of the National Enquirer. He confirmed that he and his sister, Julia, had been estranged for several years. The source of the estrangement had been his past drug abuse and her siding with his ex-girlfriend over the custody of his daughter. In 2004, he told People magazine that he and his sister reconciled when he visited her in the hospital after she gave birth to twins.Roberts is a vegan and supporter of animal rights.