Clarice and Designated Survivor's Kal Penn announces engagement to partner of 11 years

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Photo credit: James Devaney - Getty Images
Photo credit: James Devaney - Getty Images

Designated Survivor star Kal Penn has announced his engagement to fiancé Josh in advance of his new book.

Known for going from his position in the real-life White House Office of Public Engagement under former president Barack Obama to starring as the White House Communications Director Seth Wright in Designated Survivor, Penn generally keeps his personal life very private.

But ahead of the release of his autobiography, You Can't Be Serious (released November 2), Penn has opened up about his 11-year relationship with partner Josh.

Photo credit: ABC
Photo credit: ABC

Related: Netflix drops Designated Survivor episode from streaming following controversy

The pair met when Penn was working in Washington D.C. Speaking to PEOPLE, he explained why he's kept their relationship private until now.

"I've always been very public with everybody I've personally interacted with," Penn explained. "I'm really excited to share our relationship with readers.

"But Josh my partner, my parents, and my brother, four people who I'm closest to in the family, are fairly quiet. They don't love attention and shy away from the limelight."

Not one to avoid the limelight himself, Penn has become a household name with roles in House, the Harold and Kumar film franchise and DC's Superman Returns. Most recently, Penn starred in CBS's police drama and Silence of the Lambs sequel, Clarice, which received mixed reviews.

Penn said with his book, he wanted to "be authentic from my perspective", and added: "The whole point of writing this book was for the reader to feel like we're having a beer together."

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

Related: Here's why Designated Survivor was really cancelled

Teasing what fans can expect, he said the book "includes: my work life, both in Hollywood and DC, it includes my love life with Josh and how we met, it includes my parents, to the extent that I'm willing to share stories about their upbringing."

Before sharing the news of his engagement, Penn had never publicly confirmed his sexuality. "I shared things with my parents and close friends first," he explained.

"I know this sounds jokey, but it's true: When you've already told your Indian parents and the South Asian community that you intend to be an actor for a living, really any conversations that come after that are super easy. They're just like, 'Yeah, okay.'

"I felt very supported by everyone. That's a wonderful thing. I know everybody has different experiences with that and so I definitely feel very fortunate."

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