Mysteries of Oprah – rarely seen partner, best friend rumours and ‘secret son’

Oprah Winfrey has been at the top of the American TV game for 35 years, hosting her own show and becoming one of the most famous faces in the world.

She has scored some of the most talked-about interviews of all time – from Tom Cruise jumping on the sofa with excitement over Katie Holmes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle unleashing their ‘truth bombs’.

The chat show host – who turns 69 today – also never shies away from sharing her own personal pain with audiences. From her traumatic childhood with an unmarried teenage mother in poverty-stricken Kosciusko, Mississippi, to the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of other family members, Oprah has always been open about her trials.

When she first appeared on Tv in 1977

The chat show host – who turns 69 today – also never shies away from sharing her own personal pain with audiences. From her traumatic childhood with an unmarried teenage mother in poverty-stricken Kosciusko, Mississippi, to the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of other family members, Oprah has always been open about her trials.

But despite her willingness to be vulnerable, there are certain elements of Oprah’s life that exist within a veil of mystery. From her secretive long-term relationship with partner Stedman Graham to long-dismissed rumours about her relationship with best friend Gayle King, The Mirror sorts the fact from the fiction…

‘Spiritual marriage’

Since 1986, Oprah has been in a serious relationship with partner Stedman Graham.

Unfairly, much has been made of the fact they never married or had children. And with Stedman rarely seen in public, another wild theory is that the relationship is fake.

Oprah rarely discusses their enduring romance, but she did once open up to People Magazine, explaining why they never tied the knot, despite getting engaged in 1992.

“Both he and I now say, ‘If we had married, we would not be together,'” she said. “No question about it – we would not stay married, because of what that would have meant to him, and I would have had my own ideas about it.”

Elaborating, she explained that while Stedman has always supported her career and ‘let her be who I need to be’, she feared that would change with marriage. She has, however, described their bond as a ‘spiritual marriage’.

She continued: “That’s why I had not just cold feet, I had two feet in a block of cement – because my feeling was, he is a traditional guy, but this is a completely untraditional relationship.

“If it remained a relationship, I can manage it. If I become the wife, now I’ve got to play by the rules of whatever that is, and that would not have been pretty.”

As for children, she confirmed that once upon a time she had actually bought an additional apartment with a view to starting a family. But her years as a chat show host made her realise that motherhood wasn’t for her.

“Doing the Oprah show allowed me to see the depth of responsibility and sacrifice that is actually required to be a mother. I realised, ‘Whoa, I’m talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is,'” she said. “I have not had one regret about that.”

For years rumours abounded that Oprah and her bestie were more than friends. The pair met working at a Baltimore TV station in the 1980s and have long been inseparable. But the exasperated star finally silenced the gossip when she hit out at the ‘irritating’ speculation.

In an emotional interview, she lambasted the fact that ‘somebody must think I am lying’, telling journalist Barbara Walters: “She is the mother I never had. The sister everybody would want. The friend that everybody deserves. I don’t know a better person.”

She added: “I’m not a lesbian. I’m not even kind of a lesbian.”

And Gayle doubled down on Oprah’s comments, declaring that if they were romantically involved, they would be shouting it from the rooftops. Speaking to reporters at the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards, she said: “If we were gay, we would tell you. We would so tell you.

“We wouldn’t try to keep that a secret because there’s nothing wrong with being gay. So if we were, we would tell you. The truth of the matter is we’re not. It’s hard enough for me to get a date on a Saturday night as it is.”

‘Adoption’ riddle

Oprah Winfrey’s long lost ‘son’ Calvin Mitchell accosted her outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre

Back in 2015 a man claimed to be Oprah‘s secret ‘son’, accosting her as she arrived to film the Ed Sullivan Show and alleging that she tried to adopt him as a teen.

Calvin Mitchell told how the media mogul paid for his private education, but accused her of cutting him out of her life when he dropped out of school.

The 42-year-old, who is now a truck driver, claimed that Oprah and Stedman helped raise him for five years before allegedly turning their backs on him after he made a ‘dumb’ mistake.

He told RadarOnline: “I want to ask Oprah, ‘Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me?’ “I’m still searching. I don’t have closure to this. I just don’t understand,” he said. Mitchell revealed that Oprah coughed up the cash for his expensive education at The Piney Woods School, a prestigious Christian-based boarding school.

But it was when he dropped out of the school that Oprah walked away, he claimed. “I was young. I made a dumb decision, and Oprah wouldn’t forgive me,” he said. “I feel like what she did was wrong.” Mitchell recalled meeting Oprah in 1992 when he was chosen as an extra on ABC’s drama, There Are No Children Here.

After the show, he claimed Oprah reached out to his family and asked if she could adopt him. Mitchell’s mum, Eva, told the website why she allegedly said no to Oprah: “It felt strange because I felt if someone wanted to help me with my children, that’s one thing. But to actually adopt one child knowing I have others? I couldn’t allow her to separate my children.”

Mitchell claimed that Oprah and Stedman ‘were like family’ and she even bestowed gifts upon him, which bore messages like: “To my son Calvin, I love you.”

When Mitchell got homesick, he claimed he begged to return home and leave the school in Mississippi.”She told me, ‘Calvin, just try to work it out. You can do it. Just hang in there.’ She was trying to inspire me to do what was right. But even after the long pep talk she gave me, I still left,” he said.

“But I thought Oprah and Stedman would still be a part of my life. At one point, it was like I’d lost my whole world.” Oprah was happy to set the record straight though, revealing that she did help Calvin, and making no mention of any supposed adoption request.

“I met Calvin around the early ’90s, I think it was 1992,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I was doing a film for television called There Are No Children Here. We were shooting in the projects in Chicago and I was sitting on set during a break, and this cute little sparkly-eyed boy came underneath the yellow tape to hand me a soda. “Oprah admitted she was so “charmed” by him that she engaged in conversation and discovered his mum didn’t have a job and they lived in the projects.

She added that she and partner Stedman decided to take him under their wing and paid for him to go to a local private school while also finding a job for his mother.

He was later expelled and Oprah decided to send him to a private boarding school in Mississippi which she thought would be better for him, but at 16 he left after claiming “the teachers didn’t like him”.

“I said, ‘Calvin, this is the moment. This is a seminal moment for you. I know you are 16 and can’t see the road ahead, but if you leave this school and refuse to get an education – I have tried to offer you an education twice – there isn’t another school I can put you in. If you leave this school, I am done. There is nothing else I can do.’ And that was my last conversation with Calvin in the early ’90s.”

Editor’s note : First Report in the Mirror

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