In an explosive, exclusive interview with Daily Mail, Oprah Winfrey's 66-year-old stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is spilling some family tea about Ms. Winfrey. And it is so messy!
According to Barbara, the Oprah we all see, beloved by millions is a world away from the real person she really is. That Oprah is manipulative and high-handed, treats family like staff and uses her wealth to control others. That Oprah Winfrey kicked her out of her home after 14 years, leaving her flat out homeless. That Oprah played in a huge part in ‘destroying’ her marriage to Oprah's father.
She also claims that Oprah, 60, and her long-term partner Stedman Graham, 63, are not bound by
romance but a pragmatic cocktail of shared secrets, convenience and money. She describes Oprah’s relationship with close confidante Gayle King, 59, as ‘bizarre’ and ‘unhealthy,’ and points to it as the reason that neither woman is married.
And at the heart of it all, Barbara claims, the ‘real Oprah’ - hidden behind the image she projects so well – is a woman unhappy in her skin and, as Barbara has learned to her cost, unforgiving to those who inspire her wrath.
Barbara said told DailyMail:
‘You find out quickly where your place is with Oprah and you get in that place and you stay in that place. My crime, I think, was to talk to her like a normal person and she didn’t like that one bit. My husband once told me that just because someone gives you something does not mean they love you. He was talking about Oprah.
Her brand is that she’s a nice, caring, generous, giving person. That’s not how it is. She’s controlling – it’s all about control. She has confidentiality agreements with pretty much everybody in her life. She has them sign their life away and she has them in her pocket.
Everything comes with stipulations but she doesn’t tell you that and she doesn’t tell you what they are. Some people can have money and be mentally rich – secure in what they have I guess. But others, how can I put it…some people you can’t take the ghetto out of. That’s Oprah, it’s who she is and where she’s from. She had money, everybody was going to know it and see it. But she had to be in control.’
About Oprah throwing her out of her matrimonial home, according to Barbara, she wedded Vernon Winfrey, Oprah's father, 15 years after first meeting him - 17 June 2000. But their marriage fell apart when she discovered Vernon cheated on her with a prostitute named 'One Tooth.'
By her own admission Barbara struggled to cope with Vernon’s infidelity. She moved out of the marital bedroom but she was not, she insisted, looking to end her marriage.
‘Oprah is a woman who empowers women to be all they can be, to stand up against men who mistreat them. If she was a more decent person she would realize that what her dad did was very wrong instead of plotting against me and pushing me out of the scene.
Vernon had been telling everyone he was unhappy with the marriage. He told Stedman and he told Oprah, so she came up with an escape plan I guess to get me out of the picture, make all the scandal of what he’d done go away.Barbara claimed that Oprah pressed her dad Vernon to resolve the situation and divorce her. Even though they're divorced now, they still speak once a week, so she believes they would have stayed together had Oprah not intervened.
Oprah bought a home in Nashville back in 2000 for her dad and her stepmother as a wedding gift. Barb claims once she and her now ex-husband decided to split, Vernon convinced Oprah to take back the home she had gifted them. Barbara was served with an eviction notice earlier this month and has until May 29th to leave the $1.4 million Nashville home.
I have lost everything. It’s not just a house, this is my home. All my memories are here. I’m trying to keep it together but there are some days I just don’t understand how I could have made her so angry that she would kick me out on the street and think nothing about it. But that’s Oprah – she’s judge and jury.
“I know people have read about this and thought, “Who does she think she is? Why should she get a million dollar home? But can you see it’s not about that? It’s about everything that went before. Look at how she has treated me. I laid my head next to her father for 14 years and she never thought me worthy of talking to.
DailyMail says this is the first of a two-part world exclusive interview with Barbara Winfrey, the ex-wife of Oprah's father Vernon. In Part 2, to be published tomorrow, Mrs. Winfrey will reveal the shocking details of the big blowup between Oprah and her boyfriend Stedman Graham, the truth about her relationship with Gayle King and how she really feels about being in her own skin.