People would rather not talk about their troubled pasts. Oprah Winfrey did the same thing. She didn’t talk about her scary past until her half-sister told everyone about it. The TV boss was crushed when a family member turned on her.

TV host Oprah Winfrey is a self-made billionaire who doesn’t have any children. However, she thinks of the young women who attend her Academy as her “daughters.”
Here are some facts about the famous daytime TV star’s painful past, how she feels about having children, and her “daughters,” whom she said have helped her be a good mother.

She has always tried to be kind and help people who are less wealthy than her, even though her life hasn’t always been easy.

The pregnancy of Winifred and her mother’s choice
At the age of 14, Winfrey got pregnant. She hid the news for seven months, until the baby was born. For OWN’s “Life Class” show, she said that she saved the unborn child because she felt alone:

“I saved that baby because I felt so disconnected from everything, and I still do.” It never made me feel like my child.

A press conference for “Greenleaf” was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on September 26, 2016. | Images from Getty Images

It made Winfrey feel bad to hide the fact that she was pregnant, and she said that her swollen ankles and big belly made it clear that she was expecting:

“I was so embarrassed. “I hid the fact that I was pregnant until my swollen ankles and belly told everyone.”

In many ways, hiding that secret and having that shame got in the way of me. Winfrey continued, “I remember being taken to the detention home when my mother was going to kick me out of the house at age 14.”

She talked about what happened and how it made her feel at the time. “It was the most emotional, confusing, and traumatic event of my young life,” she said.

Winfrey went on to say that while she was being taken to the holding center and waiting to be processed, she thought about how she had been abused by family members since she was nine years old.

The famous media mogul said that she had been sexually abused between the ages of nine and ten, which led to an unplanned birth.

Looking around the detention home at all the other girls who were there because they were “bad girls,” Winfrey said she had a moment when she thought, “Now I am officially a bad girl.”

In her mind, she said, “From now on, people will call me a “bad girl” for the rest of my life because I’m in this situation.” Although she was waiting to be processed, she told herself that she didn’t belong there:

“I have no idea how I ended up in a place for bad girls; I didn’t even think I was a bad girl.”

Lucky for her, while she was thinking, a woman came out and told her and her late mother, Vernita Lee, that there was no room for her and they would have to come back in two weeks.

Winfrey and her mom had to leave when she was young, and she was freed to go live with her dad. That was her saving grace, she said.

Grace’s escape and a new chance
The Mississippi woman felt like she had a second chance in life after avoiding being sent to a prison center and saying:

“From then on, I felt like I had been saved and that someone up there saw that I wasn’t a bad girl.”

“And now I was given another chance, and after giving birth to a child when I was 14 years old, I didn’t even know how this happened to me,” Winfrey said.

The things her father told her after her baby died at the hospital (it was born early) gave her hope after what she had been through.

I remember my dad telling me, “This is your second chance” after that child died. “This is your chance to stop what you’re doing right now and do something with your life,” the 69-year-old said.

Though Winfrey couldn’t put it into words, she had an epiphany when she heard her dad’s words: “I took that chance and understood for myself, that now I know better so I can do better.”

The author of Winfrey’s Secret Revealed to the World Later said that she had thought her secret would stay a secret until she could fully deal with her own deep emotions and feelings.

When Winfrey found out that her half-sister Patricia Lloyd had been paid for the story, she was upset. She said Llyod was a “deeply disturbed, drug-dependent person.”

The TV celebrity was afraid that she would be kicked out of school for being promiscuous after she got pregnant. After some time, she was afraid that it would hurt her successful job and said:

“I kept the secret to myself because I was afraid that if anyone found out what had happened, they would also kick me out of their lives.”

After her story about getting pregnant as a girl became public, Winfrey said she was unable to calm down. In her essay called “My First,” she wrote about how she dealt with the fallout:

It took me three days to stop crying and stay in bed. I felt terribly sad. Seriously hurt. lied to. This person did this to me, how could they?”

Winfrey said, “I remember my boyfriend Stedman Graham walking into the bedroom that Sunday afternoon. The room was dark because the curtains were closed.” He stood in front of me and gave me the newspaper while looking like he was crying too. “I’m so sorry,” he said. Saying, “You don’t deserve this,”

“Pregnant at 14! You wicked girl! Expelled!” Winfrey said she thought that everyone she saw on the street would point at her and scream.

But no one did or said anything like that to her, not even strangers or people she knew. This shocked her, and she later said:

“That surprised me. I was treated the same by everyone. I waited 20 years for a response that never came.

She quickly learned that telling everyone about the secret made her feel free, and she learned a lot about how ashamed she was that she had kept it a secret for so long:

“I quickly learned that it felt good to let the secret out…” I knew for sure that carrying the shame was the hardest thing of all.

Thoughts on Having Kids and Her Daughters
In an exclusive chat with People in October 2019, Winfrey talked about her choice not to have children. When she and Graham, whom she met at a charity event in 1986, first got engaged, she said she thought about becoming a mother:

“At one point, I bought an extra apartment in Chicago because I thought, ‘Well, if we get married, I’ll need room for kids.'”

That didn’t happen, but Winfrey said that while she was on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she saw the sacrifices and responsibilities that come with being a mother.

“This used to make me think about it all the time: my producers and I worked 17-hour days, and then I got home to my two dogs and Stedman, who lets me be who I need to be in the world.”

For the same reason, Winfrey said she didn’t feel bad about her decision to live her life without biological children. She added, “I have not had a single regret about that.” Part of the reason for this was that she was able to achieve her promise in the way that worked best for her: through her Academy for Girls.

“Those girls give me, maybe, the maternal embrace I would have had.” Their tanks are too full—I’m overflowing with motherhood,” the proud superstar said.

The former talk show host opened The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2007, making her five-year dream come true of giving poor girls there a safe place to learn.

With love, Winfrey calls her children “daughters,” and they call her “Mom O.” The first finishing class from the boarding school is invited to her home in Montecito every Thanksgiving for a holiday party.

Oprah once again invited the first graduating class to her house to spend the holiday with her in 2022. Her “daughter-girls,” the young woman, spent the vacation with her.

One of the special traditions that Oprah and the first graduating class share is having a team to greet her guests when she hosts them for Thanksgiving.

In 2022, one of the women’s husbands, Paul, joined the list of guests. Someone was singing an African song as he walked up to the house to celebrate Thanksgiving.

After the video went live, Oprah said that Thanksgiving was going strong at her house. Next, she shared a video of herself with her “daughter-girls” before dinner, but there was a catch.

That Thanksgiving, they didn’t pray over their food; instead, one of the women who couldn’t be there sent them a song to sing. While Oprah read the words, everyone at the dinner table sang them.

Oprah made sure that her sense of giving didn’t end with Thanksgiving. A lot of people know about Oprah’s list of her favorite things that she gives to all the women at Christmas.

In the video she shared, she can be seen giving boxes to all the women at the table. The look on their faces when they opened the gifts showed a mix of shock and gratitude.

As the camera moved around the table to catch every woman’s face, the women were talking excitedly about the gifts they had gotten.

The actress from “The Color Purple” once wrote that she and her daughter-girls often eat delicious food and have amazing talks. Winfrey said it was the pinnacle of what family is all about: a place to be yourself and say what you want.

Winfrey talked about one of the most important things she learned from Sade, one of her “daughters” who had been living with her and Graham in May 2020. They heard Sade tell them that she needed some alone time.

Before she understood what it meant, Winfrey thought it was good for the girl to have some time alone while she was in quarantine.

Even though she knew it would hurt their feelings, especially at this time, she praised Sade for telling them what she needed. Even though she doesn’t have any kids, Winfrey’s life with her boyfriend and “daughter-girls” is full.

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