After three decades of keeping mum, Barbara Walters is disclosing a past affair with married U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke, whom she remembers as "exciting" and "brilliant."
Appearing on an installment of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" scheduled to air Tuesday, Walters shares details of her relationship with Brooke that lasted several years in the 1970s, according to a transcript of the show.
A moderate Republican from Massachusetts who took office in 1967, Brooke was the first African American to be popularly elected to the Senate. Both he and Walters knew that public knowledge of their affair could have ruined his career as well as hers, Walters says.
At the time, the twice-divorced Walters was a rising star in TV news and co-host of NBC's "Today" show. Brooke lost a reelection bid in 1978, later divorced and has since remarried.