Oprah Winfrey: ‘If I had kids, my kids would hate me’

Oprah Winfrey attends the Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast Wednesday in Beverly Hills.
(Vince Bucci / Invision/Associated Press)

Oprah Winfrey may be our favorite maternal TV host, but the idea of real maternity never had any appeal to the internationally recognized mogul.

The TV queen, who was just nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work in “The Butler,” opened up about motherhood in the Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue. Winfrey said she doesn’t have the same instincts as her best friend, Gayle King, a mother of two, and doesn’t believe she would have been a good mom anyway.

“Gayle was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade home ec class, was writing down her name and the names of her children,” Winfrey said. “While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King.”

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The 59-year-old, who’s been quite busy changing the world, has been dating Stedman Graham since 1986; the couple got engaged in 1992 but still have not married.

“If I had kids, my kids would hate me,” Winfrey added. “They would have ended up on the equivalent of the ‘Oprah’ show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”

Winfrey hosted the beloved “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for 25 seasons before shuttering it in May 2011 to start her own cable TV network, OWN. Her only regret about leaving the show was the timing, she told THR’s Lacey Rose. She would have done it before launching her own network, but contends that she had little more to offer the format.

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“When [my producers] called me in and said, ‘I know, we could take the audience to outer space,’ I knew it was time to go.”

Winfrey’s fledgling network -- her other child -- struggled at first but eventually made it into the black, despite reports back in 2012 that she suffered a nervous breakdown that was concurrent with an interview she gave to “Access Hollywood” about her heavy workload.

“I never had a nervous breakdown,” she said. “I thought that was such sensational exploitation.”

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The Mississippi native is one of the richest women in the world, reportedly worth $2.9 billion, and has enabled people toward self-empowerment throughout her career. It can be argueld that she still has a few maternal instincts, since she’s practically the godmother to the youth of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Winfrey has spent more than $100 million on the school she opened in South Africa in 2007. Though it was once scandalized with accusations of sexual abuse, it now boasts a 100% graduation rate. She still teaches a few classes at the school, visits the girls who’ve gone on to colleges in the U.S. and answers emails from them daily.

“I’m responding to everything from ‘I’m feeling lost’ to ‘I need advice about a boy,’ ” Winfrey said.

That sounds pretty mom-like to us.



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