Oprah and Gayle's Relationship Is 'Bizarre, Unhealthy' Says Ex-Stepmom

Illustration for article titled Oprah and Gayles Relationship Is Bizarre, Unhealthy Says Ex-Stepmom

In "the first of a two-part world exclusive interview" with the Daily Mail, Barbara Winfrey is telling all about her former husband Vernon's daughter. The dirt ranges from allegations that Oprah is snotty about what kind of towels she uses to claims that she encouraged a rift between Barbara and Vernon to comments about her relationships with Gayle and Stedman.

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If you're at all familiar with Oprah's contentious relationships with many of her family members, the fact that she doesn't get along with her father's now ex-wife will not be news. Vernon filed for divorce from Barbara in 2012. Barbara then filed a counter complaint which was finalized in 2013 alleging that Vernon cheated on her with prostitutes and abused her. At that point, things got even more complicated because Oprah property was involved. When the divorce was finalized, Oprah told Barbara she had to move out of the $1.4 million home near Nashville, Tennessee that she had gifted to the couple when they got married in 2001. Well, Oprah sort of gifted it to them: she let them live it in, even though it stayed in her name. Before then, when Vernon and Barbara starting breaking up, Oprah had distanced herself from Barbara, even going so far as to cut her out of Vernon's barber shop. (Oprah's people say she offered Barbara many deals that Barbara turned down.)

Barbara wasn't pleased with her eviction, hence the "two-part world exclusive interview" with the Daily Mail (selling her story was a direction she intimated she might take in early April). In the first part of the interview, Barbara throws down a slew of allegations, some that we've heard before. For instance: that Oprah and Stedman are not really in love but have a relationship based on power; that Oprah didn't want to go to Barbara and Vernon's wedding and always disliked Barbara; that Oprah gets Gayle to fire people for her; that Oprah is bossy and demanding and holds all the power in her relationships; that Barbara and Vernon were often put up in hotels when they went to visit Oprah, despite the fact that she lives in palatial mansions; that the pair were excluded from mingling with celebrities during her Legend's Ball; and that Oprah doesn't want to do a DNA test to see if Vernon is truly her father (it's been rumored he's not) because she doesn't want the proof that they could truly be related because he's not classy enough for her. Woof.

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Other rich quotes:

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.

'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'

'She was a horrible decorator. Money cannot buy you taste. She would put plaid with stripes and all sorts'

In Indiana she must have had 200 dolls, some of them looked like they could have gone back to the slave days, lined up on long benches in the hallway. It was creepy.'

'She complained my sheets didn't have 1000 thread count when she came to stay and that the bath towels and the coffee cups weren't big enough.'

And when she and Vernon arrived at Oprah's Chicago condo on one occasion she recalled, 'Oprah got on the intercom and announced, "Negroes in the house. Negroes in the house."

'She thought it was funny. I thought it was insulting. I'm older than her. I know what it means. She was reminding us of our low class.'

"Oprah is a woman who empowers women to be all they can be, to stand up against men who mistreat them," Barbara told the Daily Mail. "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." If this is part one, what have they saved for part two?

Image via WZHN/Getty

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DISCUSSION

I have a few observations of Barbara Winfrey - she was an assistant principal at my high school.

She was a legitimately horrible person. I'm not just saying this because all of the students absolutely hated her (more than the average amount of hate for an assistant principal). Here's my Dr. Winfrey story:

We moved to Brentwood in the summer of 1999. In November 1999 (my junior year), I was kidnapped and raped by a masked man (hah!) with a gun. I managed to hold my shit together all through the rest of junior year and well into my senior year (2001), with only a few days missed because of epic PTSD issues. I was a 4.0 AP/Honors student involved in extra-curriculars, dressed pretty modestly, and was a total bookworm. One day in drama class, a substitute teacher said something ("If you don't shut up I'll tape your mouth shut") that set off my PTSD, so I called my mom to have me signed out of school so I could get to my emotional safe space (my mom's office). On my way to my car in the parking lot, Dr. Winfrey stopped me and informed me that I was required to go her office. She was an assistant principal not associated with my grade (we had 4, one for each grade), so this was weird, but I was a good kid and complied. In her office she proceeded to tell me that the rape was my own fault, that I could have prevented it by dressing less like a slut in mini-skirts (I had never even tried on a mini), and that I could have done more to stop him from raping me (the gun to my temple said otherwise, and I rescued myself anyway). She told me that she had just read some very interesting articles on how not to be raped, and informed me that I had done everything wrong, and had no business being signed out of school for something that was clearly my own doing. I finally made it out of her office by the end of the next class period and made it to my mom's office. She was livid and in a meeting she and my dad had with the principal, the assistant principal for my grade, Dr. Winfrey, and the substitute, the school basically said they took no responsibility and that the rest of my school year would be more pleasant if I just moved on from everyone's insensitivity. (I'm fine now. I've won in the courts. All the assholes I had to deal with can die alone and be eaten my anaerobic bacteria)

Dr. Winfrey was a complete and utter cunt. I was not the only student who she pulled from outside of her grade-jurisdiction to subject to emotional assault. When she became a Winfrey-by-marriage, she lorded it over people and used those connections to manipulate those around her. Anything that Bitch has to say about Oprah is tainted by her own spectacular level of bile and vitriol, and should be viewed as invalid until corroborated by outside and unbiased individuals.