Oprah and Gayle's 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.

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.

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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