Monday, March 12, 2007
Oprah Confesses, January 13, 1995
Oprah was used to hearing confessions, but on January 13, 1995, she dropped a bombshell of her own. During a feature about mothers battling addiction to drugs, Winfrey spontaneously interupted her guest, saying:
I relate to your story so much. In my twenties, I have done this drug. I know exactly what you're talking about. It is my life's great big secret. It is such a secret because I realize that the public person that I have become, if the story were ever revealed, the tabloids would exploit it and what a big issue it would be. But I was involved with a man in my twenties who introduced me to it. ... And that is my life's great big secret that's been held over my head. ... I understand the same and I understand the guilt, I understand the secrecy, I understand all that."
As Oprah explained that she had for a time smoked cocaine, the viewers were shocked. Of course, the shockwaves reverberated through the press and public, and Harpo Productions became nervous the publicity would negatively impact ratings. It didn't, of course, and Oprah learned that telling the truth would really set you free . . . . and really set the ratings on fire.