Oprah Winfrey’s ex-stepmom Barbara Winfrey ran to Britain’s Daily Mail to dish the family dirt in a two-part interview. Part two just hit the web and it’s devoted entirely to Barbara’s two cents on the dynamic between Oprah, her boyfriend Stedman Graham and her best friend Gayle King.
Barbara, an educator, was married to Oprah’s father, Vernon, for 14 years.
Among other things, Barbara alleges that Oprah paid her security team to follow Stedman and learn everything about his life. Stedman initially objected, in an argument eight years ago, but Barbara says he’s now so financially dependent on Oprah that he’s “at her beck and call.”
Barbara claims Oprah even bought a warehouse full of Stedman’s books and guaranteed they’d make the bestseller list.
“Once you’re in Oprah’s world, she owns you,” she says.
As for best friend Gayle, Barbara calls her relationship with Oprah “unhealthy.”
Oprah allegedly took the family on an expensive 11-day Mediterranean cruise and didn’t speak to them the entire time. She only talked to Gayle and Stedman.
“Anytime you looked up they were together. To me it was just bizarre.”
According to Barbara, Gayle was frequently the go-between for Oprah’s messages to her father and stepmom, including instructions about how to handle the press. Oprah also tended to speak of herself and Gayle as “we.”
“Sometimes I believe that Oprah is more dependent on Gayle than the other way around. I don’t know what she would do without her friendship and if it’s not more than friendship then they’re certainly giving every appearance that it is,” Barbara said.
And according to Barbara, Oprah is apparently colorstruck, referring to her dad and Barbara as “Negroes” and envying Stedman for his “high-yellow” skin tone.