1.25.2011

Oprah was pregnant at 14

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Talk show host Oprah Winfrey talks to Piers Morgan on his new primetime evening show "Piers Morgan Tonight" on CNN International. Excerpts from the interview...

Do you ever get surreal moments when you wake up and you go – 'Bloody hell, I'm Oprah Winfrey!'
I don't do "Bloody hell, I'm Oprah Winfrey." But I had a surreal moment when my new network launched. I had been working and working to make it happen. And while having brunch on January 1st, I saw my show on TV and I saw the logo and I'm standing there looking at myself. And I was like – 'What is that? That is a network!' It's not just a logo. It's not just an idea. It's not just all the planning sessions we've had. Oh, my gosh. Then I started to cry.

Everything Oprah touches turns to gold. A top talk show for 25 years, millions reading her magazine, and now her own network. What is your 'brand'?
I'm the love brand. Ultimately everything I am saying whether it's in my magazine, whether it's on the radio, whether it's the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and everything now about the channel OWN is about opening your space, your heart space, so that you can love more. That's really all money is for. Money is worth nothing if it can't buy you the opportunity to love more.

And how many times have you been properly in love?
That's a good question. You know what's good about it?
'Properly.' Three.

Who are they?
I'm not naming them, so they can call me up tomorrow and say 'Are you kidding? I broke Oprah's heart?' When I look back at the relationship that I thought really broke my heart was when I was keeping a journal. Keeping a journal is – you get to see yourself and how you are evolving as a human being. I remember having a ceremony in my head for that woman. When I look back now, I hold no remorse or bitterness toward that person even though I was like, 'You didn't call and you don't love me and I can't believe.' And I still have all those crazy letters. I should burn them. I don't know. I just kept them. I haven't read them in years. They're in a safety deposit box somewhere. I should burn them now.

Do you never hanker for the wedding dress and the church and bells and the big cake?
And that's why everybody's getting married because you get the hankering for the cake and the wedding dress, throw yourself a big party and a really nice gown. But I am a different kind of woman – I am pretty assured that had I married, I wouldn't have remained married because it takes a very different kind of a person to put up with all of that. I want to make you a meal when I want to make you a meal. And I don't want it to be my responsibility to make you a meal.

At 14 years of age you lost a baby. Now, do you ever wonder what would have happened if you had that child?
No. I knew that me getting pregnant was the result of bad choices, and not having boundaries, and the abuse – sexual abuse from the time I was 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. And also, becoming a promiscuous teenager running the streets and be put in the detention home and all of that. So I knew that when I lost that baby, for whom I had no connection to whatsoever, I would have to say – I was 14-years old and felt nothing but relief because I thought before the baby was born I'm going to have to kill myself. My mother had said, 'You can't stay here.' So I had to move to live with my father in Nashville.

And I hid the whole thing from my father. And I was able to do it because I was coming from a different state and I hadn't been there since I was nine years old.

Some say without your backing perhaps Barack Obama wouldn't have become president. It was a hugely significant moment for his campaign. And it showed the power of your influence...
I don't know what impact or influence I had. From the time I saw him at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, I felt something. Something inside of me was struck. What I felt was that – This man is going to be the President of the United States one day, and I hope I'm alive to see it. And if I am alive to see it, I want to be a part of that.

A lot of people would say, if you ran for president, you'd win...
It's not true. If you are living in the ego of yourself, it's flattering to hear that. But I cannot for one single second. But I know where my lane is and I know how to stay in my lane. My lane is evolving the consciousness of people, getting people to see the best of themselves and, therefore, the best in other people. I might be in a position to talk to – to be an adviser. But I'm not in any position or qualified to run a country, a city, a town hall meeting.

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