Pop Culture

Oprah Just Got Real About Her 'Secret Son'

Oprah set the record straight about her so-called secret son in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight.


Remember all those rumors about Oprah having a secret son? Well, the queen herself just sat down for an exclusive interview and spilled all the tea on that entire situation.

And just in case you're not up-to-date on your Oprah gossip: Oprah's "secret son," as the media has dubbed him, is not her biological or adopted son at all, but rather a man named Calvin Mitchell who met Oprah as boy. While she was filming the TV drama There Are No Children Here, Oprah took young Calvin under her wing, and even paid for him to attend private school later on in life, but the two fell out of touch after he dropped out of school as a teenager.

Well, Calvin has resurfaced, claiming that he's never had closure regarding his relationship with Oprah: "I want to ask Oprah, 'Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me?'" he told Radar Online.

Unwilling to accept Oprah's silence, Calvin teamed up with the National Enquirer earlier this month to confront Oprah following her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The two exchanged words briefly, but the queen of daytime television sat down with Entertainment Tonight to tell her side of the story.

Oprah explained that when she first met Calvin as a boy, she felt compelled to help him, even going so far as to find a job for Calvin's mother, move him and his family out of the projects, and pay for Calvin to attend private school.

Calvin then began to get into trouble for skipping school, and was later expelled. Oprah gave him another chance, enrolling him in another private school.

"I found a school in Mississippi that was a private boarding school because I thought if I could remove him from the environment that he'd been accustomed to growing up in, that maybe that would be helpful to him," Oprah told ET. Calvin later confronted Oprah and told her that he couldn't stay at the new school because the teachers didn't like him.

"I said, 'Calvin, this is the moment. This is a seminal moment for you. I know you are 16 and can't see the road ahead, but if you leave this school and refuse to get an education - I have tried to offer you an education twice - there isn't another school I can put you in. If you leave this school, I am done. There is nothing else I can do.' And that was my last conversation with Calvin in the early '90s."

After their run-in during the The Tonight Show taping, Oprah was interested in having contact with Calvin again - until she learned that he had sold his story to the tabloids.

"When I realized the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him," she told ET.

Can you blame her? It sounds like Oprah had her kindness taken advantage of and isn't interested in rehashing old wounds. But something good did come out of the experience: it inspired Oprah to create her Leadership Academy for Girls back in 2007.

"I learned from that experience, if you really want to change somebody's life, you gotta be able to spend enough time with them to change the way they think about what their life can be. It isn't enough to give a person a new life or money or a new car, you have to teach them how to fish themselves."

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