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The fact that you are an African-American woman from Mississippi and you get to have this . “Annie was saying, ‘I hope I’m not keeping you from Jonathan,’ ” she says. Because I can only concentrate on being here with you right now.
And then when I’m with Jonathan, I will be with Jonathan and I won’t be thinking about you!
By the end of that two and a half hours, I could have gotten them to sing ‘Kumbaya’ for if I wanted to.” She cracks up. Jeffrey Fager, the executive producer of , had approached her several years earlier about collaborating, “but I was so engaged in OWN it wasn’t even, like, a thought,” she says.
“And then [CBS Corporation chairman and CEO] Leslie Moonves brought it up, so there you go.
The first time I interviewed her for this magazine was in 1998, when I spent three summer days hiking in Telluride with Oprah, her best friend and colleague Gayle King, and Bob Greene as Oprah was getting ready for the press rollout for cover shoot, for which she was training and dieting to lose 20 pounds. I’ve been fighting weight all my life, definitely never even thought of myself as an attractive girl.” She laughed.The hikes were brutal; the meals afterward, cooked by her then-chef, Art Smith, spartan. I would never have even thought of it as a possibility . “So why would I be dreaming about Oprah was not yet the wealthiest African-American person in the world, but she was rich as Croesus, arguably the most famous person alive, and at the height of her powers: Everything she touched turned to gold; every book she promoted became a bestseller. ’ I knew nothing about box-office projections or weekend openings.I was not there to lose weight but came home several pounds lighter. “I shall never forget Saturday morning, October 17,” says Oprah—the day after .’ And I said, ‘Who’s Chucky? It was ten o’clock in the morning, and I said to Art, “I would like macaroni and cheese for breakfast.” She starts to laugh.During one of those hikes, I asked if she had ever imagined she’d be on the cover of ? “And soooo began my long plunge into food and depression and suppressing all my feelings.”What had been “the happiest time I’ve ever spent on the planet” had turned into her most miserable failure, and she sank like a stone.“I actually started to think, Maybe I really am depressed. She stopped running around to movie theaters where was showing to buy blocks of tickets to try to get the box office up (true story) and pulled herself together. I was intimidated by the work, but in the end, what’s the worst that can happen?