In Kitty Kelley’s latest unauthorized celebrity biography, the alleged “secret” life of Oprah Winfrey is exposed.
“There are so many secrets in her life, secrets about her relationships, secrets within her family,” Kitty told Matt Lauer during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday. “Even when she was writing her own autobiography, and she was finally going to come forward, she described herself as a ‘prostitute,’ which is a rather harsh description, I think.”
Kitty said she interviewed over 850 people for “Oprah: A Biography” – including Oprah’s father, Vernon Winfrey, and Oprah’s cousin Katharine Carr Esters, nicknamed Aunt Katharine.
One of the most shocking allegations in the book is Aunt Katharine’s allegation that Vernon Winfrey is not the talk show host’s biological father.
“I spent three days with her, and over that time she told me who Oprah’s real father was and swore me to secrecy,” Kitty said on Monday. “So here I am writing a book about a secret keeper and I get pulled in and I keep a secret myself.”
Kitty also claims that Oprah had a relationship with entertainment news journalist/musician John Tesh in the ‘70s.
A former girlfriend of Tesh’s claimed that he left Oprah after struggling with their interracial relationship.
“He said one night he looked down and saw his white body next to her black body and couldn’t take it anymore,” the former girlfriend told Kitty, as reported by The New York Daily News. “He walked out in the middle of the night … He told me later he felt guilty about it.”
Tesh confirmed their relationship on Monday, telling the Daily News, “Oprah and I were cub reporters in Nashville nearly 40 years ago and we dated for a short time…We remain friends to this day.”
Oprah commented on the book in the May issue of O magazine, saying, “It just so happens that there’s a new biography, which I did not approve, and I hear that 850 people were interviewed for it. I don’t know 850 people! My circle is tight, tight, tight. If there are 850 people talking about you, it can’t all be good.”
When Access Hollywood reached out to Oprah on Monday, a rep for the talk show queen said, “We are declining to comment on the book.”
“Oprah: A Biography” hits bookshelves on Tuesday.