Reported By Liku Zelleke
Her kindness reaches as far as Africa, where she has helped hundreds of girls get a chance at life that they would have never had been given had she not intervened.
Oprah Winfrey’s image is one of positivity, success and charity.
At least, it was until her stepmother came forward to make allegations that, she says, show Oprah as living behind a façade so complete that it hides the vengeful, unforgiving and ruthless woman that she really is.
Barbara, 66, said that she had been married to Oprah’s father, Vernon, for 14 years before they divorced because of his infidelity. But, Barbara says, the day the divorce turned ugly was in November, 2012 – her 64th birthday – when Oprah called her and said, “You say I never talk to you? I want to talk to you now. You have until Monday to get out of MY house.”
The $1.4 million house was where Barbara and Vernon had lived during the duration of their 14-year marriage and it had been a gift from Oprah.
Barbara was told to vacate the home by the end of the month.
Barbara continues her story and tells of how Oprah treats the people around her. She has stories of people being fired left and right by Gail King (whose relationship with Oprah she calls “bizarre”) without being told why.
The angry stepmother says that Oprah likes to put people in their place. One example is when they arrived at her Chicago condo and Oprah got on the intercom and announced that there were “Negroes in the house. Negroes in the house.”
“She was reminding us of our low class,” Barbara said.
Regarding her house, Barbara could only say, “I have lost everything. It’s not just a house, this is my home. All my memories are here.”
About her ex-daughter-in-law, she said, “I’m trying to keep it together but there are some days I just don’t understand how I could have made her so angry and that she could kick me out on the street and think nothing about it. But that’s Oprah.”
1) Having a wealthy relative can be almost as complicated as being a wealthy relative. There is a blatant hierarchy in the relationship, and if either party pushes too much, it can become a messy situation.
2) If you have a wealthy relative, always be mindful of what is being communicated by expensive gifts. Very few people give away that much money without expecting something in return at some point, even if it means eternal gratitude.
3) If you are ARE the wealthy relative, beware of the idea that you won’t be able to walk into a room full of struggling people without them immediately realizing how much money you have. It’s like putting a pile of meat in front of a hungry dog, or a pretty woman in a room full of excitable men. When you’re wagging that much value in front of other people, be mindful of how you flaunt it, how you share it, and the implications of how you respond when people ask you for help. There is a strategy to this, and you have to be thoughtful.
4) Marrying into a wealthy family, as Barbara did, can be exciting on the surface. But there are other times when it can be an absolute nightmare. The only thing worse than being poor is to become wealthy and then have someone take it all away from you. That’s when you’re reminded (as Kevin Spacey’s character said on the hit show, “House of Cards”) that proximity to power is not the same as actually wielding it. Poor Barbara is learning this the hard way, when Oprah “gave” her a house and then took the house away when she wasn’t happy with her anymore. This happens to women who marry rich all the time.