Oprah’s Reason For Revealing The Secret
I think I’ve seen just about everything and heard every story. I thought nothing could surprise me anymore. But let me tell you, I was wrong. [It’s] a bombshell family secret that left me speechless. Only a handful of people in my life know about this. With the way the media works today, there’s no way the story wouldn’t eventually get out, so she and her family made the decision to do this show. I wanted you to hear it from me first.
I had no idea that my mother had given up a baby in 1963. I was 9 years old at the time, living with my father in Nashville, and didn’t even know my mother was pregnant … So imagine my shock just a few months ago. It was the end of October, right before Thanksgiving, [when] I found out that I have another sister living just 90 minutes away in Milwaukee. What’s even more unbelievable is that she has the same name as my first sister who passed away, Patricia.
Oprah’s mother Vernita Lee gave birth to a fourth child in 1963 we now know as Oprah’s half sister Patricia. Before Patricia, Vernita gave birth to Oprah in 1954, another girl named Patricia, who they called ‘Pat’ and a son named Jeffrey. Pat died in 2003 at the age of 43 after years of battling a cocaine addiction. Oprah revealed she intervened placing Pat into several rehab facilities to no avail. She also reveals it was her sister Pat who sold her story to the tabloids that she was pregnant at age 14 and had lost a baby boy before being sent to her father house to live permanently. Oprah’s half brother Jeffrey died in 1989 from AIDS related complications. The uncanny resemblance between Oprah’s half sister Pat and new found sister Patricia has the entire family perplexed. Adding to the resemblance the family isn’t sure how both Patricias got the same name. Vernita admitted not naming the daughter she had given up.
During a sit down interview with Oprah in her home Vernita revealed her reasons for giving up her daughter. She says she was too poor and knew she couldn’t support another child and wanted to get off welfare. She added Patricia was a pretty baby and she had gone back to the hospital to get the baby but she was already gone.
Oprah On Why She Wanted To Meet Patricia
Since I have been a person known in the public, there have been few times that I’ve been anywhere and not been sold out. There have been few times where you can bring anybody new into your life and not have that person in some way betray you or use you or take advantage of you.
Patricia tried and tried and tried again to get responses from my mother and other people in the family. She never once thought to go to the press. She never once thought to sell this story. … When I heard this about you, I said, Regardless if it’s true or not true, I had to meet you because I wanted to meet somebody who had that kind of character.’ So thank you.
Oprah On What The Future Holds
As you can imagine, Patricia and I are still sorting all of this out. It’s a process. She’s so sweet. She would call me and say, are you all right? I know this is hard for you to process. Yes, it is. I’m still processing. So we’re going to be getting to know each other in the months and days and years to come.
Get more on this interview at Oprah.com