We’re listening! Fans have been fascinated by Oprah Winfrey’s long-term but vaguely mysterious relationship with Stedman Graham for decades, and now, the media mogul is spilling some beans in her “What I Know for Sure” column in O Mag.
Winfrey starts out by discussing why she thinks Valentine’s Day is NBD, and has since she was a teen. Winfrey explained: "I was Miss Black Tennessee. Many of the other girls were receiving flowers and gifts from their beaux. My boyfriend at the time, Bubba — yes, real name — sent me nothing. I felt bad about that and complained to another contestant. She laid this wisdom on me: 'Girl, if your man has put a flower on your mind, you won't need no flowers in a vase!'"
Then, in 1986, when she started hanging with Graham, she was determined to play it cool. She said: "I thought he was nice enough, but I wasn't that impressed. He was polite, yes, and kind. The sort of guy who sits with an ailing friend. Tall and handsome, for sure. But actually too handsome, I thought, to be interested in me. I figured he must be a player. So did all my producers. They warned me not to get involved with that Stedman guy."
But despite her caution, their relationship ended up taking off, and fans have been waiting ever since for her to make it official.
Winfrey explained: "For years, there were hundreds of tabloid stories, weekly, on whether we would marry. In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts. I realized I didn't actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked. I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn't want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it."
She continued: "He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together. Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being 'Oprah's man' (he teaches Identity Leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject). And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being No. 1). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose."