Photos of talk show demigoddess Oprah Winfrey and playwright/director Tyler Perry vacationing in Italy, made the cover of the National Enquirer last week. The headline blared, "OPRAH BETRAYS STEDMAN: Her romantic vacation with new man". But a source says the vacation photos of the two friends were staged.
Oprah, who normally shuns the paparazzi, allowed herself to be used by Perry out of the kindness of her heart, claims the source, who notes that Oprah has yet to release a statement denying the rumors that she and Perry are dating.
According to my source, Oprah felt pity on her pal Tyler Perry who whines incessantly about the paparazzi ignoring him. It seems Perry, who calls Atlanta home, bought a mansion on the west coast in hopes of attracting the attention that he craves from the paparazzi and the mainstream media. Perry's successful plays and films made him a millionaire many times over. But so far, the attention and the fame has eluded him.
"He just kept complaining to Oprah that he's this successful film director and yet the paparazzi ignore him," said a source close to Perry's camp. "So [while on vacation in Italy] Oprah took him by the arm and said, 'come on, let's go take some pictures.'"
According to the source, Oprah made sure the paps got all the shots they needed of the pair while they vacationed with Oprah's BFF Gayle King in Portofino, Italy last week.
"Apparently, he complains a lot to Oprah because she did the same thing for him while they were in L.A. together last year," said the source.
The source says Perry ran that same guilt trip on talk show diva Tyra Banks who also agreed to stage photos of them together on a "date". But Perry took things too far, according to the source who said Banks was unhappy with the way Perry kept dropping hints to the media that the two of them were dating.
The source said Banks flew to Atlanta last year to "have it out" with Perry and his staff at the film director's offices. "She went into his private office and they had words. Then she came out and started yelling at the staff. She was slamming doors and cussing," said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. "[Banks] won't have anything to do with [Perry] anymore."
Perry, who is dogged by rumors of rampant homosexuality, has said in the past he is in a long distance relationship with a woman in NY. But that woman was nowhere to be found while he vacationed with Oprah and Gayle in Italy.