Media magnate Oprah Winfrey breaks her silence on her relationship with a Chicago man who claims he is her secret son.
Winfrey, 61, confirmed Calvin Mitchell‘s story that they met when he was 12 at ABC Studios. She told Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell that Mitchell ducked under the yellow tape and handed her an ice cold beverage.
“We were shooting in the projects in Chicago and I was sitting on set during a break, and this cute little sparkly-eyed boy came underneath the yellow tape to hand me a soda.”
Winfrey said she was impressed with the boy and she decided to mentor the child and help him and his mother to get out of the projects.
“I was so charmed by him that I started talking to him about his family, his school life, and found out that he was in a situation where his mother didn’t have a job and they were stuck in the projects,” she said.
Oprah and her boyfriend, Stedman Graham, took Mitchell under their wing. Winfrey paid for Mitchell to attend a local private school and she set his mother up with a job.
But Winfrey said Mitchell was being tardy to class and his mother was constantly late to work.
“We went out, Stedman and I, went to K-Mart that moment, got a bag full of clocks, came back to the house, taught them how to set the alarm and all that,” she said. Oprah added that she told Mitchell she would give him another chance.
Winfrey sent Mitchell away to a private boarding school in Minnesota. But Mitchell soon left the boarding school and returned to Chicago. He told Oprah the teachers there “didn’t like him.”
Fed up with Mitchell’s ungrateful behavior, Oprah and Stedman cut all ties with Mitchell and his mother.
Mitchell now tells any media outlet who will listen that he is Oprah’s “secret son” and she abandoned him.
The National Enquirer reportedly flew Mitchell to New York to ambush Oprah outside the Late Show Studios on Oct. 15.
“I want to ask Oprah, ‘Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me?’” he told the National Enquirer’s sister site, Radar Online.
“I’m still empty. I’m still searching. I don’t have closure to this. I just don’t understand,” he added.
Oprah initially didn’t recognize the lanky 35-year-old man. She said she told her people to get his number so she could call him.
Then she found out she was set up by the National Enquirer.
“When I realized the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him,” she said.