Oprah's Family Secret Revealed
Meet her half sister, Patricia, whom her mother gave up for adoption.
Oprah Winfrey revealed her big family secret on Monday: she has a half-sister named Patricia.
Oprah said on the show that she and her longtime partner, Steadman Graham, drove to Milwaukee on Thanksgiving to meet Patricia for the first time.
“Imagine my shock just a few months ago, at the end of October, when I found out I have another sister living just 90 minutes away,” Winfrey said.
Oprah also explained her mother, Vernita Lee, gave Patricia up for adoption and kept her a secret. At the time, Oprah, then 9 years old, was living out of state with her father. “I had no idea my mother was even pregnant,” she added.
Patricia said on the show she thought Oprah may be her sister after watching Vernita Lee give a television interview that included the few details she knew about her birth mother.
Patricia was unsuccessful in tracking down Lee, but did find Oprah's niece. DNA tests confirmed they were related.
Oprah then confronted her mother, who admitted Patricia was her half sister.
Her biographer, Kitty Kelley, had speculated Winfrey would reveal she had an unknown half-sister named Bunny.
In a promo clip for the show, in its 25th and final season, Oprah says, "I I was given some news that literally shook me to my core. This time, I'm the one being reunited. I was keeping a family secret for months, and on Monday you're going to hear it straight from me."
Winfrey has shared private information on her show in the past, including admitting she was molested as a child, and that she considered suicide after discovering she was pregnant at 14.