Oprah Winfrey Cries to Barbara Walters: 'I Am Not a Lesbian'

On an ABC News special, the talk show host calls her best friend Gayle King "the mother I never had."

Oprah Winfrey broke down in tears describing her friendship with Gayle King, according to a clip from A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter shown on Good Morning America Wednesday. (The special airs Thursday on ABC.)

"She is ... the mother I never had. She is ... the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves. I don't know a better person. I don't know a better person," said Winfrey, who has long faced rumors that her relationship with King is sexual. VIDEO: Oprah and Gayle joke about their relationship.

"It's making me cry because I'm thinking about ... how much ... I probably have never told her that. Tissue please. I now need tissue. I've never told her that," she cried.

Added Winfrey, who met King when they both worked on a Baltimore TV station in the 1980s: "I'm not a lesbian ... I'm not even kind of a lesbian. And the reason why it irritates me is because it means that somebody must think I'm lying. That's number one. Number two ... why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life."

Winfrey has been giving emotional interviews ahead of the Jan. 1 launch of her TV network, OWN.

"I have never felt such fear in all my life ... I was afraid of failing ... I was afraid it wouldn't be what The Oprah Winfrey Show has been, and has meant, for all these years," she wrote in the January issue of her magazine, O. "What I realized is that I've never been afraid before. Not with any decision I've ever made."