Kitty Kelley is back with another ‘shocking’ biography of a treasured icon, this time turning her poison pen toward the normally above reproach daytime diva Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah, also known as Pope-rah, is alleged in the book to have engaged in some diva-like behavior that runs contrary to her everywoman image. Chicago antiques dealer/gallery owner Peter Colasante gabbed to Kelley about a tightly scheduled meeting with Winfrey a few years back that didn’t go very well. Colasante says Oprah kept him waiting and refused to walk or climb stairs:
On the appointed day and time, two limos pulled up and Oprah went into Deborah Gore Dean’s shop across Wisconsin Avenue. After waiting 30 minutes, Colasante walked over and found his famous client berating Dean. He told Oprah and her entourage (secretary, pilot, hairdresser, makeup man, guards) that he had other appointments scheduled and she needed to honor her timetable.
“Oprah does not walk,” she told him, referring to herself in the third person. “Who is this guy?” Then she started screaming at her staff, but finally agreed to cross the street and come through his front door.
“I just don’t feel it,” she told him. “The vibrations aren’t right.”
“You’ll feel them once you see the paintings we’ve assembled for you,” he said, pointing up the stairs where Court’s art was hanging.
“Oprah does not do stairs,” she said.
Kelley also reveals that the daytime talk queen briefly dallianced with then-fellow anchorperson John Tesh. The New York Daily News says that the pair briefly had a romantic relationship, but that Tesh ultimately wasn’t comfortable with dating a black woman:
The towering 6-foot-6 Tesh and a barely out-of-her-teens Winfrey shared her Nashville apartment until he bolted in the middle of the night, according to the first-ever look inside the book, obtained by the Daily News.
According to Kelley, the “social pressure” on an interracial couple in Tennessee at that time proved too much for Tesh to handle.
“He said one night he looked down and saw his white body next to her black body and couldn’t take it anymore,” another Tesh ex-paramour told Kelley.
“He walked out in the middle of the night. … He told me he later felt very guilty about it.”
Well, I’m sure that Oprah’s over that whole episode by now. Kelley also claims that promoting her new Oprah tell-all has been difficult, and many media outlets won’t cover her book for fear of reprisals from the massively powerful Winfrey.