Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King have been best friends for decades, but they have vastly different views on what they should do if they found out a friend’s partner was cheating.
In the latest episode of OprahMag.com’s ongoing video series, The OG Chronicles, the longtime pals were asked to weigh in on what they would do if they saw a friend’s husband out to drinks with another woman. While Oprah, 65, said she would go right to her friend and tell her what was going on, Gayle, 64, didn’t agree.
The CBS This Morning host, who has spoken publicly about finding her now-ex-husband in bed with her friend nearly 30 years ago, explained that she would actually confront the guy and give him a chance to confess to his wife before she intervened.
Revelation: On the latest episode of The OG Chronicles, Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey revealed what they would do if they found out a friend’s husband was cheating
Approach: While Oprah, 65, said she’d go right to her friend and tell her what was going on, Gayle, 64, didn’t agree. She said she’d confront the guy first and give him 24 hours to confess
The situation was even more complicated as the Oprah Magazine reader who wrote in admitted that she wasn’t entirely sure the husband was cheating — she just had a bad feeling about their interaction.
‘They weren’t doing anything inappropriate. It was a Thursday after work, around happy hour,’ she explained. ‘But when I said, “Hi,” he acted kinda weird and didn’t introduce her. I don’t want to start anything between them. Should I say something?’
‘I would say something to him,’ Gayle said immediately.
‘Would you?’ Oprah asked, somewhat stunned.
‘Yes, I would,’ Gayle continued. ‘I would go to him and I would say look, “I am going to give you 24 hours and if you don’t tell her, I’m going to. But I would go and say something to him first.”‘
The media mogul, who has been with her partner Stedman Graham for 33 years, imagined it was Gayle’s husband out having drinks with another woman and said she would ‘definitely’ say something to her.
‘I wouldn’t say anything to him,’ she said. ‘I would go to you, and I would say, “I saw him.” I’ve spoken many times in life about whispers and how life is always whispering to you, and when you walk into a situation, and there is a part of your whole being that just goes, “Hmm, something ain’t right.” It isn’t. ‘That’s your instinct trying to tell you that it isn’t.’
Gayle was married to her husband William Bumpus from 1982 to 1993, and they have two adult children together, a son, William Jr., and a daughter, Kirby.
Story: Gayle has spoken about how her husband William Bumpus (not pictured) cheated on her when they were married. They have two children, a son, William Jr., and a daughter, Kirby
Longtime love: Oprah has been with her partner Stedman Graham for 33 years. They’re pictured in 2018
Over the years, she has spoken publicly about his infidelity — including what it was like to walk in on him with another woman when they were married.
The journalist first opened up about the shocking moment during an interview with Vanity Fair in July 2016, when she completed the Proust Questionnaire and was asked: ‘Which living person do you most despise?’
She responded to the question by saying: ‘”Despise” is a strong word. I’m not a huge fan of the woman I caught naked with my now ex-husband on June 24, 1990, at 9:16 pm — but I don’t remember the details.’
However, it wasn’t until she filmed an episode of The OG Chronicles with Oprah earlier this year, that she revealed the woman she found having sex with her husband was actually a friend.
During the conversation, Oprah admitted that she believes that moment has made her fellow TV host hesitant to open up to new friends.
‘I think you may be scarred,’ she said. ‘Remember you had that friend who slept with your husband, and when you found her, you said, “I thought you were my friend!”‘
To add insult to injury, Gayle said her so-called friend didn’t have any remorse for her actions at the time.
‘She said, “I never liked you,”‘ she recalled.
Difference of opinion: The media mogul imagined it was Gayle’s husband out having drinks with another woman and said she would ‘definitely’ say something to her
Oprah and Gayle met as journalists at Baltimore’s WJZ station when they were in their early 20s, and 43 years later, they are still the best of friends.
Keeping their history in mind, the two tackled the ‘stickiest situations’ that Oprah Magazine readers have found themselves in regarding friendships in their new episode of The OG Chronicles.
‘You really can’t pick your family, but you can certainly pick your friends,’ Gayle said. ‘So that might be why friendship issues can sometimes seem even more complicated than family drama. We may not be experts, but I do think we know a thing or two about friendship.’
First, they took on a reader who wrote: ‘My friend’s boyfriend is ring shopping and wants my help, but I know my friend doesn’t want to marry him.’
Both Oprah and Gayle agreed that in this situation, they would tell the friend what’s going on — and give that friend the opportunity to head off the proposal herself.
Another reader asked: ‘I accidentally texted my friend talking about her. I meant to send the text to another friend. She hasn’t spoken to me for days. How do I clean that up?’
‘I don’t know how you clean that up,’ Gayle said.
‘No, you don’t clean that up,’ Oprah agreed.
Shocking: In a previous episode of the series, Gayle revealed that she walked in on her husband having sex with one of her friends during their 11-year marriage
BFFs: Oprah and Gayle met as journalists at Baltimore’s WJZ station when they were in their early 20s, and 43 years later, they are still the best of friends
Surprisingly, both said that it seemed like the friendship can’t come back from this faux pas.
‘Why would you be doing that anyway? Why did that happen?’ Oprah asked. ‘What was it there to teach you about yourself? It teaches you that you’re the kind of person that goes behind a friend’s back talking to another friend.’
Not all of the questions received cut-and-dry answers, however. The two friends had different responses when a reader asked how to tell her friend to stop saying the N-word at concerts.
‘Stop. What do you mean, “How do I tell her to stop?” I don’t even understand that question,’ Gayle said, but Oprah was more empathetic and pointed out that the ‘key word here is concerts.’
‘You know what? I’m confused, too. I’m really confused,’ she admitted. ‘I know white people are confused because they’re singing the songs, they’re buying the records, but so when you get to that, what are you supposed to say? What are you supposed to do? You get to the N-word and all of a sudden you’re singing the thing and then what are you supposed to do white people?
Oprah recalled being at a Jay-Z concert and asking herself ‘what are all the white people supposed to do right now’ when he was singing a song with the N-word in the lyric.
‘Are you not supposed to sing the words?’ she asked.
Although Gayle understood where her friend was coming from, she didn’t agree with it, explaining: ‘I know, it’s a contradiction, but I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy when I hear white people singing N-words at the top of their lungs. I don’t like it.’
Close as can be: Oprah and Gayle (pictured with Stedman in 1994) have been friends since they were 22 and 21, respectively
Wise words: Oprah (pictured with Gayle in 2003) said the key to a four-decade friendship is surrounding yourself with people who can truly be happy for you
‘Oh, what if they’re just sort of humming along. You prefer a humming N-word sung?’ Oprah teased her.
Meanwhile, another reader questioned whether or not she should confront a friend who is ruining her reputation at work with her poor performance.
‘I recommended my friend for a job at my company, but since she started, she’s been half-assing it and I feel like it’s making me look bad. Should I say something?’ the person asked.
The two pals readily agreed that she wasn’t being paranoid, the situation was undoubtedly reflecting poorly on her with the higher-ups at the company.
‘You should go to your friend and you should say, “You’re making me look bad and I stuck my neck out for you and either you want to be here or you don’t — and if you don’t, you should leave,”‘ Oprah said.
‘She is making you look bad. Because in the back offices, they’re talking about you, especially if you recommended that friend, they’re talking about you and your friend is now ruining your good reputation.’
Another question that has come up time and time again is whether or not friends should ever loan each other money, something Oprah is firmly against after being burned in the past.
One reader wrote in to say her friend has owed her $500 for the past six months but recently bought herself a new designer bag. She wanted to know how she could bring it up without telling her how to spend her money.
Like family: Gayle’s children, William and Kirby, are also a big part of Oprah’s life
All together: Gayle and her children spent Christmas with Oprah and Stedman last December
Oprah recalled lending a friend $5,000 years ago, which she never saw again.
‘Just have it as a standard policy: Don’t loan friends money,’ she said, prompting Gayle to interject: ‘But Oprah, what if your friend is in trouble?’
‘Let me finish,’ Oprah responded. ‘Give your friend the money and say, “Look, I’m just gonna do this for you, you don’t even have to pay me back.” ‘Cause loaning friends money will cause you major issues in the friendship.’
Gayle, however, disagreed and said she think’s ‘it’s okay to loan a friend money.’
‘Have you loaned money to friends?’ Oprah asked.
‘I’ve never loaned, I’ve just given,’ Gayle said with a smile.
Her close friend gave her a look and said: ‘That’s my point.’
The two ended the segment by revealing the secret to their four-decade friendship, and according to Oprah, it’s all about surrounding yourself with people who can truly be happy for you.
‘This is really the key,’ she said. ‘Gayle has always been really happy with her life. I’ve been really happy with my life. So you want to have friends that are really, really happy for your accomplishments and feel great about it and don’t feel like your accomplishment is taking anything away from them.
‘So to have a happy life, you gotta have people in it who support you, people who are genuinely happy for you,’ she added. ‘Frenemies and forced friendships, they’re just not worth it.’