Oprah’s best friend Gayle King has denied rumors that Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with the TV mogul was filmed at her California home.
The CBS This Morning anchor shut down the reports on Monday morning while interviewing her friend Oprah about her explosive sit down with the couple, hours after it sent shockwaves around the world.
Gayle, 66, reiterated the statement that Oprah, 67, made at the start of the two-hour primetime sit-down in which she confirmed that Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, had not been paid for the interview – before going on to speak out about the location.
‘They were not paid for the interview [and] the interview was not at my house,’ Gayle said. ‘There’s something going on about it’s at Gayle’s California mansion.’
The TV host denied that she even has a ‘California mansion’, revealing that her son, Will actually phoned her after seeing the reports and joked: ‘I didn’t even know you had a California mansion, mom.’
Mystery: Gayle King shut down reports that Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah was filmed at the CBS This Morning anchor’s California home
Confusion: The 66-year-old CBS This Morning anchor insisted that she doesn’t actually have a California mansion, joking that her son William phoned her to ask about the secret home
Describing the setting as ‘heaven’, Gayle then asked Oprah to share the exact location of the interview – which the TV mogul refused to do.
‘It was filmed at a friend’s house,’ she shared. ‘I’m not going to disclose the friend because I don’t want people now going trying to find the friend and the friend’s house.’
However, Oprah suggested that the person who owns the property was her connection, rather than Harry and Meghan’s.
‘It was… I have friends,’ she stated.
Harry and Meghan’s $14.5 million Montecito mansion is located just a short distance from Oprah’s own Santa Barbara home, and it is likely that the property they filmed the interview at is situated somewhere near both properties.
The upscale neighborhood where the trio lives is also home to a number of high-profile neighbors, including Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, and Rob Lowe.
According to experts, the location was chosen specifically in order to make Harry and Meghan look more ‘accessible’, and to create an ‘informal’ atmosphere between the couple and Oprah.
Speaking to FEMAIL, British interior designer Benji Lewis of online advisory service Zoom That Room explained that the background was ‘cleverly constructed’ and made with ‘no pops of color’ and is ‘calm and clean’ to show ‘tangible luxury’.
‘An interesting thing about the setting is what it doesn’t contain, there are no pops of colour, no statuary, no striped lawn,’ Benji explained.
‘Instead what you have is a very cleverly considered construct that shows two strong, successful, non-competing women – older, younger sisters if you like.
Under wraps: Oprah, 67, refused to name the ‘friend’ who lent her their home to serve as the location of the interview
‘There’s not likely to be a who wore it best commentary here because their fashion choices are each so good but deliberately different, Meghan in charcoal and heels, Oprah in pink and boots, against a layered textural backdrop of rolling, rural charm framed by sturdy stone pillars.
‘The setting says rustic but there’s nothing distressed or crumbly about it, there’s no clutter, it’s calm, clean and curated and yet it’s not been projected into the wonderful world of Disney,’ he continued.
Benji also revealed the home is a ‘spectacular piece of real estate’ and that it had been ‘crafted with much thought’.
‘Whilst we can surmise that the gardens form part of a pretty spectacular piece of real estate, at this stage that’s not what we’re being shown, so the underlying message says accessibility because at the end of the day, it’s a terrace in a garden, albeit one that’s been crafted with much thought.
The designer added the garden was filled with things that ‘could be bought at a local garden center’ and that the furnishings softened the look.
‘The choice of furniture and accessories is clever because whilst it’s no doubt top end there’s a kind of tangible luxury feel to it – the terracotta pots are not super sized or antique.
‘They’re the kind of thing you could find yourself at your local garden store, but the differing sizes and random placing of them add to a feel of informality with the uncut lawn and unmanicured hedge falling away down the hill.
‘The immaculate setting is further softened by a variety of elements including, the choice of random paving and the informal manner in which it has been laid,’ he continued.
He added that ‘the climbing plants on the stone pillars’ and ‘the lavender and rosemary growing in abundance in the pots,’ also softens the garden, ‘indicating that this doesn’t only look lovely and relaxed, it’s also blessed with wonderful natural scent’.
‘The use of only natural textures – linen, timber, sisal and stone – is clearly deliberate, it’s organic and gentle, no shiny surfaces and nothing flashy, this is wealth that doesn’t need to announce itself as such,’ Benji said.
‘The furniture is loungey but not floppy, and the arrangement around the circular coffee table suggests a circle of trust, a good place – there’s nothing confrontational, this isn’t an over the desk interview, and the soft sprung seating made even softer with the inclusion of large cushions.
‘The rug framing and zoning the lounge area as a space for soft seating, not cooking the kebabs on the barbecue.
‘The color palette could be called “a new neutral” because whilst there is color there, it’s all very gentle – shades of tan, soft grey, a little mauve, charcoal, tones of pink, ivory and green – and yet the impression it makes is strong,’ he added.