Winfrey: Losing baby as a teen was 'my second chance'
January 17th, 2011
09:18 PM ET

Winfrey: Losing baby as a teen was 'my second chance'

In the inaugural interview on "Piers Morgan Tonight," talk show queen Oprah Winfrey recalled contemplating suicide at 14 because she was pregnant, and how she feels she was given a second chance when she lost the baby.

"I thought, 'Before the baby was born, I’m going to have to kill myself,' " she told Piers Morgan during the interview, which aired on CNN Monday night, citing the stigma of being an unwed mother at the time, and her father's view of unwed mothers.

[cnn-video url=""%5D

Her mother in Milwaukee sent her to live with her father in Nashville, and he didn't know she was pregnant.

"My father ... said to me as I'm standing in the kitchen listening to him, 'These are the rules of the house, you're going to obey the rules, you have a 10 o'clock curfew, and I would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River … than to bring shame on this family and the indecency of an illegitimate child.' "

She said she didn't come close to killing herself - "I did stupid things like drinking detergent and all that kind of crazy stuff that you do when you’re trying to get attention when you’re really just trying to cry for help," she said.

"But this is my 14-year-old self. I don't even know what I thought the plan was going to be. ... You're having a baby out of wedlock, your life is over. So when the baby died – the baby was never brought home from the hospital – when the baby died, I knew that it was my second chance.

"So I went back to school, and nobody knew. Because had anybody known at that time, I wouldn’t have been able to be head of student council. I wouldn’t have been able to be speaking champion in forensics. … I wouldn’t have been chosen as one of the two teenagers in the state of Tennessee to go to the White House conference on youth. None of those things would have happened, and the entire trajectory of my life would have been different."

She discussed the baby and the suicidal thoughts after being asked whether any part of her wondered what would have happened if the child had lived.

Winfrey also discussed how her heart was broken twice, why she is not one for marriage, what she intends for her fortune when she's gone, and how she wishes everyone would have a Gayle King in their life.

Morgan's show takes over CNN's 9 p.m. ET time slot from longtime CNN host Larry King. The show's first week continues with Howard Stern on Tuesday and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday.

Post by:
Filed under: Celebrity
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. wellcoach

    Television needs more of this kind of show today. The people who are bored just aren't used to seeing what class is, I guess. Just my opinion though.
    Positivity is the one thing this world needs the most. I will be watching regularly. Cheers to Piers!

    January 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Wow... she was glad the baby died? She was given a second chance? Did it ever cross her mind that what she did – drinking detergent, etc. – probably killed the baby? What a vomit-inducing piece of trash she is.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elaine

      "Let him without sin cast the first stone."
      Never ceases to amaze me how people can be so judgmental and sacrosanct. In context, she's obviously explaining what she felt as a pregnant 14 year old girl. Hers is a life experience, in some ways charmed and in other ways dark. And I just thank God that He is the One who is left to ultimately judge us rather than man.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Here's one you're probably not familiar with:

      "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21

      January 17, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rene

    WOW no desire to see.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andy

    Is there any way to stop entertainers/athletes/etc. from telling us things we really don't care about?

    January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John Saynor

    Well...I thought Larry King was getting tiresome. What a lot of crap this one is...ass kissing brought to new heights....comparing Oprah to Queen Elizabeth? I doubt it! Piers redefines superficial. I wonder how long he will last, or is CNN that desperate.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ytrewq

    Spend more time with Doctor nutjob, your both a pair.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. donahue

    oprah was pregnant by eddie murphy when he was younger. charlie murphy is actually their child.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    The baby didn't get a second chance. In fact it didn't even get a first chance. Normal people mourn the loss of new life.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • lara

      Normal people do mourn the loss of life. You're dealing with someone who is just as arrogant and self serving as ever. It's great that she puts on a clean shirt for her sheeple, but the true Oprah has always cared only about Oprah.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ermed

      Oh shut up you judgemental racists. Looking for any excuse to bash a successful black women, even trashing her for tragedy she overcame at 14. You sick disgusting pigs, stay far far away from black people

      January 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • StopTheWhining

      Ermed– you are about as RACIST as they come... You people think that you can hark on the past for the rest of the black mans life. You think that you have suffered... just because your long lost elders did. Get over it and move on... The more you wallow in your own saddness the more present lode will remain effed up and NO WHERE NEAR where it should be- all of us getting along. Swallow your black pride and rejoin the HUMAN RACE!!!

      January 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. joe

    Hey folks, let he who is without sin cast the first stone and all that.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ytrewq

      I am tossing stones, bang, right off the head,

      January 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. benjamin

    Why do people care so much about celebrities?

    January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JK

    How sad. It is horrible to think a second chance came in the form of an innocent child's life. I feel sad for Oprah. She really has no morals so to speak.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Landon

    wow, she might as well have said "i'm sure glad my baby died, it gave me a second chance"...what a horrible person...Oprah YOU SUCK

    January 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreva

      I think she's fabulous. You're obviously not very intelligent.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Matt

    How long are they going to milk the Oprah interview?

    January 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ytrewq

    She is a nutjob that has 4 million followers and believe in NOTHING, oprah is a FREAK SHOW

    January 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ermed

      Shut up ya big racist

      January 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Cohen

      That was convenient. He's a RACIST for disagreeing with Oprah? How do you know this person is not black?

      January 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. hanna

    I think people need to put themselves in her shoes and notice what era she grew up in. I'm only 19 and I understand where she's coming from. The baby would have ruined her life,sorry to sound tough but it's true.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16