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. jack f


    January 18, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • ed


      January 18, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Hahahahhaha no kidding. Probably, Beck or somebody else found out. Let's see if the LIBERALS bash her like they did Palin's kid....NOT A CHANCE

    January 18, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Black Soup

    I just hope other pregnant teenagers who look up to Oprah aren't going to try drinking detergent, abort, or kill their unborn babies for a shot at success.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. ed

    But did she say how the baby died? did she had an abortion? I hope not...

    January 18, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    So let me get this straight. Didn't the Liberals all but HAND AND QUARTER Palin's kid, including Letterman with the knocked up jokes? OMG, lookie there, Oprah proved to be just another dirty sista from the hood.....WHAATYA KNOW

    January 18, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      The point IS, Oprah doesnt stand up as an evangelical christian pointing fingers at other on how to be moral–Palin does! THUS, her teen having a baby was big news... Oprah can cry and apologize and be real, all Palin can do is attack her enemies with the most ludicrous and misleading imagery to inflame her followers, who would believe Obama was a martian if she told them he was .... thus, why do we need to point out the obvious re this story line? it amazes me that some people literally hate and label half the people in the country by calling them 'liberal' as if they should be exterminated or something ...

      January 18, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    What kind of typical British trash softball liberal questions did he throw at her? Bet he didn't ask her this: "So, oprah, you were pregnant at 14, and you criticized Palin's daughter for that, so what does that make you?"....Didn't hear that one!!!!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. charles

    oprah your a beautiful woman.thank god yor life went in the right direction. I was born and raised very poor inthe deep south.I'm white but was treated just like black folke was when I was very young.but I don't want to dewell on things of sorrow because you are the sunshine of our lives and the rainbow we see that is a inspiration to all that know you.the people of this and many other countries around the world love you and respect you.Keep doing what your doing it's right for you and right for the world. THE WORLD LOVES YOU GIRL!

    January 18, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    And to think...At 14 I was mowing lawns, saving money, getting a 3.5 gpa my first year of high school, working hard, etc. And all the while, this big fat bag of wind gets knocked up in the back seat of a car....and now she is WORSHIPPED by liberals everywhere, and has the GUTS TO ATTACK the PALINS, a REAL family....The jedi mind trick logic of this simply stuns me.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. jesus

    I see all. I see her happy that she lost a child. A sin greater than all. Let her repent and make amends by giving away all riches. Leave all else save a robe and ye shall be saved.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. KMR

    Jealous- feeling resentful against someome because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages. Jealousy will eat you up. It's not easy for some of you to see a strong, smart, successful and let's not forget wealthy black woman taking center stage in America.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. jack

    ashleigh chapman
    i think that Oprah is very strong and courageous for even talking about her experience. do not judge her You have absolutely no right to. she handled it the best way she say she could she is only human. You judge her for that but You don't judge people who get pregnant because they just are too lazy to be responsible to use birth control and have multiple abortions and since when is it ok to have children at 14? even if she had the baby she would still be judged for that so if You don't like her don't bother keeping up on her life
    Yeah so the best thing ever in her life to happen to her is having a miscarriage...or whatever actually happened????? What a sick f@#$$%ng B@#$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. seanmom

    Summary: Oprah bought her billion-dollar life for the price of a dead baby. And she's not sorry.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. seanmom

    "It's not easy for some of you to see a strong, smart, successful and let's not forget wealthy black woman taking center stage in America."

    Actually, the hard part is watching legions of ignorant women (especially young ones) led down the garden path of immorality and new age occultism by a woman who thinks a dead baby was her "second chance at life." It's all just sickening.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. greenbird321

    to say that the baby's death was your second chance is kind of a horrible way to put it.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Carrie G

    I appreciate Oprah's openess to talk about such a painful subject– she truly proves that a person can rise above their given life and make the life of their choosing.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16