Oprah is the queen of the "ungettable get." Her power and influence is apparently so compelling that she can make any public figure confess their sins and reveal their inner most secrets (it's no wonder journalists hate her.) With all the guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah's Next Chapter, you may have had trouble keeping up, that's why we've compiled this list of 15 Celebs who confessed their souls and revealed the shocking truth to Oprah.
The seven time Tour De France winner recently (January 2013) admitted in a sit-down on Oprah's Next Chapter
that he had used illegal blood doping via blood transfusions and blood-booster EPO as well as steroids to increase his athletic performance. Armstrong, who had denied use of athletic enhancements for years, confessed that he had been using them since 1996. Since the investigation into his performance drug usage Lance has been stripped of all seven Tour De France titles and his Bronze Olympic Medal.
Tyler Perry revealed a grim and shocking secret that he had been carrying since childhood: he was the victim of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. What's worse is that he suffered said abuse at the hands of multiple people. His father resented him for unknown reasons and would beat him and verbally assault him, regularly. On such an occasion, Perry recalls his father whipping him with an extension cord until his back was raw and bloody. The director was also sexually abused by a neighbor at the age of 5 or 6, by his friend's mother at the age of 10, and by a man at church. The details of these events are explained in a letter Perry wrote in 2009 but his appearance on Oprah is how most people found out.
Ok, so technically she wasn't on The Oprah Winfrey Show
but when Ellen made the decision to come out as a lesbian in 1997 on her sitcom Ellen
, she did so first to no one other than Oprah who played her therapist on the episode. Oprah even "gets the get" on somebody else's show!
It was evident to the public that the late great Whitney Houston had been heavy into drugs including coke, so when she appeared in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer denying it by saying "crack is wack" the media called shenanigans. Years later Whitney finally came clean to Oprah, revealing that she and Bobby Brown smoked marijuana laced with rock coke. She also admitted that her drug use became heavy in 1992 after they married and continued as a coping tool for what she called his emotional abuse.
We all knew Kelsey's relationship with wife Camille was at the point-of-no-return when his infidelity and their divorce played out in the media (and on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
) but it was a bit of a harsh surprise to hear Kelsey tell Oprah that his entire 13-year marriage to Camille was like a "self-imposed prison sentence."
Rachel Worth / WENN
Viewers of the hit 90's show Family Matters
always wondered what happened to little Judy, the youngest daughter of the Winslows. Well, in 2006 they got their answer when Jaimee Foxworth ,who played Judy, appeared on Oprah. Foxworth's character had been suddenly written out of the script due to money demands by her mother but the bigger surprise was that the actress later dove into p0rnography and heavy drug addiction.
Ah, the infamous couch jumping incident of 2005. It sent Tom Cruise's public image into rehab. His overzealous display of love in the form of jumping on Oprah's couch and yelling was the apex of a mid-life crisis for a previously lonely actor. It wasn't so much the admission that he was in love with actress Katie Holmes as his actions that had everybody in disbelief and questioning his sanity.
Actress and singer Mackenzie Phillips read aloud from her memoirs High on Arrival
on The Oprah Winfrey Show
in 2009, revealing the unfathomable truth that she was in an incestuous relationship with her father, singer/songwriter John Philips (of the Mamas and Papas) sporadically for 10 years. Phillips recounts that she awoke on her wedding night from a drug induced blackout to find her father having sex with her in 1979. From there she admits that the relationship became consensual, and it always involved drugs. She ended the relationship when she became pregnant and wasn’t sure if her father was also the father of the baby whom she aborted.
Ok, for some of us this really wasn't a shock but many people just couldn't understand why Rihanna would spend even a second of her time thinking about, hanging out, or singing with Chris Brown. The reasoning, as she revealed to Oprah, was really quite simple: she loved him. He was her first love and even being physically hurt by him didn't take that away.
Mo'Nique's Brother, Gerald Imes
After years of comedian Mo' Nique claiming that she had suffered sexual abuse by her brother as a child, her claims were finally confirmed when her brother Gerald Imes admitted to the abuse on Oprah in 2010. “I'm here today to first acknowledge what I've been in denial for for 37 years, and that is I did assault and inappropriately touch my sister in manners that were uncomfortable for her," Gerald said. He went on to apologize for his actions to Mo'Nique and the public.
Evangelical Christian leader Ted Haggard was often an adviser to President George W. Bush, so one would have expected that he was living a "clean" life but as the scripture goes, "All have sinned and come short of the glory." Haggard was no exception. Amid a host of narsty rumors, Haggard appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to confirm that all the rumors were true: he had cheated on his wife with male escorts and done drugs.
Photo: Michael Carpenter/ WENN
We all know that Oprah takes pride in helping and promoting people to success, so you can imagine her shock and anger when it turned out that one of those people was actually a fraud. Oprah featured best-selling author James Frey's memoir A Million Little Pieces
on her book club in 2005, praising it for being a non-fiction account of triumph over addiction and hardship. The book went to the top of the best-seller list for over 4 months but thanks to The Smoking Gun, Frey was outed as a liar for having made up several of the stories he told in his book. Oprah had James Frey on her show and grilled him on his shocking fraudulence.
The queen of eliciting celebrity confessions first started her career by making her own confession in 1986, the year The Oprah Winfrey Show went national. Oprah revealed that she had been sexually abused by a member of her family when she was just 9 years old. She's so good she even got herself to confess!
For years The King of Pop had to hear the world speculate on what he had done to his skin; hear people accuse him of wanting to be White, but in the 1993 interview with Oprah, Michael Jackson revealed that his hypo-pigmentation was a result of having vitiligo, a genetic disease that causes de-pigmentation of the skin. It was in the same interview that MJ also admitted to having plastic surgery but not as many as people had thought. It stands today that Oprah's interview with Michael Jackson is the most watched interview in TV history.
After miraculously going from 300 pounds and a size 26 to 150 pounds and a size 6, attorney and former host of The View Star Jones refused to publicly address her weight loss truthfully. She even pressured her co-hosts of The View to keep her weight-loss secret which led them to lie on her behalf. The public and her fans grew increasingly wary of her covering up what they had suspected. Finally, after 6 years and a diagnosis of heart disease Star came clean to Oprah that the secret to her transformation was gastric by-pass surgery. Jones said she previously did not want to speak on her surgery because she was embarrassed and insecure about having not been able to lose weight or stay healthy on her own and feared that she might fail to keep the weight off after the surgery.