Earlier this week legendary Talk show host and business mogul, Oprah Winfrey was “ambushed” by her “secret son” after a taping of The Late Show With Steve Colbert. She has now opened up about the alleged secret son in an interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell.
Oprah revealed in the interview that she met Calvin Mitchell when he was a kid in the early 90s while she was on the set of the movie, There Are No Children. She was immediately drawn to him when he offered her a soda.
Oprah told ET just this, reaffirming the fact that Calvin is not her biological son.
“We were shooting in the projects in Chicago and I was sitting on set during a break, and this cute little sparkly-eyed boy came underneath the yellow tape to hand me a soda. I was so charmed by him that I started talking to him about his family, his school life, and found out that he was in a situation where his mother didn’t have a job and they were stuck in the projects.”
According to Oprah, she enrolled Mitchell in a local private school, got his mom a job, and moved the family to a better home.
But in no time she got news from the school principal that he was missing school. So, she and long term partner, Stedman Graham decided to pay the family a visit. During the visit, the family explained they couldn’t get him to school because they couldn’t wake up on time ( this has got to be the most ridiculous excuse i’ve ever heard).
In order to make sure this trend didn’t continue, Oprah and Stedman went to K-Mart that moment, got a bag full of clocks, came back to the house, and showed them how to set the alarm. However, this gesture didn’t really change anything as Mitchell was expelled from school because he barely attended classes.
“I had a long conversation with him about how disappointed I was but I was going to give him another chance. I found a school in Mississippi that was a private boarding school because I thought if I could remove him from the environment that he’d been accustomed to growing up in, that maybe that would be helpful to him.”
However, Calvin again voiced discontent with the school saying the teachers didn’t like him and that’s when she decided to cut him off in the early nineties.
Calvin and Oprah outside the venue of The Late Night Show, Wura
Their paths crossed again at a recording of The Late Show earlier this month and although she made effort to reach him, she already suspected that he had sold his story to the media when she was asked about her “secret son.”
“As I left, and he was looking so forlorn, he was like, ‘Can I speak to you?’ So I said to somebody on my team, ‘Will somebody get Calvin’s number so I can contact him later?’ I didn’t realize the whole thing was a setup.
When I realized the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him.”
She continued, noting that she’s not hurt, but is “disappointed.”
“I could see the little boy in his eyes, even though time has changed a lot for him, and I said to him, ‘What are you doing? Why did you go to the tabloids?'” Oprah said.
However, Oprah Winfrey says she will count it as a learning experience.
“I learned from that experience, if you really want to change somebody’s life, you gotta be able to spend enough time with them to change the way they think about what their life can be. It isn’t enough to give a person a new life or money or a new car, you have to teach them how to fish themselves.”
She also said that it was her experience with Calvin that inspired her to open her Leadership Academy for Girls in 2007.
It’s really sad how some people make it extremely difficult for public figures to help them as they often turn around and rope them into some sort of scandal just to get a quick bucks.
The fact that Oprah Winfrey is still doing charity work after a case like this is quite commendable. You are right Oprah, it’s way better to teach people how to fish than to give them one.