The real story behind Oprah’s “secret son”

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey was accosted earlier this month outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York by a man rumored to be her “secret son,” a story that the TV talk show giant is now condemning as a setup by the tabloid press. While working on a TV movie called There Are No Children Here in the early 1990s, Winfrey was approached by a child named Calvin Mitchell who offered her a soda. Oprah was charmed by the child and arranged for Mitchell and his family to move out of the projects, enrolling Mitchell in a private school. Mitchell failed to attend classes and was expelled from the school, and then chose to leave the boarding school Winfrey subsequently enrolled him in, she said. In the face of his lack of ambition, Winfrey said she told him she could do nothing more for him and didn’t hear from him again until their meeting this month. “I learned from that experience,” says Winfrey. “…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.”

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.

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