Oprah will be the first one to admit that as of late, she doesn’t “have a lot of friends.”
“You know, I had become friends with a couple of people in my later adult life in the past five years…” she shared on a recent episode of the Making Space with Hoda Kotb podcast.
She then spoke of Maria Shriver, Gayle King (of course), and personal trainer Bob Greene. “That’s about it, you know?,” she said, before pointing out that she’s been friends with King and Shriver for 42 years now.
Oprah also described the “spiritual connection” that took place when she and Shriver first met: “I first met her in the bathroom [while working at] WJZ-TV early in the morning. I was coming in to do the morning cut-ins and she was doing evening magazine and had been up all night. [She] was in the bathroom, literally, splashing water on her face, and we started a conversation.”
“I forever think that that was a divine moment that happened because she was one of my true, grounded friendships that carried me through my entire career.”
Shriver, 65, goes on to share her relationship with Winfrey as, “deep, simple, low-maintenance, trustful, loyal, constant, consistent, honest, tried and true.”
And for Shriver, it was Winfrey’s simple gestures that led the pair to strengthen their bond.
“It was so moving to me because … that’s not how I grew up, you know? Nobody brought a cup of coffee or a cup of water to me,” Shriver said. “In a funny way, even though I had a very close relationship with my mother, I wasn’t nurtured, mothered in that way, right? And [Oprah] wasn’t mothered in her own way. But I think, in a way, we have mothered each other.”
And when it comes to Greene, a personal trainer, he has been monumental in her health journey.
“Bob Greene was the answer to my prayers,” Winfrey wrote in the foreword of Greene’s 2008 book, The Best Life Diet. “When I first met Bob at that last-ditch-effort spa in Colorado, I thought for sure he was judging and labeling me as I had already judged and labeled myself — fat and out of control. Bob, it turned out, wasn’t judging me at all. He really understood.”
Winfrey added that “working with Bob has been priceless therapy.”
And last but not least, Winfrey’s friendship with King, 66, is one of the most highlighted. In July, Winfrey spoke of their long-lasting bond.
“Surround yourself with someone who is as happy for your happiness as you are for your happiness,” Winfrey said in an Oprah Daily video. “You need friends that are happy in their own lives so that they can actually be authentically happy for you.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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