Oprah Winfrey was ambushed recently by a man claiming to be her ‘secret son’ after leaving a recent taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Winfrey had appeared on The Late Show to debut her success in losing weight by following the Weight Watchers eating plan.
The National Enquirer arranged for the man, Calvin Mitchell to run into Winfrey after he claimed he wanted to reconnect with the talk show host after becoming estranged from her for 20 years. Mitchell said that the media mogul had once offered to adopt him when he was 11 years old but then abandoned him altogether. Winfrey met the man while filming the 1992 movie There Are No Children Here.
Amid all this controversy, Oprah recently spoke to Entertainment tonight to clear up once and for all exactly who Calvin Mitchell is and what where their relationship stands:
“I met Calvin around the early ’90s, I think it was 1992. I was doing a film for television called There Are No Children Here,” Oprah told ET, confirming that Calvin is not her birth 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.”
Oprah then says that she took it upon herself to help the family financially and try to get them out of the projects that they were living in. She enrolled Calvin in a private school which he has expelled from for not attending. The family said he was skipping classes because they had no clocks in the house so they didn’t know what time to wake up Calvin for school.
“We realized they don’t have any clocks in the house,” she said. “We went out, Stedman and I, went to K-Mart that moment, got a bag full of clocks, came back to the house, taught them how to set the alarm and all that.”
Oprah expressed her disappointment in Calvin’s expulsion.
“I had a long conversation with him about how disappointed I was but I was going to give him another chance,” she continued. “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.”
Oprah said that Calvin told her he couldn’t continue living at the boarding school because th teacher’s didn’t like him. That’s the moment Oprah decided enough was enough.
“I said, ‘Calvin, this is the moment. This is a seminal moment for you. I know you are 16 and can’t see the road ahead, but if you leave this school and refuse to get an education — I have tried to offer you an education twice — there isn’t another school I can put you in. If you leave this school, I am done. There is nothing else I can do.’ … And that was my last conversation with Calvin in the early ’90s.”
Upon being confronted by Calvin outside the studios, Oprah says that she didn’t immediately recognize him.
“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.
“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.
Images courtesy of Splash News