Oprah Winfrey is still reeling from the time Joan Rivers asked her a question about her weight during her mid-1980s debut on The Tonight Show.
The media mogul, who has spent much of her adult life battling weight issues, still finds it hard to talk about her TV chat with Rivers, admitting her dream of appearing on America’s top late-night show quickly became a nightmare.
“I was 30 years old and it was the biggest moment in my life; I’d made it to The Tonight Show…,” the 66-year-old remembered during a recent appearance on The Talk. “But essentially Joan called me fat. I was called out as being a fat girl on national TV as a surprise and I felt immense shame about it… I could cry right now thinking about that moment.
“Not one part of me ever, to this moment, thought, ‘I should have thought, Joan, why did you do that?’ Every part of me thought, ‘Oh, she saw me. She now knows. She’s saying the thing that everyone else is thinking.'”
In a 2017 interview with TV medic Dr. Mehmet Oz, Winfrey admitted she was stunned by the question about her weight because she had no idea Rivers would be going there.
“They do a pre-interview with you… (and) they did not ask me anything about my weight,” she recalled. “I think the interview’s about over… I think she said, ‘Why do you have the weight…?’ All I could hear was, ‘Fat… You’re fat… She’s saying you’re fat on national TV’. I felt shamed by that experience.”
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