So it was being reported by the tabloids that Oprah Winfrey had a secret son name Calvin Mitchell ..the young man ambushed her as she was leaving  the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York earlier this month.

Well that story was a “set up” and Oprah talked with ET to set the record straight:

“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.”2DE3A33400000578-3294267-image-a-6_1446072620176


Oprah explained that she took it upon herself to help the family move out of the projects, find employment for Calvin’s mother, and enroll Calvin in a local private school. Oprah and her partner, Stedman Graham, paid the family a visit after getting a call that the boy was missing school.  The family told her that they weren’t able to wake up on time to get Calvin to 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.”2DE3A36900000578-3294267-image-a-2_1446072564184


He was eventually expelled from school:

“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.”2DE3A05400000578-3294267-image-a-4_1446072592977 (1)


Oprah stated Calvin then told her he couldn’t stay at the school because the teachers didn’t like him:

“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.”2DE3A24400000578-3294267-image-a-3_1446072576089


Fast forward to now….. Calvin shows up outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater as Oprah is leaving…


“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, noting that she’s not hurt, but is “disappointed.”2DE3A1E800000578-3294267-image-a-5_1446072599707


Oprah also told ET that it was  her experience with Calvin that inspired her to open her Leadership Academy for Girls:

“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,” she said. “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.”


Moral of the story……  People will help you, but it’s your responsibility to do right by the help someone gives you…. and if you can’t do right then at some point people will cut their losses and move on… and that’s exactly what Ms. Oprah did..she moved on!



Photo credit: SplashNews/GettyImages

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