Entries in Oprah Winfrey (73)


Oprah Winfrey Named Most Influential Celebrity by "Forbes"

Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey isn't just a mega-successful TV mogul.  She's also influential and compassionate.

The former daytime talk show host has been named the most influential celebrity in America in a Forbes list compiled with the help of E-Poll Research.

The OWN cable network executive received an influential rating of 48 percent, meaning 48 percent of the population believes she is influential.

E-Poll Research's E-Score Celebrity service ranked more than 7,500 stars based on 46 attributes.  In Winfrey's case, her most notable attribute was "compassionate."

Lincoln director Steven Spielberg trails Winfrey with an influential rating of 47 percent.  Another director, Martin Scorsese, is third, at 42 percent.

The average percentage for a celebrity is 11 percent.

Here are the top 10 celebrities on the list, with their influential rating and notable attribute:

1. Oprah Winfrey, 48%, Compassionate
2. Steven Spielberg, 47%, Interesting
3. Martin Scorsese, 42%, Dynamic
4. Ron Howard, 41%, Down To Earth
5. George Lucas, 41%, Trend-Setter
6. Mehmet Oz, 40%, Good Energy
7. Barbara Walters, 37%, Classy
8. Bono (U2 frontman), 37%, Activist
9. Suze Orman, 37%, Good Energy
10. Clint Eastwood, 36%, Unique

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network Slapped with Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) -- Oprah Winfrey's OWN network has been sued by a former employee who claims she is the victim of sex and pregnancy discrimination.

Carolyn Hommel alleges in a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court that she was replaced by a temporary employee when she took a medical leave during a pregnancy.  Hommel claims that when she returned to work, her duties were gradually removed and she was excluded from meetings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Hommel was hired in 2010 as the senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at OWN.

According to her lawsuit, on March 19, 2012, one month after giving birth to her daughter, Hommel was informed she was being terminated.

Hommel claims she was encouraged to apply for a more senior position, such as a vice president position, but when she did, she was passed over by her boss.  Hommel alleges her boss, Michael Garner, made her job duties and responsibilities seem “less senior” in a performance review, so she would not considered for the new vice president position.

Garner is also named as a defendant in the suit, which alleges sex discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation and willful failure to pay wages upon discharge or termination.

Hommel is seeking unspecified damages.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Tyler Perry's Birthday Gift to Oprah Winfrey Causes Her to Strain Back

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey suffered an injury on her birthday, and it's all Tyler Perry's fault.

Winfrey turned 59 on Tuesday, and to celebrate the occasion, Perry sent her a flower arrangement.

But, the filmmaker reveals on his Facebook page, "She strained her back picking it up. No joke! Feel better Oprah. Happy birthday. Sorry. :-( Next year I'm sending her one rose. :-)"

Perry started the post by writing in all caps, "I FEEL SO BAD."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey Discuss Feud, His Sex Scandal

Harpo Studios, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Once more, old rivals David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey made amends on Sunday's episode of her OWN series, Oprah's Next Chapter.

They famously were not on good terms for years until they buried the hatchet in 2005.

Letterman admitted that he had played up the perceived tension between the two on his Late Show to get laughs out of the audience.  However, he claimed that their "feud" began when Winfrey snapped at him on the phone when he invited her to appear on his program when it visited Chicago.

Winfrey recalled that she did the appearance and felt uneasy due to a rowdy audience. 

She continued, "It felt so uncomfortable to me that I didn't want to have that experience again.  That's really all it was for me.  I just didn't want to be in that uncomfortable experience."

Letterman apologized for the incident, though Winfrey said it was unnecessary.

The two resolved their differences in 2005, when she made an appearance on the Late Show.

During their hour-long conversation, Letterman opened up to Winfrey about his personal life, including the moment on his show in 2009 when he admitted to having affairs with multiple Late Show staff members.  He said his wife, Regina Lasko, stood by him throughout the ordeal, though he told Winfrey he's still trying to regain her trust.

He said, "It will never go away. She's been tremendous. She's got great courage. She is greatly intelligent."

Letterman revealed that by being so upfront with his viewers about his infidelities, he'd hoped to gain a little sympathy from them.

He also said he is working toward becoming a better person in the aftermath of the scandal, in part by seeing a psychiatrist.

The initial segments of the interview -- which was conducted at Letterman's college alma matter, Ball State University in Indiana -- focused on Letterman's early days as a comedian, his relationship with who he described as an "insecure" Jay Leno, and his being passed over for The Tonight Show hosting job in favor of Leno after Johnny Carson retired in the early 1990s.

When Letterman was asked if he felt he deserved to be Carson's successor, he replied in the negative.

He added, "I was disappointed that I didn't get it.  But I never thought, I never felt like something had been ripped from my hands."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


David Letterman: 'I Have No One to Blame But Myself' for Sex Scandal

Harpo Studios. Inc(NEW YORK) -- In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey set to air on Sunday, David Letterman says he has no one to blame but himself for the 2009 sex scandal in which he admitted to having affairs with multiple Late Show staff members.

Letterman, appearing on Oprah's Next Chapter, says, "I feel better about myself, my relationship with my wife is never better, and it's just because I want to be the person I thought I was and probably was pretending I was."

The late-night host adds, "I hurt a lot of people, I have no one to blame but myself."

Letterman revealed the affairs after a former CBS News producer attempted to extort $2 million from him.

As previously reported, Letterman also discusses his rivalry with Jay Leno during the interview, which airs on OWN this Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Alicia Keys Honors Oprah Winfrey at Keep a Child Alive Ball

Ben Hider/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Alicia Keys hosted Black Ball Redux Gala Thursday night at Harlem's Apollo Theater, both to honor philanthropists such as Oprah Winfrey, and to raise money for an AIDS-free Africa and India -- a cause dear to the New York native's heart.

The annual fundraiser benefits the singer's Keep a Child Alive foundation, which Alicia launched in 2003 to provide treatment and support to families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

Keys had originally scheduled her ninth annual Keep a Child Alive's Black Ball for Nov. 1, but it was postponed due to Superstorm Sandy.  The 31-year-old singer told ABC News Radio on the red carpet that she was also personally affected by the storm.

"We did lose a lot of equipment, but that means nothing to people that lost their homes and lost their jobs," she said.

Along with Winfrey, Grammy Award-winning singer/activist Angélique Kidjo was also honored during the ball, which featured performances by Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Bonnie Raitt and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.

"I'm proud to celebrate two incredible powerhouse women.  I'm proud to bring people on the stage that have never been together and perform quite in this way they will tonight," Alicia said of the evening.  "And I'm just really proud of Keep a Child Alive because this is a great accomplishment for's something that's really important and special and I'm just really proud of it."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oprah Winfrey Chats with David Letterman at His Alma Mater

Discovery Communications, Inc.(MUNCIE, Ind.) -- David Letterman welcomed Oprah Winfrey to his alma mater, Ball State University in Indiana, on Monday as part of a lecture series he hosts there.

Winfrey reflected on her difficult childhood, which included sexual abuse and living in poverty.

She said, "Being born and raised in rural Mississippi, which was like apartheid America at the time I was born, 58 years ago, when I went to Africa for the first time I felt like, Oh, this is no different than how I grew up."

Winfrey established an all-girls school in South Africa in 2007.

The former daytime queen said her achievements are a direct result of her upbringing.

She told the audience of more than 3,000, "That's why I'm so grateful for my years, literally living in poverty, because it makes the experience of creating success and building success that more rewarding for me."

Winfrey had not been on terms with Letterman for many years, but the two buried the hatchet when she made an appearance on his Late Show in 2005.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Justin Bieber Opens Up to Oprah About Selena Gomez, Fame

George Burns/Harpo Studios, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Justin Bieber opened up in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on Oprah’s Next Chapter Sunday night, talking about his rise to fame, struggles growing up in the spotlight, and Selena Gomez.

The interview, conducted in October, covered Bieber’s ascent from Canadian YouTube hit-driver to international pop sensation.  Winfrey compared the 18-year-old to the Beatles and Michael Jackson, and cooed that he was her biggest interview since 1993.

Despite all the hype, Bieber seemed down to earth, saying of his fame, “it’s definitely not normal and there’s so many sacrifices that I’ve had to do, but at the end of the day, I’ve been able to do so much.”

He admitted the downfalls: “I really don’t have a lot of friends.  I have three close friends.”

And he confessed that he often feels lonely, saying, “You just feel sometimes that you need someone to be there with you.  I get days where I’m just down and gloomy.”

Winfrey didn’t hesitate to bring up Gomez, Bieber’s girlfriend of more than a year.  They reportedly broke up earlier this month but were spotted together at an American Music Awards after party last week.

“I am all about genuine people, and I feel like she’s just one of the most genuine people,” Bieber said.  “She just has a good heart.  And I can talk to her about anything.”

Even though paparazzi swarm their dates together, Bieber said he’s never wanted to leave her side.

“I never make her separate from me because I don’t ever want her to feel like I’m ashamed with her,” he said.  “If we getaway, we’re getting away together, at least.”

But whether or not she’s in his life, his fans will have to get used to a woman being on his arm.

“People are mean and people say mean things,” Bieber said of online fans who posted death threats after his relationship with Gomez went public.  “But at the end of the day, I still have to be happy.  I can’t be single my whole life.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oprah Tops List of Hollywood's Highest Paid Women

Discovery Communications, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- In case you need reminding, Oprah Winfrey is a very rich woman.

She's so rich, in fact, that she tops a new Forbes magazine list of "Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Women." She earned an estimated 165 million dollars between May 2011 and May 2012.

Oprah ended her talk show over a year ago, but she remains involved in the TV business with her cable network, OWN, and her production company, Harpo, which is responsible for Dr. Phil McGraw, Rachael Ray and Dr. Oz's talk shows.

Britney Spears ranks second on the list, with 58 million dollars earned. That total does not include her reported 15-million-dollar salary for The X Factor, since she signed her deal towards the end of the timetable set by Forbes for its list.

Here is Forbes' list of "Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Women":

1. Oprah Winfrey, $165 million.
2. Britney Spears, $58 million.
3. Taylor Swift, $57 million.
4. Ellen DeGeneres, $53 million.
5. Rihanna, $53 million.
6. Lady Gaga, $52 million.
7. Jennifer Lopez, $52 million.
8. Gisele Bundchen, $45 million.
9. Katy Perry, $45 million.
10. Judge Judy Sheindlin, $45 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rihanna Has 'Forgiven' Chris Brown, She Tells Oprah

George Burns/Harpo, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Rihanna has forgiven Chris Brown, the ex-boyfriend who beat her up in a fight three years ago, the singer said in a rare interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night.

Appearing on the OWN series Oprah's Next Chapter, Rihanna said, "I have forgiven him," though she admitted, "I was angry for a long time."

The singer admitted she is "very, very close friends" with Brown, saying, "We built a trust again and that's it.  We love each other and we probably always will.  And that's not anything that we're going to try to change, it's not something that you can shut off if you've ever been in love."

She flatly denied to Winfrey that she is romantically involved with Brown again, but conceded that he "was the love of my life."

"I think he was the love of my life," Rihanna said.  "He was my first love."

When talking about the domestic abuse inflicted by Brown, Rihanna grew emotional, began to cry and said she felt "protective" of the R&B singer.

"It was a weird, confusing space to be in," Rihanna told Winfrey.  "Because as angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help and who's going to help him?  Nobody's going to say he needs help.  Everybody's going to say he's a monster without looking at the source, and I was more concerned about him."

The night before the 2009 Grammy Awards, Brown assaulted the singer, leaving the now 24-year-old battered and bruised.  Brown was sentenced to five years' probation, community labor and one year of domestic-violence counseling.

"I lost my best friend.  Everything I knew switched ... switched in a night and I couldn't control that," the Barbados native told Winfrey.  "So I had to deal with that, and that's not easy for me to understand or interpret.  It's not easy to interpret on camera.  Not with the world watching."

Though Brown remains a part of her life, Rihanna said it is difficult for her to see him in person.

"My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me.  I have to maintain that and suppress it and interpret it and understand it and understand that that's not going to go away," she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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