It’s not too often that the all-powerful Oprah gets her heart broken. There was the 2001 book club dis by Jonathan Franzen, the infamous James Frey incident of 2006, the recent trouble with her school in South Africa, and now an uncomfortable entanglement with the death of Kanye West‘s mother, Dr. Donda West.
Oprah invited Dr. Jan Adams, the plastic surgeon at least partially responsible for Dr. West’s death, on to her show for a segment called “Inside Extreme Makeover” in 2003. Sure, at the time Oprah didn’t know that Adams wasn’t board certified, or that he had DUIs. And hey, a lot of doctors get sued for malpractice. None of the media outlets like ABC or the Discovery Health Channel that once touted Adams’s butchery as genius could have anticipated that he’d be linked to a patient’s death … at least not a celebrity’s mother.
The curious thing about the Oprah connection, however, is that after she took great pains to deny having recommended Dr. Adams to Dr. West, there is no mention of the tragic incident on her website. Instead, her archives still feature an image from the Adams episode, with a caption identifying him as “a top plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills,” and the teaser, “Dr. Adams answers questions from the audience!”