Oprah Winfrey has openly discussed her miserable relationship with a married man that took place during the late 70s and early 80s, often referring to him as “jerk” and telling her audience about her struggle to end the relationship. In her new book, Kitty Kelley alleges that the man is disc jockey Tim Watts and that Oprah paid him $50,000 to keep the details of their affair quiet.
“Those years were the worst of my life,” the book Oprah: A Biography quotes Oprah as saying about the affair. The two dated for five years and the book claims that Watts contacted Oprah in 1989 to tell her he had been approached to tell the story of their affair. Oprah responded by having her best friend Gayle King deliver him $50,000 in cash as hush money.
Watts was also having an affair with another woman (Judy Colteryahn) at the same time. The television host was shocked when she learned that she was not the only other woman.
“Oprah did not mind being seen in public with a married man, but when she found out that he was also having an affair with a pretty young blonde, she said she felt ‘devastated’ about being ‘two-timed,’” the books says.
Allegedly, Oprah was so obsessed with Watts that “she once ran after him in her nightgown and threw herself on the hood of his car to try to make him stay with her. Another time she blocked the front door of her apartment, screaming, ‘Don’t go, don’t leave,’ and then threw his keys down the toilet.” The book says that this was the story Oprah “later told Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, attributing it to her more benign relationship with Bubba Taylor.”
Oprah’s struggle with her self image is evident in the book. “During her affair with Watts, Oprah was living well in Baltimore, making $100,000 a year. She described herself then as young, attractive, and still slim. ‘I had so much going for me, but I still thought I was nothing without a man.’”
The books said that Oprah spoke about the affair to London’s Daily Mail, vowing to never let it happen again. “I will never be in a position where I love someone else more than myself, where I give over my power to someone else. I will never be in a position where I get in my car and follow them to see if they are going where they said they were going. And I’ll never be in a position where I’m looking in someone’s pocket or their wallet, or checking who they are on the phone with. And I will never be in the position where, if they lie to me more than once, I don’t end that relationship.”
Kitty Kelley’s salacious new book, Oprah: A Biography hit stores on Tuesday, April 13.