Oprah's Aunt Claims Winfrey Lied About Sex Abuse, Rough Childhood

Apr. 13 2010, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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Oprah Winfrey hasn't said a word to Kitty Kelley, the author of her unauthorized biography, Oprah: A Biography -- but her cousin Katharine Carr Esters sure has, and you'll be shocked at what she had to say, all of which we have for you right here on

Esters, who is 24 years older than Oprah, has always been called "aunt Katharine" by the multimedia superstar. In the interview, which Kelley conducted in July 2007, Esters said Oprah embellished her troubled past for financial gain, and remains coldly distant from her mother.

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"Now you have to understand that I love Oprah, and I love all the good work she does for others, but I do not understand the lies that she tells," Esters told Kelley. "She's been doing it for years now."

Esters said that Oprah's stories about growing up in a filthy house where she was sexually abused are off the mark.

"Oprah's grandmother kept a spotless house,” Esters said. “It was a wooden, six-room house with a large living room that had a fireplace and rocking chairs ... I've talked to her about this over the years. I've confronted her and asked, 'Why do you tell such lies?' Oprah told me, 'That's what people want to hear. The truth is boring, aunt Katharine. People don't want to be bored. They want stories with drama.’”

Said Esters: “That story of sexual abuse helped launch Oprah and make her what she is today ... I don't hold with telling lies, but in this case, I can forgive Oprah for what she has done for other people.”

Another hotbed issue revolves around Oprah's oft-questioned relationship with her mother.

"Oprah does not love her mother at all," Esters said. "She gives her a great deal financially, but she does not give her the respect and attention a mother deserves, and that bothers me," adding that she has only been back home three times in the last 20 years, "and each time was to do a show -- it's all business with Oprah.”

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Esters gave us a glimpse inside Oprah's past when saying the talk show queen "was always the center of attention because she was the only baby in the household. And she always wanted to have the spotlight. If adults were talking, and she couldn't get their attention, she'd walk over and hit them to make the pay attention to her.”

Oprah: A Biography hits stores Tuesday, April 13.

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