The Curious Case of Oprah's Secret Half-Sister

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On Thursday, the Queen of Daytime confessed to fans she had a family secret that "literally shook me to my core"--a secret she'd reveal on Monday's show. As teasers for the episode circulated television and the web, tabloids boiled over with gossip and speculation. Does Oprah have a long-lost daughter? Is she building a private spaceship?

None of the above. Turns out, Oprah has a secret half-sister she just discovered in November. The woman's name is Patricia and she lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Winfrey said she was 9, living with her father, when Patricia was born and never knew her mother was pregnant. In 1963, Patricia was put up for adoption. In a mascara-bleeding episode this morning, Winfrey introduced Patricia to the world saying she was grateful her new sibling didn't try to sell the story to tabloids. "She never once thought to go to the press," Winfrey said. "She never once thought to sell this story." The blogs react:

  • How Did Patricia Discover the Truth?  CNN's Lisa Respers explains:
She saw a local news story that had an interview with Oprah's mother which gave her information that matched up with what Patricia knew about her birth family. "We realized that Oprah could be my sister," Patricia said...

Patricia tracked down Winfrey's niece who is the daughter of Oprah's other half-sister. The pair did a DNA test and it was revealed that they were indeed aunt and niece. That started the ball rolling with family members reaching out to Winfrey who eventually confirmed with her mother that the story was true.
  • What Else Do We Know About Patricia?  "Patricia is believed to be 48 and has two adult children, a son and a daughter, meaning Winfrey has a niece and nephew to add to the family as well" reports the PopEater staff. "Patricia said that she continued her quest to contact Winfrey so her children could know their aunt."
  • Oprah Has Become Even More of a Sympathetic Character! observes Jen Doll at The Village Voice: "Oprah. Can you make us love you more? Just like us, Oprah struggles with desires and ambitions and delicious foodstuffs. Just like us, Oprah has power and charisma. And just like us, Oprah has longheld deeply buried family secrets!"
  • How Do I Relate to This? writes Gabe at Videogum:
That is definitely an interesting secret if you ARE Oprah (or her half-sister). Otherwise, it kind of just seems like none of our business. And even though we all have secrets and who doesn’t love a secret, it’s not like we can all relate to that thing where it turns out you had a sibling you never knew about but also you happen to be an incredibly famous billionaire with her own television network and so it’s really awkward when you meet for the first time on your own syndicated talk show. That’s not how most secrets work.

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