Oprah Winfrey has no desire to ever be Mrs. Stedman Graham.
In the September issue of Vogue magazine, the 63-year-old star recalls the one time she and Stedman — her boyfriend of 31 years — discussed tying the knot. “Nobody believes it, but it’s true. The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together,’” she says. “We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world.”
Winfrey further explains, “His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that.”
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This September, @Oprah will return to broadcast television for the first time since her talk show ended (there was a one-off interview with First Lady @MichelleObama last December on @CBS), joining @60Minutes as a special contributor. But the story of how @Oprah decided to return requires that we first go back to the election of @realdonaldtrump. Two weeks after he won the presidency, @oprahmagazine decided to gather a group of Trump and @hillaryclinton supporters—all women—for a roundtable discussion. Feelings were still so raw that some of the women didn’t even want to sit at the same table. “One said, ‘I’ve never been this close to a Trump supporter,’ ” says @Oprah. “I go: ‘Not that you know of, maybe.’ ” About an hour in, @Oprah could see their guards coming down. “By pressing the conversation in such a way that people could hear each other’s stories without them being politicized, I was able to get those women from different backgrounds to begin to actually hear and feel for each other. By the end of that two and a half hours, I could have gotten them to sing ‘Kumbaya’ for real if I wanted to.” She cracks up. “I really could’ve! OK—everybody hold hands!” Ironically enough, it was the moment when she realized that no one had filmed the discussion that a light switched on: Maybe, just maybe, this is exactly what America needs right now. Tap the link in our bio to read the full interview. Photographed by #AnnieLeibovitz, styled by @phyllis_posnick, produced by @suzannarees, Vogue, September 2017.
Offering up one of her many Oprah-isms, she adds, “Live life on your own terms.”
Winfrey notes that she lives a life of “absolute joyful contentment,” which includes couture bathtubs. At her home in Telluride, Colorado, she has a tub that is molded to the shape of her body. “I major in bathtubs,” she declares. “I spend my time looking for the best possible bathtub a woman can buy.”
The tubs are so nice that even Graham, 66, hasn’t been in all of them. “When I was in Chicago, he would ask for permission: ‘Can I get in your tub?’” Winfrey quips. “And I would say, ‘Mmmmmm. . . . OK.’ ”
Last September, Winfrey shut down a tabloid report that claimed that she was planning to marry Graham. “Six people who know me well have called today congratulating me or surprised they weren’t invited to my wedding,” she tweeted. “IT’s NOT TRUE!!”
When speaking with TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes on a SuperSoul Sunday episode that aired in 2015, Winfrey revealed when she first realized she didn’t want to get married. “The moment he asked me to marry him, I was like ‘Oh, God! Now I actually have to get married?'” she recalled, adding that they agreed to postpone their wedding and then never spoke of it again. “But what I realized is, I don’t want to be married.”
Here’s more on Winfrey and Graham’s relationship:
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