Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Iyanla says that when she thinks about the way she was treated while hosting The Iyanla Show, it gives her shivers. "Let me not say how I was treated because I wasn't a victim. What kind of treatment did I accept? What did I allow? What did I accommodate? What did I tolerate?" Iyanla says. "Let me put it this way—$27 million television show and I didn't have an office."

When Iyanla met her show producers, she says they couldn't pronounce her name, and they'd never read her books. "I didn't even know what to ask for. What I knew was that it didn't feel good. It was painful," she says. "But, Oprah, it was familiar. Hear me. It was familiar. It was home for me. As bad as it felt, it was home for me."

Throughout her life, Iyanla says she'd always gravitated toward people who treated her badly. "Sometimes [when] I would come home I'd just go in the office and put my head down in anybody's lap and just weep. Weep. And get up Monday, and I would go right back because I've got the television show," she says. "I was scared to speak up."
FROM: A No-Holds-Barred Conversation with Former Oprah Show Expert Iyanla Vanzant
Published on February 16, 2011


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