was a force to be reckoned with—a relationship expert with some of the best no-nonsense, hard-hitting advice Oprah had ever heard. When she first took The Oprah Show
by storm in 1998, Iyanla was a popular author, speaker and spiritual coach. Iyanla's humorous style and life-changing advice struck a chord with women everywhere. Her message was simple: To live better, you've got to love yourself.
Oprah says people believed in Iyanla because she was a real-life, triumph-over-tragedy success story. This teen mother and rape survivor lived off welfare until she turned her life around by putting herself through law school and launching a self-help empire. Over the years, Iyanla sold more than 8 million books, including In the Meantime
and One Day My Soul Just Opened Up
, two New York Times
bestsellers. Oprah Show
viewers first met Iyanla during Season 12, and over the next year and a half, she graced the stage 20 times. While hundreds of experts have come and gone over the years, few have captivated Oprah's audience like Iyanla.
But, for unexplained reasons, Iyanla made her last Oprah Show
appearance more than 11 years ago. What caused her rumored rift with Oprah? Today, Oprah's setting the record straight.