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Mary says some of the people closest to her couldn't handle her clean lifestyle and self-confident mind-set. "I lost every friend," she says. "They ran. ... It was just me and my husband left. [They thought] we were 'weirdos' and we were 'God freaks.'"

Mary finds she now attracts a different type of friend. "I can relate to them," Mary says. "I really don't care about the friends I lost, you know?"

The new energy in Mary's life comes across in her music. "It's called freedom," she says. "Letting people's opinions be their opinions and not letting their opinions be my life—not letting what they say in the tabloids about me make me or break me. I know what I am in my heart. I know what I believe about me. That's the freedom I have in performing and looking in people's eyes and being able to smile from my heart."

"Are you proud of yourself now?" Oprah asks. "I'm so proud of myself," Mary says.
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FROM: Breakfast with Oprah
Published on February 01, 2006

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