After Arnold's inauguration, Maria said she planned to go back to her life as a globe-trotting network journalist. "Remember her? Well, I barely could," she told the Women's Conference attendees. "I had dumped her by the wayside four years ago when Arnold became governor, and I knew I needed to go back and reclaim her."
When Oprah heard Maria's speech for the first time, she says she recognized that her friend of 30 years went all the way there and bared her soul.
Maria says writing the words was more difficult than speaking them aloud at the conference. "Once I felt comfortable saying it out loud in my office at home, I felt comfortable saying it to 14,000 people because it was true," she says. "I think once you speak the truth—and you know it's your truth—then you don't really care how people respond."