The O Interview: Gayle and Oprah, Uncensored
Oprah: The truth is, no matter where I am, whether Stedman is there or not, Gayle's in the other room. I mean, she's always coming in and asking, "Whatcha doin'?"
Gayle: I really do marvel at this because if Stedman didn't accept me, it would be very difficult for us to be friends.
Oprah: See, that would never be a question for me. If you don't like my best friend, then you don't like me. That's not negotiable. Smoking is nonnegotiable. It's just a deal breaker. Not liking my best friend—forget it! Or my dogs—you gots to go! [Laughter]
Lisa: Oprah, how did you feel when Gayle got married?
Oprah: Actually, I was a little sad. Did I ever tell you that? Mostly because I just didn't think it was going to work out.
Gayle: You didn't? You never told me that.
Oprah: No—it didn't feel joyful. You know how you go to weddings and they're full of joy?
Gayle: Wait a minute! You didn't think it was going to work out at the wedding?
Oprah: There are some weddings you go to and you're just filled with all this hope for the couple. And you feel that there's something special going on. I didn't feel that at yours.
Gayle: But you were my maid of honor!
Oprah: Yes, but it just felt kind of pitiful. I never told you because it wasn't my place to say that.
Gayle: I wouldn't have believed you anyway.
Oprah: No. And also because I felt like, well, maybe it's just me being jealous. Maybe I couldn't feel the joy because I was feeling like our friendship was going to change. But it didn't.
Lisa: What about when you had a baby, Gayle?
Gayle: Nothing really changed between us. Oprah was there. She came shortly after Kirby was born. She came shortly after Will was born. She was there.
Oprah: I thought it would change just in terms of time. But my gift to her was a full-time nanny.
Gayle: Right. The kids are 11 months apart, and Oprah goes, "I got you the perfect gift." And I'm thinking, "Oh, good. She's giving me a double stroller." Back then double strollers were very expensive. But the gift turned out to be a nanny! She said, "I want to pay the nanny's salary for as long as you feel you need her."
Oprah: She kept that nanny for like seven or eight years. But what I love is that even as a working-outside-the-home mom, she was always there to put her kids to bed. She said, "I want my face to be the first face my kids see when they wake up and the last thing they see at night." So it wasn't like the nanny came and—
Gayle: Replaced me.
Oprah: I admire a lot of things about Gayle. But when I think about the way she raised her kids, that makes me weepy.
Gayle: Why weepy? That's so surprising to me.