The O Interview: Gayle and Oprah, Uncensored
Oprah: We'd always meet in the bathroom. We were, like, "Oh my God. Do you think Jerry Turner knows?" Of course, Jerry Turner was the main anchor who was kicking my ass out, but we didn't know that. Jerry was like, "Babe, I don't even know what happened, babe." You know, "Sorry, babe."
Gayle: I was stunned.
Oprah: It's like your life is over.
Gayle: You were going to see your dad that next day.
Oprah: And that was the hardest thing, because I'd never failed in front of my father.
Gayle: He was so proud of you.
Oprah: It was devastating. But God closes a door and then opens a window. If I hadn't been removed from the news, the whole talk show thing would have never happened.
But I didn't know that then. It was like the end of the world. You are the 6 o'clock main anchor, and there's been this huge promotional campaign. But I learned from that. When I came in to Chicago, I said, "I will not have a big ad campaign. I will earn the respect and credibility of each viewer. I will not set myself up to fail."
Lisa: Gayle, has Oprah ever said anything about you on the air that inadvertently crossed the privacy line? For example, when I was pregnant, I had the show on, and—
Gayle: Oh, I know, I know, I know. When she said I pooped all over the table during the birth. People literally stopped me on the street after that one.
Oprah: You know, in retrospect I might have thought a little more before saying that. But I was talking about pregnancy, what actually happens—and that's one of the things people never tell you. She goes, "Well, listen—"
Gayle: "Next time you're talking about shitting on a table, keep my name out of it!" I was a news anchor by then: "I'm Gayle King, Eyewitness News." And I'd get people saying, "Yes, I saw you on the news—I didn't know you pooped all over." [Laughter]
Lisa: Let's stay on bodily functions for a second. My best friend, Brenda, and I have established the Sunny von Bülow pact: If something ever happens to one of us, whoever's still mobile has to come by every three weeks and pluck any unseemly facial hair.
Oprah: We don't have that pact because it would happen automatically.
Gayle: My only instructions have been to go get her journals.
Lisa: And if something happens to you?
Gayle: I would just want her to be involved in my children's lives—always.
Oprah: Which we would do. Her children are my children. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her, there's nothing she wouldn't do for me. There is a line of respect that is unspoken, on both our parts.
I remember once when Gayle came to my house: I was already making a lot of money, and she was making not a lot of money. And we discovered I had $422 in my pocket.