*Media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey has been implicated by a judge who claims she participated in her father’s scheme to screw her stepmom out of profits for the sale of their barber shop, TMZ reports.
In divorce documents–acquired by TMZ–Vernon and Barbara Winfrey filed conflicting petitions for divorce, but the judge granted hers and rejected his. The ruling followed accusations that Vernon was an adulterer and engaged in “inappropriate marital conduct.”
TMZ reports that Vernon put the barbershop into foreclosure. This decision normally results in zero dollars for the owner. But according to the judge, Vernon knew his billionaire offspring would purchase the barbershop out of foreclosure and give him the title, forcing Barbara out of the picture.
Like clockwork, that’s exactly what happened.
Sources say when the barbershop went into foreclosure, Oprah’s trust purchased it and deeded it to O’s dad and his business partner, leaving her stepmom empty handed.
Sounds like some funny business took place. But you know what they say, blood is thicker than water (unless it’s in the Gulf of Mexico).
*Oprah Winfrey agreed to reach into her own deep pockets to help her father Vernon Winfrey divorce his wife Barbara, according to the National Enquirer.
Vernon Winfrey, 79, decided to break up with Barbara, his wife of 12 years, after growing impatient with her spending habits, which he says almost cost him his barbershop business. After confiding his concerns to his daughter’s long-term partner Stedman Graham, Oprah stepped in to help.
Vernon said: ”One day when Stedman was in town for a speaking engagement, I told him over dinner what was going on and that I didn’t know how I was going to handle it but I wanted out of my marriage.
”He asked if I needed help and I said ‘Yes I believe so’. He immediately told Oprah and she told me to hire attorneys and she would take care of it.”
Vernon filed for divorce in June and claims his wife spent most of his money and is refusing to leave the $1.6 million Nashville home Oprah bought for him.
He told the Enquirer: ”I’ve filed for divorce and moved out of the beautiful home Oprah bought me to live in but I don’t own it. Barbara was spending money as if I were Oprah.”
Vernon’s soon-to-be ex-wife Barbara Winfrey claims that 80-year-old Vernon [Watch his birthday video below.] is taking bad advice from people, without naming her stepdaughter, Oprah, and suggests that Oprah is forcing her out of her husband’s life with the purchase. She told local NBC station WSMV-TV: ”I know what is going on. I’m tired of it, and I’ve had enough.”
Vernon, who filed for divorce from Barbara on Tuesday (July 3), has run the barbershop for 50 years and it is considered a fixture in his community. A year ago, he and Barbara bought a new building, refurbished it and moved the business into it.
However, Barbara revealed that they owed the bank $481,000 and that the business was only worth $350,000 before the bank auctioned it off. Oprah was the highest bidder and completed the sale for $475,000.
In a statement to WSMV, Oprah’s spokeswoman confirmed the purchase, adding: ”[Vernon] will continue to manage the business on a day to day basis.”
*Oprah Winfrey is saying hell-to-the-naw as far as taking a DNA test to prove she isn’t the daughter of an elderly Mississippi man.
Winfrey, who takes her name from her stepfather, Vernon Winfrey, never knew her biological Dad.
Recently her life has come under scrutiny in new tell-all book “Oprah: A Biography,” with writer Kitty Kelley who claims to know the real identity of her father.
And then, just like that, Noah Robinson, 84, a Second World War veteran, is claiming he is her dad – and says he begged her for a DNA test that would prove they are kin.
Well, if you think you know Oprah, we bet you’re not surprised to find out she is not pleased or surprised and said so as she addressed the audience at the New York Women in Communications Matrix Awards on Monday.
“New daddies are saying, ‘Hello daughter, call me, I need a new roof.’”
The bottom line is that the media mogul and billionaire won’t be reaching out to Robinson (and several others making Daddy claims) – and is refusing to agree to any requests for a DNA test.
“I will not be taking a paternity test, ever. I’ve never heard of him (Robinson). I know who is claiming to be my real father,” she told the NY Post.
*Kitty Kelley’s unauthorized tell-all book on Oprah Winfrey will hit stores tomorrow stuffed with explosive revelations about the TV host from the least likely person – her own father.
Kelley followed up a lengthy April 22, 2008 telephone interview with Vernon Winfrey with a visit to his East Nashville barber shop two days later – at his invitation – where she spoke to him for “many more hours,” Kelley writes in the preface.
Among other things, Mr. Winfrey calls his daughter’s best friend Gayle a “heifer,” insinuates that she has a romantic crush on Barack Obama
Below are some book excerpts from their conversations:
“Oprah had a way of keeping my blood up. If I pulled east, she’d tug west. If I pointed north, she was hell-bent on south. She wasn’t an unpleasant child. In fact, her company was a great joy to me. But she did have a problem with directions.” (Page 38)
“It disappoints me that she has changed so much over the years. She’s become too close to that woman Gayle, and she no longer believes in Jesus Christ as her personal savior. That’s just not how I raised her.” (Page 29)
Vernon Winfrey and Kitty Kelley outside of Winfrey's Barber Shop in Tennessee
“Gayle is nothing but a street heifer.” (Page 28)
“Forget about a wedding…It will never happen…She won’t ever marry Stedman because…she’s all for herself and not about to give up anything for anyone. She’s content with who she is. With Oprah, it’s root hog or die poor… (Page 152)
“She may be admired by the world, but I know the truth. So does God and so does Oprah. Two of us remain ashamed.” [He then pointed to a sign hanging above his barber chair that read: "Live so the preacher won't have to tell lies at your funeral."] (Page 29)
“I’m supporting (Obama) on the issues. Oprah might be supporting him for something else…her adoring eyes and all…I can tell you that Stedman isn’t getting any of that.”
[Below, Kitty Kelly plugs book this morning on "Today." More revelations from the biography below the clip.]
Also revealed in Kelly’s book are claims that Winfrey and former “Entertainment Tonight” co-host John Tesh were lovers who shared an apartment in Nashville, Tenn. in the mid-1970s.
The pair both had broadcast-TV jobs in Nashville at the time. Tesh, now 57, abandoned Winfrey, now 56, because of the intense “social pressure” of their interracial romance, the book claims.
“He said one night he looked down and saw his white body next to her black body and couldn’t take it anymore,” another Tesh ex-girlfriend told Kelley. “He walked out in the middle of the night. … He told me he later felt very guilty about it.”
Tesh, now a New Age musician and syndicated radio host, appeared on the 10th anniversary of Winfrey’s show, when Winfrey claimed that they had simply shared a “platonic dinner date.”
Kelley also interviewed Winfrey’s family members in Kosciusko, Miss.; some of whom do not believe Winfrey’s claims that she was sexually abused as a child, Kelley writes.
“I don’t believe a bit of it,” cousin Katherine Esters told Kelley. “No in the family believes her stories (of sexual abuse) but now that she’s so rich and powerful everyone is afraid to contradict her.”
Esters, 81, also claims that Vernon Winfrey is not Oprah’s biological father. But Kelley tells People.com she left this bombshell out of the book because Winfrey’s mother has been unwilling to tell her daughter over the years.