Oprah’s big secret is that she has an older sister that her mother gave up for adoption that she never knew about!
USA Today reports:
Oprah Winfrey has a half-sister named Patricia who was given up for adoption by Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, shortly after her birth in 1963.
That’s the big secret.
“Patricia is my half-sister who I never knew existed,” Oprah said on Monday’s show.
USA TODAY’s Judy Keen reports from Chicago that Patricia — whose last name was not revealed — was given up by Oprah’s mom because she wanted to get off welfare and knew that if she had another child, that might be impossible. Lee said she “wasn’t able to take care of” her new daughter.
Patricia lived in foster homes until she was 7, including some that were “not so good,” she said Monday. Patricia said she always hoped her birth mother would return for her.
By 17, Patricia was a single mother. She has two grown children, a daughter and son.
“Oh my God, I have a family” was her reaction when she found out she had three siblings, Patricia said. One of those siblings, the only one still alive, is Winfrey.
Just before Thanksgiving, Winfrey said, she was told “a bombshell family secret.” The story would have become public and been “exploited” eventually, Winfrey said, “so I wanted you to hear it from me first.”
Patricia is several inches shorter than Winfrey, but the half-sisters are similar in appearance, with round faces and the same smile.
Winfrey said she had no idea her mother had given up a baby when she was 9 and living with her father Vernon Winfrey in Nashville.
Winfrey said in previews for the show that the news “literally shook me to my core” and called the reunion “a miracle.”
How did the reunion happen? Patricia said she saw Lee in a TV interview discussing her three acknowledged children and began to put the pieces together. Her son, Andre, went online and found the birthdates of Patricia’s siblings, including Winfrey. “We realized that Oprah could be my sister,” Patricia said. That was in 2007. Lee and Patricia both still live in Milwaukee.
Patricia kept her connection to Winfrey a secret because she worried it would create a media frenzy. “I did not want her hurt,” Patricia said.
Winfrey called their first encounter “a beloved moment.”
She then brought Patricia on stage. Winfrey teared up as soon as she was seated beside her half-sister and clasped her hand.
Wooooow that is a BIG family secret! Can you imagine finding out that your sister is Oprah Winfrey??? I don’t know how Bunny’s life has been up to this point but I hope it takes a turn for the better after meeting her billionaire little sister Oprah…or as I like to call her “Auntie Opie” lol