Oprah admits she ‘doesn’t have a lot of friends’

Oprah says that her fame made it hard to trust new friendships

Oprah Winfrey may be one of the most powerful people in media, but recently she’s revealed that it really can be a bit lonely at the top.

This week while appearing on Hoda Kotb‘s new podcast, Making Space, the talk show legend admitted that she doesn’t “have a lot of friends.” She has barely “expanded that circle” since meeting best friends Gayle King and Maria Shriver over 40 years ago.

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In this screengrab released on December 19th Oprah Winfrey during Global Citizen Prize Awards Special Honoring Changemakers In 2020 Shaping The World We Want on December 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

During the broadcast, Winfrey and Shriver – who was also a guest on the show – looked back on that ‘divine moment’ when they met in a television station bathroom 42 years ago. Winfrey also revealed that fated encounter began “one of my true, grounded friendships that carried me through my entire career.”

The devoted gal pals also reminisced on their early years as ambitious career women when they worked backbreaking hours, barely had time to date or have a social life, and mostly depended on each other for moral support.

Not surprisingly Winfrey conceded that once she became mega-famous, being able to trust new friendships became increasingly tricky. It caused her to rely even more on her day one circle of confidants who knew her before her stratospheric rise.

“So, I don’t have a lot of friends. Everybody knows Gayle [King]. There’s Gayle, there’s Maria, there’s Bob [Greene]. And that’s — that’s about it, you know?” she confessed. 

“Gayle and Maria I met around the same time,” she noted. “And I never really expanded that circle. Until recently, I’ve become friends with a couple of people in my later adult life, in the past five years.”

Shriver chimed in that she thought it was “awesome” that Winfrey has remained so loyal to her “core little group” throughout all of her monumental glow-up.

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TV-icon best friends Gayle King (left) and Oprah Winfrey (right) are hitting the road 15 years after their cross-country road trip together broadcast as part of the 21st season of Winfrey’s longtime daytime show. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

“If I’ve had a dinner for Oprah’s birthday, it’s the same — she has a core thing there, and you feel safe in that core friendship,” Shriver added.

The duo then went on to describe that day when they crossed paths while working at the same Baltimore TV station, WJZ. Shriver had been there working all night and was in the bathroom when Winfrey who was about to start her morning shift stepped in.

“We started a conversation. And I forever think that that was, like, a divine moment that happened because she was one of my true, grounded friendships that carried me through my entire career,” said Winfrey.

While Shriver was already in a relationship with now ex-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger at the time, Winfrey says her love life was pretty much dormant back then.

“I was in bad relationships all the time,” she opined. “I didn’t have a whole lot of time for dating because my life was consumed by [work].”

“I cherish everything about her. I cherish her frankness, I cherish her directness. I cherish her honesty. I cherish her truth. I cherish her sense of searching for the truth. I cherish her courage,” she said of Shriver and why they’ve lasted for so long.

“Oh my god, Maria’s gonna tell you the truth no matter damn what,” she continued. “Maria give it to you in your face and then say, ‘And you know what I’m talking about! You already know what I’m saying is true.'”

Returning the love, Shriver shared that it’s “the little moments” that she means the most. “That’s what I cherish my friendship: when we just sit there, like, ‘Can you believe that?’ or ‘Do you remember this?”

“There’s so few people you can really talk to honestly, and that you feel safe [with], and when I walk out the door, I know nothing’s going anywhere.”

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