Oprah's mom sure can keep a secret. When you've given birth to one of the biggest superstars of all time, maybe you think it's best to just focus on her. Clearly Vernita Lee was trying to put the past behind her when she gave up a baby girl, Patricia, in 1963, because she couldn't afford to raise her.
Patricia, who is nine years younger than Oprah, was introduced to the world today on The Oprah Winfrey Show. A move that might be intimidating to some seemed like a genuinely emotional moment for both Oprah and Patricia -- who are half-sisters. Oprah called it a "miracle" and Patricia shed many tears over her new-found family members. Which is lovely and refreshing considering what some people might do if they discovered they were related to the media queen.
Patricia most likely endeared herself to the star by not doing some crazy tabloid move when she discovered, with the help of her own son, Andre, that she was Oprah's half-sister. Although it was the threat of tabloid attention that caused Oprah to televise this very personal reunion.
Patricia lives in Milwaukee, which is also where Oprah's mother lives. In fact, it was an interview with Lee that caused Patricia's son to start to put it together that she could be Lee's daughter. But Patricia didn't want to create a media frenzy, and didn't want to hurt Oprah, so she kept quiet for three years.
Last November, Oprah and Patricia met, as sisters. And Oprah's mother still feels like she did such a bad thing by giving the baby up for adoption, which explains why she was also quiet on the topic. One of the most emotional moments came when Oprah turned to the camera and told her mother to "let the shame go" about the adoption. Let's hope Oprah's words are as beneficial to her own family as they are to the millions of fans who tune in to see how Oprah can help them.
Can you believe Oprah never knew about her sister?
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