Photo Credit: WireImage
Much ado was made about the big family secret Oprah Winfrey promised to reveal Monday on The Oprah Winfrey Show -- and now the cat is out of the bag. Winfrey has finally been reunited with her long-lost half-sister!
For many years Winfrey believed she was her parents’ only surviving child, after her two younger siblings Jeffrey and Patricia passed away. But a 48-year-old woman in Milwaukee named Patricia (coincidentally sharing the same name as Winfrey’s deceased sister) discovered her very famous half-sister when searching for her birth mother in 2007. Patricia spent three years trying to contact Winfrey with the news and finally reached her in late 2009. The two had an emotional first meeting on Thanksgiving Day.
"It was one of the greatest surprises of my life," Winfrey says on her show, which airs Monday. "It left me speechless."
Patricia was born in 1963, during the time that Winfrey was 9 and living with her father, Vernon Winfrey. Winfrey said she had no idea her mother, Vernita Lee, was even pregnant. Her mother wasn’t able to afford to raise her new, secret baby, so Patricia was given up for adoption.
Patricia said her primary reason for reaching out to Winfrey was so that her adult son and daughter could get to know their aunt.
This has been a big year for Winfrey, who recently admitted to having suicidal thoughts when she learned she was pregnant as a teenager and also dodged lesbian rumors surrounding her close relationship with Gayle King. This is also the 25th and final year of The Oprah Winfrey show, although viewers now have access to even more Winfrey on her new network OWN. We’ll have to wait and see whether Winfrey gives her newfound half-sister her own show!
What would you do if you discovered you had a long lost sibling? Chime in below!