Famous talk show host, Oprah Winfrey has cleared the air on report of being “ambushed” by her “secret son” while coming back from a recording earlier this month. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, she said it was a setup. She gave the details of how she met Calvin Mitchell in the early 90’s while she was filming the TV movie There Are No Children Here. She describes herself as being taken by the boy and wanting to help when she found out he and his family were stuck in the projects.
“We realized they don’t have any clocks in the house,” Winfrey says. “We went out, Stedman and I, went to K-Mart that moment, got a bag full of clocks, came back to the house, taught them how to set the alarm and all that.”
But those efforts didn’t prevent Mitchell from getting expelled from the school.
“I had a long conversation with him about how disappointed I was but I was going to give him another chance,” Winfrey explains to Nancy O’Dell. “I found a school in Mississippi that was a private boarding school because I thought if I could remove him from the environment that he’d been accustomed to growing up in, that maybe that would be helpful to him.”
However, Mitchell voiced discontent with the school and Winfrey had her last conversation with him in the early nineties. That was until Winfrey got wind that the young man had sold his story to a tabloid.
“As I left, and he was looking so forlorn, he was like, ‘Can I speak to you?’ So I said to somebody on my team, ‘Will somebody get Calvin’s number so I can contact him later,” Winfrey says. “I didn’t realize the whole thing was a setup. When I realized the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him.”
“I learned from that experience, if you really want to change somebody’s life, you gotta be able to spend enough time with them to change the way they think about what their life can be,” she says. “It isn’t enough to give a person a new life or money or a new car, you have to teach them how to fish themselves.”