The secret is out! Oprah Winfrey has a long-lost half-sister.
Patricia was put up for adoption as a baby and never knew her biological family. She desperately wanted to know her roots and found her birth mother, Oprah's mom Vernita Lee, but Vernita was not ready to meet her. "I thought it was a terrible thing for me to do. ... Give up my daughter before she was born," Vernita explained why she was leery of meeting Patricia. "I wasn't able to take care of her. ... I did think about the baby."
After seeing a news story in 2007 where Oprah's mom was talking about her family, Patricia realized that she was related to the talk show host. "I said, 'no, that can't be.'" Patricia kept the news a secret until now. "I remember just still worrying about my older sister, and just praying to God that nothing gets out," she said tearing up.
Oprah said on her show Monday that she had no idea that she had a sister. "Imagine my shock right before Thanksgiving that I had another sister living just 90 miles away in Milwaukee," Oprah said, adding that she and Stedman first met Patricia on Thanksgiving Day. Oprah also has another half-sister named Patricia who died in 2003. The family seemed shocked at how much their new-found family member looked like the Pat that passed away. Oprah's long-lost sister first met the family when she walked into Pat's daughter's restaurant. Pat's daughter then contacted Oprah.
Oprah said she was so impressed that Patricia didn't try to sell the story and that she had to meet someone with that kind of character. "If that got out, it's not fair, because it's family business, and family business needs to be handled by family," Patricia explained why she didn't tell the media. "That's not fair. It wouldn't be fair to you."
"It feels like closure for my sister Pat who passed. I did the best I could for her," Oprah disclosed, revealing that she put her sister through drug rehab before she passed. "It feels to me like you are Pat on her best day. You are who she wanted to be without the drugs."