Gayle King Reveals ‘Huge Opportunity’ She Passed on With Oprah Winfrey for Her Kids' Sake (Exclusive)

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Gayle King Oprah Winfrey
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

Gayle King is getting candid about a major career opportunity she passed on for the sake of her kids. The CBS This Morning co-host is Drew Barrymore's first guest on the debut episode of her digital series, The Art of the Interview, released on Thursday.

King, 65, is mother to daughter Kirby and son William from her previous marriage to William Bumpus. In ET's exclusive clip of the premiere episode, the journalist reveals that she sacrificed a big job that her best friend, Oprah Winfrey, offered her after her divorce from Bumpus in 1993.

"This was way back when Oprah had her show and she was talking about giving the show up because she wanted to go into acting," King recalled. "She wanted to act full-time because she loved acting. Her plan was, 'You move to Chicago and we will incorporate you into the show for a year, so that at the end of the year then I can sort of pass the baton.'"

"Imagine, a huge opportunity! I was really excited about that. We were divorced, so the kids were still young, and then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair to them," she said of navigating her career and parenting. "It would be great for me, really great for me! But that wouldn’t be fair to them. So in the end I decided to not take her up on that offer. But favorite daughter Kirby and favorite son Will, their well-being to me was more important than whatever career opportunity I could have had at the time, and I don’t regret that."

Barrymore also shared that after her divorce from Will Kopelman in 2016, she decided to move from California to New York so that her daughters, Olive and Frankie, could be "10 blocks from their dad and not across the country."

"Ultimately, I ended up finding my way, tremendous happiness, a wonderful group of friends, a life that was conducive," Barrymore said of her decision. "The thing that gave me the most happiness was -- though I couldn’t control making a marriage that didn’t work, work, and the failure and the guilt. It took me down for five years, I couldn’t function. It was as if I was letting them down -- The one thing I knew I could control was, if I put my compass, my north star in their best interest, that no matter what happened, everything would be OK."

In The Art of the Interview, Barrymore interviews various hosts as she leads up to the launch of her talk show. The digital series is one of many, including Drew's Movie Nite, The Making of The Drew Barrymore Show and Drew's Cookbook Club, that will roll out ahead of the premiere of her hour-long talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show,on Sept. 14.

Last month, in the first promo for her upcoming daytime talk show, the 45-year-old actress sat down to interview her 7-year-old self. The clips of young Barrymore came from the actress' 1982 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

"I’ve been waiting all of my life to meet you," young Barrymore tells her older self.

For more on Barrymore's digital series and talk show, watch below.

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