Oprah Winfrey Reveals Why She and Stedman Graham Make So Little Appearances Together

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Gwyneth Paltrow is taking Goop to a whole new level.

The 45-year-old actress revealed on Thursday that the lifestyle brand she founded is launching "The Goop Podcast," with new episodes released every Thursday at 6 a.m. ET.

Naturally, Paltrow had to go big with the podcast's inaugural episode, nabbing Oprah Winfrey as her first special guest. During the one hour, 16-minute conversation, the two talk about everything from motherhood to the reason why Winfrey and her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, make so little public appearances together.

Winfrey admits that she used to be bothered by the inaccurate tabloid stories that were constantly being written about her. She says she would ask her close pal, the late Maya Angelou, for advice, who would tell her, "'But babe, you don’t have anything to do with that ... You're not in it. It has nothing to actually do with you. It has to do with whoever sat down at that computer that moment.'"

"I’ve lived, as you have lived, every other week in the tabloids ... It's also why I stopped making as many public appearances with Stedman," Winfrey says of Graham, whom she first met at a charity event in 1986. "Because I realized that every time there's a new photograph, there's a new story. It's an invitation."

"I picture it: they've got the pictures on the wall," she adds. "'What do we have this week? What expression do we have? What can we create out of that?'"

Another highlight is when the two start discussing motherhood. Paltrow shares two kids -- Apple, 13, and Moses, 11 -- with her ex-husband, Chris Martin, while Winfrey has refrained from having children. She explains to the blond beauty that she never really felt the desire to have kids, and has found other ways to use her nurturing instincts over the years, like with her work in Johannesburg, South Africa. There, she created the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, a boarding school for young women in grades eight through 12.

"So, I was searching even for that: What is the higher ground for me? Where will I be able to find my instinct for nurturing and caring and support for other people? Where will that show up for me, and how will that show up for me?" she shares. "[They're] my beautiful South African daughters. I don't have that parenting thing of, 'You gotta do well, 'cause it makes me look good.' I just have your highest well-being as my only agenda."

Paltrow loved Winfrey's reply, saying, "That, to me, is the ideal characteristic of a mother ... It’s so funny because you're technically not a mother, and that is the most profound and insightful sentence about mothering. You just really crystallized something for me there.'

Despite Winfrey's decision to abstain from having children years ago, she tells Paltrow that she often felt pressured to have kids, even by some of her closest friends, like Gayle King.

"I don't think I would have been a good mother for baby children, because I need you to talk to me, and I need you to tell me what's wrong," the A Wrinkle in Time star confesses. "I can't just figure it out. And I was always -- I knew this about myself. I was always better with kids once they turned two-and-a-half, three. I had a real resonance with them. Gayle was like, 'Don't you love babies?' I was like, 'Oh, babies are fine.' … It didn't feel like it was for me."

Winfrey also opens up about her relationship with Angelou, whom she says was, in many ways, her "mother figure."

"My biological mother didn't have the opportunity to be educated, being raised in the south, being a domestic worker her whole life," she explains. "She didn't have the opportunities that Maya Angelou so fortunately had been exposed to. My mother couldn't give me what Maya had."

"I needed a mother like Maya to mentor me through this whole fame process," she adds. "She was my grounding tool for it all. I learned my greatest lessons from her. She was my comfort. She was my nurturer. She was my inspiration. She was the person who was saying, 'You can do it, babe, you can do it.' She'd say, 'Take it all the way.'"


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