Stedman Graham Says He Won't 'Be Defined' by His Relationship With Oprah Winfrey
By Antoinette Bueno
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Stedman Graham knows he's much more than Oprah Winfrey's longtime love. The 69-year-old businessman appeared on The Kyle & Jackie O Show on Wednesday, and talked about maintaining his individuality while dating the beloved media mogul.
Graham and 66-year-old Winfrey have been together since 1986, after meeting at a charity event. They got engaged in 1993, but have yet to tie the knot.
"I'm defined a lot by my relationship with Oprah, but it has nothing to do with me," Stedman said. "That's how you define me! You don't have the tools to define yourself. So, for me, I'm defined a lot by my relationship with Oprah, but it has nothing to do with me."
Graham -- who's authored several self-help and business-related books -- explained that focusing on his own interests and path has helped him and Winfrey remain on equal footing all these years.
"That's how you define me, it's not how I define myself, which is why I can maintain the equality with someone who is unbelievable because I'm not focused on their development as a way to equalize and create freedom," he explained. "I'm focused on my own development. I'm developing a process of continuous improvement every day based on my skills, talents, abilities, purpose and passions. That's what makes me happy."
"So, I don't care what you do," he continued. "I could care less who you are or what you do or what you've been able to accomplish, because it has nothing to do with who I am as a person."
Later, he said that he and Winfrey also have plenty in common.
"We think the same, we're in the same business," he noted. "The difference is, she does it in the air, I do it on the ground, so I'm grassroots."
In January, Winfrey candidly opened up in a column for O, The Oprah Magazine about why she never married Stedman after she accepted his proposal more than two decades ago.
"In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts," she wrote. "I realized I didn't actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked. I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn't want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it."
"He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together," Winfrey added.
She also praised him for pursuing his own passions and said the two had a "spiritual partnership."
"Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being 'Oprah's man' (he teaches Identity Leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject)," Winfrey wrote. "And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose."
Last January, Winfrey revealed she once planned a sexy surprise for her beau, though it completely backfired. Watch the video below for more: