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Oprah Winfrey lied about her past: Book

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey lied about her past by exaggerating accounts of her poverty and making up instances of sexual abuse, according to a new unauthorized biography.

entertainment Updated: Apr 15, 2010 11:10 IST

oprahTalk show queen Oprah Winfrey lied about her past by exaggerating accounts of her poverty and making up instances of sexual abuse, according to a new unauthorized biography.

The book by celebrity biographer, Kitty Kelley, which is already on sale in the US, reveals details about Oprah's past relationship with John Tesh, a popular media personality and claims that the talk show host paid money to keep her lesbian affairs under wraps, The New York Post reported

The book also claims Oprah, 56, sold her body to earn extra money and has even described herself as a teen "prostitute" while her relatives claimed that a large part of her empire was built on manipulation.

It also stated that Oprah's claims of being very poor and having pet cockroaches are lies. One of her cousins Katherine Carr Esters described her as being slightly "spoilt."

"Where Oprah got that nonsense about growing up in filth and roaches I have no idea," Esters is quoted in the book. "I've confronted her and asked, 'Why do you tell such lies?' Oprah told me, 'That's what people want to hear. The truth is boring'," Esters added.

The book added that the man in Oprah's life, Stedman Graham, was not really her partner but rather a fixture to convince her audience that she was "normal".

"Oprah keeps Stedman around because she wants her audience to accept her as a normal woman with a man in her life, but from what I saw during those four years, I can tell you there's nothing there with Stedman. Nothing at all," James van Sweden, a landscape architect, who spent years working for the couple, said.

The tabloid also quoted Oprah's father, Vernon as saying, "She may be admired by the world, but I know the truth. So does God and so does Oprah. Two of us remain ashamed," Vernon said.