TV talk show queen Oprah Winfrey had last week denied that she and Gayle King were gay to try and squelch rumours in this regard, but experts claim that the plan may have backfired.
Public-relations gurus suggest that that Oprah should have just kept her mouth shut and let the speculation fade away. They claim that she has accidentally fanned the flames, making her fans who had never even heard those rumours doubt whether they may be true.
"I've told nearly everything there is to tell. All my stuff is out there. People think I'd be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn't admit it? Oh, please," Oprah had said earlier said.
And now experts claim that by doing so she had stirred the hornet’s nest.
"There must be a billion people who would have never even suspected it. This brings attention to something that the average person never thought about. It's a huge, huge mistake,” the New York Post quoted publicity legend Bobby Zarem as saying.
Winfrey's high-profile denial also gave rival TV hosts the chance to lambaste Oprah with scepticism and snide innuendo.
"When did we reach the place where celebrities feel the need to announce this?" asked MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.