Oprah Winfrey has admitted she didn’t know her tell-all interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2021 would be controversial.
Speaking to CBS Mornings’ Gayle King, Oprah admitted she was just “as surprised by the bombshell’” interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex last March as everyone else.
“Every time I see a story about Oprah, Meghan and Harry, it’s ‘bombshell interview’,” King said, on Monday’s (12 September) episode of her show, adding, “So I wanted to know – what did you think about the characterisation, Oprah?”
“I was as surprised by the bombshell as everybody else,” the talk show host told Gayle, adding, “I was doing an interview to offer them a platform to tell their story about why they left, and that was my number one intention was just clarity on ‘Why did you leave?’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit as senior members of the royal family in 2020. Following their decision to step down, Oprah sat down with them for a tell-all conversation which aired in March 2021.
During her conversation with King, Oprah said: “Some of the things that were revealed in that interview came as a surprise to me and those surprises are now referred to as ‘bombshell’,
“But I didn’t set out do a ‘bombshell’ interview – I set out to do an interview, have a conversation that will allow them to tell their story,” she added.
During the interview, Meghan shared that she struggled with suicidal thoughts throughout her time in the royal family. The former Suits actress also revealed that there were conversations within the palace about “how dark” her son Archie’s “skin might be when he is born.”
She also addressed reports of a supposed “feud” between her and Kate, Princess of Wales by saying she had been wrongly accused of making Kate cry, but went on to describe her sister-in-law as a “good person”.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry told Winfrey that a distance had formed between him and his brother after deciding to leave the royal family.
When King asked Oprah about a possible royal family reconciliation in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, she said: “I do not get into people’s family matters. Everybody who has experienced some challenges in their families with in-laws or brothers or sisters knows how difficult some of those situations can be and I’m sure that you know for the royal family, it’s no different.”
Oprah and King’s interview was recorded at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival, ahead of the world premiere of a documentary about the late Hollywood icon Sidney Poutier.
Oprah is one of the producers of the film, alongwith Derik Murray.
Her comments about the interview come after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reunited with the Prince and Princess of Wales to view floral tributes left in memory of the Queen at Windsor Castle.
The moment was their first public meeting since they were last seen together at the National Service of Thanksgiving during the Queen’s jubilee in June.
In an interview with Extra magazine, earlier this week, Oprah also said she hopes the Duke and Duchess of Sussex can use the opportunity to make peace with their family members.