Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King reveal what led to their ‘beautiful’ 46-year friendship

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 (Getty Images for Oprah)
(Getty Images for Oprah)

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King have opened up about their lengthy friendship and revealed how it first started nearly 46 years ago.

Winfrey, 68, and King, 67, discussed how a sleepover during a snowstorm led to their friendship during a recent interview with People, with the friends recalling how they’d spent the entire night talking.

They recalled how, back when Winfrey was a 22-year-old news anchor in Baltimore, Maryland, she offered King, who was a 21-year-old production assistant at the time, a place to stay for the evening. According to the longtime friends, they had barely known each other yet, but Winfrey didn’t want King to get stranded during a heavy snow storm.

“We ended up talking all night long,” the former talk-show host recalled. She gave her friend a toothbrush and dress to wear the next day, with King still able to recall that the dress was “purple with scoop neck and bell sleeves”.

“We’ve literally been friends ever since,” Winfrey added.

The pair also highlighted their differences, as King said that she is someone who “loves a good soiree,” while Winfrey said that she prefers to stay home and read a book.

Despite their differences, Winfrey and King have maintained a close bond over the years, which they noted doesn’t go unnoticed, as the pair revealed that they are often approached by strangers who are inspired by their relationship.

“I always get: ‘This is my Oprah,’” King explained. “It’s one of the biggest compliments.”

“And I always get: ‘This is my Gayle,’” Winfrey added. “I understand what that means: long-term, standing in the gap, no matter what I’m here for you.”

King then emphasised how much she values Winfrey and how often she turns to her for guidance. “And on the flip side, I [can] trust her about anything,” she said. “Her advice is always very good.”

In agreement, Winfrey said she and King have a “beautiful friendship” and described how lucky she feels to have found someone who is truly “happy for [her] happiness”.

“People will find this hard to believe, but we’ve never had a serious argument,” she said. “It certainly is a beautiful friendship.”

Winfrey has previously opened up about King and how much she means to her. In April of last year, Winfrey and neuroscientist Dr Bruce D Perry made an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show to discuss their book, What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.

During the interview, Winfrey acknowledged that, throughout her years of hosting The Oprah Winfrey Show, she “never had therapy”. However, she said that she did have King as a form of “regulation,” as they’d talk each night, which made Winfrey feel “calmer”.

“Every night after the show, I would come home, and I would have these sessions with Gayle where we talked about what happened on the show, or what didn’t happen on the show, and that was the way I kind of regulated myself,” Winfrey explained. “So, I would talk to Gayle before bed, and then I would be calmer.”

However, Winfrey said she didn’t come to the realisation about King until she started writing and re-reading her book.

“I realised: ‘Oh Gayle was what I used for my sense of regulation,’ and is still the person in my life,” she added. “I have probably three people in my life who are going to tell me the truth no matter what.”

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