Oprah has three close friends, likes when they ‘tell the truth no matter what’


My mom used to always tell me that you are lucky if you go through life with one good friend and very lucky if you have two. I have always taken that statement to mean that you should not open your heart to everyone and not everyone is your friend. It would seem that Oprah also follows this old adage. Maria Shriver and Oprah were guests on Hoda Kotb’s podcast, Making Spaces. Oprah told Hoda about their lifelong friendships. Oprah says she has only three close friends in her inner circle and it has been that way for quite some time. Oprah stated that she counts Maria and personal trainer Bob Greene as two of her closest friends. Despite Oprah’s close knit inner circle, Oprah said that she has just recently expanded the circle a little bit. Below are a few more highlights via Yahoo!

“So, I don’t have a lot of friends. Everybody knows Gayle [King]. There’s Gayle, there’s Maria, there’s Bob [Greene]. And that’s, that’s about it, you know? Gayle and Maria I met around the same time and I never really expanded that circle. Until recently, I’ve become friends with a couple of people in my later adult life, in the past five years,” she explained.

Winfrey recalls meeting Shriver in a bathroom 42 years ago at the Baltimore news station they worked at and striking up a conversation, which she described as a “divine moment that happened because she was one of my true, grounded friendships that carried me through my entire career.”

“I cherish everything about her. I cherish her frankness, I cherish her directness. I cherish her honesty. I cherish her truth. I cherish her sense of searching for the truth. I cherish her courage,” she continued. “Oh my God, Maria’s gonna tell you the truth no matter damn what. Maria gives it to you in your face and then says, ‘And you know what I’m talking about! You already know what I’m saying is true.’”

“It was healing,” Winfrey said. “It’s exactly what you want your friends to be there to do. Number one, you want your friends to stand in the gap for you and say, ‘You are not whatever definition you’re using to define yourself.’”

[From Yahoo!]

I did not realize that Maria Shriver was one of Oprah’s friends. I didn’t even know that they had worked together in Baltimore. I often forget that Maria was a journalist before becoming known as the former wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger and of course, a Kennedy. I am sure being as famous and as rich as Oprah is, it is difficult to know when people genuinely want to be friends with you or use you. I think it is amazing that all three of Oprah’s friends are people she met BEFORE becoming a household name with the exception of Bob Greene.

I have learned over the years the fewer people who truly know you the better. I have a large circle of what I call “outer court” friends and a smaller circle of inner court friends. My inner circle is slightly larger than Oprah’s but I still count two of the four women who were my besties in high school as super close friends. In the last decade I have added to that circle and I feel lucky for those friendships. I love how Oprah says that friends should stand in the gap for you. For me, that is what my friends do. I thought it was sweet that Maria created space for Oprah to cry her eyes out about the OWN Network and then threw a concert for Oprah with her favorite singer. I know my friends can’t afford to throw me a concert, but I love that they pay for my drinks or my food when I am unemployed. Or buy me a plane ticket to come see them because they just want to see me. Or are there to listen to my whacky ideas and be honest with me about, well everything. I believe true friendship is hard to come by so I tend to hold tight to the ones I have. Honestly I do not feel a need to let more in. Anyways, I wonder if Oprah’s inner circle grew by three and if those three people are Mama Doria, Harry and Meghan because that would be amazing.

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21 Responses to “Oprah has three close friends, likes when they ‘tell the truth no matter what’”

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  1. Southern Fried says:

    Best friend from childhood, best friend from college (male), bestie from neighborhood when we had our babies and 3 spectacular sisters, I’m so blessed!

  2. Jezz says:

    Yeah, sounds like she was very carefully tacking on Doria and Meg there.

  3. Nina says:

    It’s really well known fact about Maria’s and Oprah’s friendship and that they worked together. They talked about it extensively in interviews, it was mentioned on Oprah show as well

  4. Seraphina says:

    First off, I want to say Oprah’s hair is where I am at for hair goals on my curl hair journey.
    I too was told the same by my parents about friends. I also read that if a friendship is still strong through 10 years, it will be a lasting one.
    I have a one true friend (I don’t count family friendships – since those are different). I am a Gen Xer. We met at work and she tells me how it is no matter what. She has said to me, if I can’t call you out on things as a friend and vice versa – then we aren’t friends. She keeps me in check and I try to do the same.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I’ve always thought of people like puzzle pieces, and you just fit with some other people naturally, like a puzzle, but you only have so many “connectors” – you can’t be good friends with 50 people, you can be good friends with 3 or 4 people because that’s how many you can fit. (some people have more, some people less, but you get my overall point.)

    I have some good friends from college but they are scattered over the country and beyond (one lived in China for 5 years) so its hard because our lives are firmly entrenched in the cities where we live. So we talk but we don’t see each other that often.

    I’m trying to make friends in our area and that’s hard and it bums me out that it’s so hard. My kids went to FT daycare and the oldest went to daycare at my work, so not local to his school, and by the time he started kindergarten all the other moms had established friendships and its very clique-y. Everyone is very nice but they definitely have their 3-4 friend groups established and there isn’t room for more people in those groups. Making friends as an adult is HARD lol.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s me, too. I have very good friends that I’ve had for what seems like a lifetime—one from grade school, several others from grad school, a few others from work, but for now, at least, we’re all in different cities & states and as I’ve just moved within the past six months, I’ve got nobody local. My friends are the best, but I don’t see them all that frequently; plus, you know, the pandemic—I’ve been hermiting lately so that’s really complicating the making-friends-as-an-adult thing.

      • JJ says:

        Second this. Making good friends as an adult is HARD. Different cities + covid generally doesn’t help…
        And my childhood friends I would have taken as good friends a few years ago have revealed themselves to be bordering anti-vaxxers so I don’t know what to even do anymore…

    • Seraphina says:

      What sucks even more is when you have friends you get along with couple wise but your kids and their kids do not get along. And vice versa.

  6. Snappyfish says:

    Quality over Quantity always

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yes! And quite frankly, I don’t want to open myself up to all & sundry. Only my very closest friends will know me that deeply.

  7. Happy_fat_mama says:

    I’ve had different dear friends at different times in my life. After my child was born, I was reading about attachment theory. I understand now that my insecure attachment with my mom greatly effected the friends I had in my teenage years and early 20s. I learned from those experiences, but ultimately these friendships had dynamics that were not healthy for me. I tend to befriend different kinds of people now. So, in this lifetime I wont have dear friends from my early years that last into my golden years. And that’s ok. This is my life lesson.

  8. Savannah says:

    Oprah is gorgeous and I just love her for saying this! She is very grounded despite all her fame and fortune.

  9. Venus says:

    What about Stedman?

  10. Truthiness says:

    I lost a bestie to Trump and we had been close since junior high. A lifelong liberal. She became a Bernie supporter and then the gateway drug was voting for Jill Stein. Sigh.

  11. Sister Carrie says:

    Way back in the day, my bestie and I would drop acid and pretend we were Oprah and Gayle. (Late 80s/early 90s)

    We would do other stuff too but the Oprah/Gayle moments were awesome. I’m waiting for the day Oprah (or Gayle) and I cross paths so I can tell them about it. I think they’d get a kick out of it.

    For the record, my bestie and I have been close friends since college (30+ years) and we still laugh about our LSD times.

  12. Sarah I says:

    Venus, I’m always late on the replying, but YEAH, what about Stedman. Oprah always leaves him out. Always. I had read that she and Gayle were partners and Stedman is a beard. Don’t know, don’t care, but isn’t that using the man? He seems very sweet.

    • Oya says:

      Some people don’t consider their romantic partners their best friend. That’s not abnormal, it’s a different relationship.