My media mogul hero, Oprah Winfrey has never claimed to be perfect. Part of her ability to appeal to the masses is her willingness to be open about her life. In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, Queen O opens up about realizing that she was experiencing symptoms of a nervous breakdown. Last year, when she was filming The Butler, filming Oprah’s Next Chapter and trying to save her network, she became overwhelmed with all of her responsibilities and began living on autopilot. She recognized her problem while interviewing Jason Russell who had a public nervous breakdown after his widely covered ‘Kony Movement.’ When she noticed the same symptoms he had in herself, she knew she had to pump the brakes.
Oprah Winfrey may be one of the biggest media moguls in the world, but even she has struggled with being burnt out and overwhelmed.
“There was a lot of chaos going on,” Oprah told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson in an exclusive new sit down interview. Shaun asked Oprah to clarify the media reports that she suffered from symptoms of a nervous breakdown earlier this year.
Oprah admitted, “that is true,” and explained to Shaun that overseeing OWN while filming a movie – “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” – nearly proved to be too much for the mogul.
Oprah said she was, “in the middle of my struggling network” when it was time to film the movie.
The media mogul said she went back and forth between filming the movie and shooting celebrity interviews for her show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” It wasn’t until an interview with Jason Russell of the Kony 2012 movement, a man who suffered a very public breakdown, that Oprah realized her emotions were on overload.
“I was sitting and listening to Jason Russell describe his symptoms…. Saying, ‘Um, this sounds pretty familiar to me.’”
“What were the symptoms?” Shaun asked.
“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down I’m gonna be in serious trouble.’ I was in the middle of doing voiceovers, you know? And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain.”
It wasn’t until her interview with Fergie, that Oprah realized it was time to slow things down a bit.
“I mean, I wasn’t ready to go run naked in the streets. Let’s make that very clear,” she said, making a reference to what happened with the Kony 2012 movement’s Jason. “But I had reached a point where I just couldn’t take in anymore stimulation. Ok? That’s what I meant by that.”
No topic was off limits during Shaun’s interview with Oprah, including her relationship with Stedman Graham.
Shaun asked Oprah if she was comfortable leaving this world as “a never married woman.”
“That’s really OK with me. That’s really OK because Stedman would tell you this, Shaun, if you ever interviewed him, he would tell you that had we married, we would not be together today,” she revealed.
“He’s a traditional man, and this is a very un-traditional relationship,” Oprah continued. “And I think it’s acceptable as a relationship, but if I had the title ‘wife’… I think that there would be other expectations for what a wife is and what a wife does.”
The wide-ranging interview also included a discussion about Oprah’s sex scene with co-star Terrence Howard, which was deleted from “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
Shaun Robinson’s interview with Oprah will air this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on Access Hollywood.
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