'Oprah's' Seven Most Shocking Tales
Kitty Kelley says Oprah was relatively spoiled, speaks highly of herself.
April 13, 2010 — -- Oprah Winfrey's story is selling fast.
As of this morning when it officially went on sale, "Oprah," Kitty Kelley's unauthorized 525-page, revelation-filled biography about the media mogul, ranked No. 3 on Amazon.com's list of bestsellers.
No doubt, Kelley's portrait of a woman far different from the one who graces TV screens everyday has helped whet readers' appetites. True to form, Kelley -- who has exposed other boldfaced names, including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan in her tomes -- reveals eyebrow-raising tales about Winfrey's private life and rise to fame, including a romance with singer John Tesh and the identity of Winfrey's biological father.
Winfrey has never shied away from telling all about the more challenging aspects of her life -- her battle with weight, her struggle to make it as a black talk show host in a mainly white market. But on these splashy subjects, she's staying quiet.
"She declines to comment," Winfrey's spokeswoman, Lisa Halliday, said in a statement to ABCNews.com.
Winfrey's good friend, Gayle King, offered a wry response to the buzz surrounding the book on "Good Morning America" Monday.
"I'm thinking it's not going to make her book club selection," King said.
While Winfrey did not participate in the book, Kelley culled close to 3,000 transcripts of Winfrey's past interviews and conducted 850 of her own for material. Below, check out seven of the most shocking claims and tales from "Oprah."
-- During the 1970s, Winfrey lived with and dated John Tesh, then a local news anchor. The two shared an apartment in Nashville, Tenn., and worked together at WTVF-TV. But according an ex-girlfriend of Tesh's that Kelley interviewed, the stigma surrounding interracial dating forced him to ditch Winfrey and their apartment, abruptly. "He said one night he looked down and saw his white body next to her black body and couldn't take it anymore," Tesh's ex told Kelley."He walked out in the middle of the night. ... He told me he later felt very guilty about it."
Monday, Tesh confirmed his past relationship with Winfrey.
"Oprah and I were cub reporters in Nashville nearly 40 years ago, and we dated for a short time," he told the New York Daily News. "We remain friends to this day."
Kelley claims she knows the identity of Winfrey's biological father. The author writes that on July 30, 2007, one of Winfrey's relatives told her the secret the talk show host has been yearning to know for ages: the name and details surrounding her biological father. But Kelley won't reveal the information until Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, tells her daughter the news herself, something she has refused to do for decades.