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Oprah Winfrey gay rumors

We give you the formula for the gossip from Liz Smith’s column to Oprah?s official statement

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Jeez, what’s a girl have to do to get rid of a pesky rumor around here? If she’s media giant Oprah Winfrey, she has to shout to the world via a written statement: ”Yep, I’m straight!” How did all this ”Oprah is gay” buzz gain such momentum? Perhaps this gossip equation will clear things up.

LIZ SMITH

On April 28, the columnist runs a blind item claiming a long-running TV ”icon and role model to millions” is ”seriously contemplating” coming out. Watercoolers around the country begin to bubble.

[Plus]

ELLEN DEGENERES

Winfrey appears on the highly ballyhooed Ellen coming-out episode as a therapist, proclaiming ”Good for you, you’re gay.” This seemingly innocuous piece of casting throws kerosene on the rumor blaze.

[Multiplied by]

THE INTERNET

”I knew it was Oprah all along”-type gossip is rampant online. Writes a cyberchatter: ”For a while now, I’ve had an intuitive feeling Oprah could be gay.” (It’s loud with all those modems screeching.)

[Minus]

STEDMAN GRAHAM

Winfrey’s 11-year relationship with the motivational speaker/businessman would seem to provide proof of her straightness. Then again, the couple reportedly has been engaged since 1992…

[Divided by]

TABLOID REPORTS

Attention is deflected from Winfrey when the May 27 Star reports that ”TV’s most loving husband” is in a long-term relationship with a man. Gossips wonder: Is this whom Liz Smith was talking about?

[Equals]

AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT

”I am not in the closet. I am not coming out of the closet. I am not gay.” Winfrey issues the denial June 4 after her offices are inundated with calls from the ”legitimate press” trying to confirm the rumors. Note to Liz Smith: Can we have another hint, please?

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