* She went to great lengths to conceal her "lesbian affairs" -- including hefty payoffs -- and publicly attached herself to Graham to appear more normal to her audience of housewives.
* She lavished romantic gifts -- including a diamond toe ring -- on ABC talking head Diane Sawyer.
Even then, Winfrey knew she didn't want to tie the knot.
"The moment he asked me to marry him I was like: 'Oh God, now I actually have to get married?
Oprah Winfrey loves a good story—but not every work of fiction is a must-read.
The 62-year-old TV titan and Stedman Graham are not planning a "dream wedding" or a " million honeymoon," contrary to a tabloid report.
"I've confronted her and asked, 'Why do you tell such lies? The truth is boring.' " A friend of Esters added that the manipulation of her past is a key to her success.
"Every move is calculated to further her brand and lift her image, which is why she does good works," Jewette Battles said.Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Miss., in 1954, and, the way she likes to tell it, she was so impoverished that she never had any new dresses or dolls and had to adopt two cockroaches as pets, naming them Melinda and Sandy. She may not have been well off, but Oprah was relatively "spoiled" as a little girl, her cousin said."Where Oprah got that nonsense about growing up in filth and roaches I have no idea," said the relative, Katherine Carr Esters.“Because Tina was like, ‘Oprah, you need to do this.You need to do it.’ I was just thinking, ‘Well, OK, would things really be different?Rumors began circulating last week after a source told , "Oprah was making breakfast for Stedman when he casually made a joke about getting married, and it suddenly dawned on her how Stedman has never asked her for anything or pressured her in any way, and how she's been able to do whatever she wants.