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Oprah’s Unorthodox Relationship With Stedman: 20 Little-Known Details

Hollywood couples often find that their relationships are an open book for prying fans. When someone lives their life in the spotlight, nothing is private any longer. Suddenly everything, especially their relationships, is on the table and open for discussion and judgment.

This living under a microscope is perhaps one of the most glaring pitfalls of fame. Some celebrities know that this type of thing is par for the course; they even welcome putting their personal lives on display. Others fight the invasion tooth and nail, doing whatever they can to keep inquiring minds at bay. For them, their work lives and personal lives must remain completely separate.

One celebrity couple that has managed to keep their relationship pretty mum over the years is talk show host and entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey and her longtime partner Stedman Graham. This powerhouse pair has been together for over thirty years now, and despite the constant barrage of rumors and speculation, they appear to be happier and stronger than ever.

At least we think that they are. It's hard to tell with these two because they are so incredibly quiet about their off-camera lives. Here are twenty little-known details about Oprah and Stedman's relationship.

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20 They Began Dating The Year Her Show Hit The Airwaves

The now infamous couple met back in 1986 at a charity auction, which happened to be the same year that Oprah launched her television show. People in her inner circle immediately started questioning Stedman's true motives. The timing of their romance seemed all too convenient considering Oprah was taking off like a rocket.

Besides that, Stedman was both a looker and a charmer. Merely looking at the pair didn't make sense to a lot of people on the outside, but it sure made sense to Oprah and Stedman. They knew that they had a deep connection right off the bat, but even they could not have known that their relationship would stand the test of time.

19 The Pair Has Been Engaged, But Then Called Things Off

Stedman asked Oprah to marry him in the kitchen of their Indiana home in 1992 after several years of exclusively dating. While marriage was never something that the talk show host had pined for, she did initially say yes to Stedman's proposal. What would have been one of the biggest, most talked about weddings of the nineties never actually came to be.

The couple ultimately decided against marriage, but they didn't decide against forever. Oprah revealed on the Today Show that had they gone through with the wedding, they probably would not be together to this day. It looks like they made the right choice.

18 Then Tina Turner's Marriage Had Them Reconsidering Matrimony

via oprah.com

Tina Turner got married back in 2013, and it was one of the only times Oprah reconsidered making herself a Mrs. For years, Oprah was pretty sure about her decision to call off her wedding plans and live happily ever after with Stedman in what she refers to as a "spiritual wedding."

But she considered going back on her decision not to make herself a Mrs. when her good friend Tina got hitched and pressed her to do the same. Oprah thought to herself, would anything be different? She decided no, things would ultimately be the same, so she continued to listen to her heart and her gut and stick with the status quo.

17 Stedman Is A Traditionalist

You wouldn't guess it from his lifestyle of spending three decades with a woman whom he will never marry, but Stedman is a traditional guy at his very core. This trait is one of the reasons that Oprah swears they would have never been able to make a marriage work. According to Business Insider, Oprah explained that her partner's "interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that."

One of the reasons these two managed to make it this long while under intense public scrutiny is that they truly know one another's beliefs.

16 Graham Encourages The Idea Of Oprah And Country Leadership

We have heard more than once that perhaps Oprah might join the big 2020 circus in the near future. She has not exactly put the idea to rest and she has a whole lot of support behind the possible movement. Her recent Golden Globes speech even made people think that this idea was far more than a fantasy.

One of her greatest supporters is her longtime partner; he has said for years that Oprah would make a phenomenal leader for our country. He recently told the Los Angeles Times that his lady's bid would "be up to the people" and that she "would do it."

15 The Couple Owns At Least Eight Homes

Oprah and Stedman have acquired quite a bit of property over their last thirty years together. According to the Velvet Ropes, they currently own at least eight residences and maybe more! The couple primarily calls California home and has two abodes there in Montecito.

There is also a Maui getaway for when the California rat race gets to be a little bit too much. Oprah recently purchased forty-three acres on Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, because why not. The couple also spends time in their ski chalet in Telluride, Colorado and owns places in Chicago, Nashville, Florida, and New Jersey.

14 Oprah Is An Unofficial Stepmother

Most people already know that Oprah is not a mother. She did birth a son when she was only a young teenager, whom according to People Magazine, she named Canaan long after his passing. But Stedman has a daughter named Wendy from his previous marriage. While Stedman and Oprah never officially wed, which means that Oprah is not technically a stepmother, she is pretty darn close.

Wendy is now 43, meaning that Oprah has been in Wendy's life since she was little more than a child. Not all mothers have to bear children to feel maternal. According to Dailymail, Oprah devoted herself to Stedman's daughter in the same way she would have dedicated herself to her own from the very beginning.

13 The Pair Are Also Grandparents!

After Stedman's only daughter Wendy lost her first fiance, she went on to marry her current husband, Bradley Kerwin. Both Stedman and Oprah were more than relieved that their girl had managed to find love once again. Three months after Wendy wed her prince, the couple welcomed their daughter Cadence into the world.

This fact means that Stedman and Oprah are Grammy and Grandpa to a little girl. While Oprah never experienced motherhood from the infant stages on up, she now gets to spoil Wendy's little girl and enjoy the baby with her longtime partner Stedman. Oprah as your Grandma? That's one lucky kid.

12 They Keep Their Life Private By Design

The longtime couple does their best to keep their relationship away from the public eye. Of course, people are forever interested in snapping photos of the elusive and intriguing couple who never married. But Oprah and Stedman realized something significant down the line.

They figured out that with every picture taken, there was a story to go along with it. Often the story got blown out of proportion or was entirely fabricated. Because of this, they now try and keep their images out of the public eye. It had to be exhausting to hear something untrue about their relationship every other week!

11 Not A Frequent Flyer On Her Show

In all their years together, Stedman has only appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show three times. This lack of appearance isn't because Oprah's man is unsupportive of her; in fact, it is quite the opposite. According to Nicki Swift, Stedman is well aware that he is in a relationship with one of the most successful and most powerful women in all of the world.

He is secure in his decision to let her do her own thing without his intervention. He doesn't need to be there, on her show, all of the time. That is entirely her thing, and he has his stuff, too. Maybe this wise couple got this one right. Sometimes a little space is a good thing.

10 Where Oprah Goes, Gayle Goes

Not all men could put up with the third wheel as Stedman does. Oprah's best friend Gayle is a constant fixture in their lives, and she is not going anywhere anytime soon. According to Winfrey's ex-step-mother, Gayle and Oprah are attached at the hip, speaking on the phone three to four times a day.

Stedman could be jealous of his partner's close relationship to her best friend, but according to the Daily Beast, he knows Gayle is never going anywhere, so he has had to learn to be one big happy family. Thirty years in, things seem to work for this triangle of close-knit folks.

9 They Have Been Blackmailed By Family Members On Both Sides

It's sad to say, but not all of Oprah and Stedman's family members have their backs. Oprah's step-mother has slandered the couple, and Stedman's niece attempted to sell a tell-all book about the mogul in a bid to capitalize on the family's fortune.

When Oprah's mother-in-law parted ways with her father, she found herself forced from their family home with no place to live, according to Radar Online. She was indeed a woman scorned and also one with an agenda. That agenda got directed at tarnishing Oprah's good name. She gave several interviews revealing juicy yet likely untrue details of Oprah's life.

8 He Is Wealthy In His Own Right

Sure, most of us know Stedman as the man who stands next to the legend, but he is accomplished and wealthy in his own right. Stedman first received his bachelor's degree from Hardin-Simmons University and then later a master's degree in Education from Ball State University. He has worked as a successful and prominent businessman, a much sought after public speaker, and has even penned a couple of best sellers.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Graham is worth an estimated ten million dollars. That's not exactly chump change, but of course, next to Ms. Winfrey, anything would be considered chump change.

7 Oprah Has A Pet Name For Her Man

Stedman Graham is about the most regal, refined name on the planet. It's hard to imagine him responding to a silly pet name, but if anyone can get away with giving this guy a cute pet name, it's Oprah. We learned Oprah's pet name for her man when she gave him a Golden Globes shout out on social media.

According to Bravo T.V., the mogul wrote that she was "stepping out with her Honeygraham." That's right. Behind closed doors, dapper Stedman is known merely as Oprah's Honeygraham. We get it, Stedman. We would pretty much let Oprah call us whatever she wanted too.

6 She Loves To Cook For Him

After so many years together, Oprah and Stedman still know how to keep the fire going. Oprah has one go-to activity that gets her Honeygraham good and bothered. According to USA Today, all she has to do is whip up some black-eyed peas and cornbread on a quiet evening, and Stedman is putty in her hands.

While Oprah does consider herself a pretty good cook, the mogul says that Stedman is easy to please in that department. She once revealed that she could make him a piece of toast and that would be more than enough to satisfy her man.

5 He's From The North, And She Is From The South

Oprah and Stedman are entirely in sync these days, but the couple had very different beginnings to their lives. Oprah was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to an unwed teenage mother. Her mother worked as a housemaid, and her father was apparently a coal miner. Winfrey spent her formative years living in poverty and enduring unspeakable injustices.

Stedman, on the other hand, grew up in the north, New Jersey to be exact. He was the middle child of six and had a relatively healthy and stable upbringing. Despite their different starts, the couple seems to be on the same page these days.

4 They Have Several Fur Babies

via oprah.com

Stedman and Oprah don't have any biological children together, but they certainly have furbabies galore! According to the Oprah website, the pair have had their fair share of canine companions over the years. Cocker Spaniel, Solomon, was a gift from Stedman. The pooch sadly passed away in 2008, as did their other Cocker Spaniel Sophie.

The pair then changed up breeds and became proud parents to three Golden Retriever pups, Luke, Layla, and Gracie. Sadie joined the gang in 2009, and then Springer Spaniels Sunny and Lauren rounded the bunch out when Oprah bought them as a 56th birthday present to herself.

3 The Couple Describes Themselves As Ordinary

We find Oprah and Stedman's personal life pretty fascinating, but they might not agree with our curiosity. According to Parade magazine, Oprah claims that the couple is like an old married couple. Here they are, two of the most wealthy and influential people in the world. They could be doing anything and frankly everything with their spare time, yet they are happiest when at home, hanging around with their dogs.

It is fun to imagine Oprah, Stedman, and their furry friends just lazing around on a Saturday afternoon or spending some quality time lying on the floor with their beloved grandbaby.

2 He Cried At Her Movie

The interview in Parade magazine also revealed that while Stedman isn't a known crier, Oprah's movie The Butler had his eyes leaking. She claimed that her man loved the film and in their decades upon decades of being together, she had never seen him cry once while watching a movie. But when he caught the premiere of The Butler, he could not hold his tears back.

One part he didn't weep at, however? The romantic scenes his spiritual wife had to be a part of. Oprah didn't happen to mention those aspects of the film to him. Still, it's touching to know that he appreciates her craft so profoundly.

1 He Has Had To Learn To Navigate Oprah World

If there is one thing that Stedman has had to master over the years of being Mr. Winfrey, it is how to navigate the often complex and chaotic world of Oprah Winfrey. People adore her, and she has said that some fans will do just about anything to get a little closer to the mogul. In her interview with Parade Magazine, she disclosed that Stedman has been crawled over by those trying to reach Oprah.

It takes a strong and confident man to live in this woman's world, and it appears that Stedman is one of a kind. There can not be many men out there willing to walk in the wake of the most powerful and iconic woman in the world.

Sources:: Business Insider, Nicki Swift, Today, Daily Mail, Celebrity Net Worth, Bravo TV

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