Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Scandal? New Book Claims Oprah Lied About Sexual Abuse

A new "tell all" book about Oprah that officially came out today is making a number of shocking claims, the most serious being that Oprah lied about being sexual abused as a child.  The source of this "tell all" written by Kitty Kelly is Oprah's cousin Katherine Carr Esters. 

This type of story drives me completely insane for two reasons:

1.  The media will sensationalize and try to bring Oprah the queen of daytime television down WITHOUT any actual proof.  (See: Michael Jackson).

2.  The book claims that Oprah lied about being sexually abused which perpetuates the myth that it is common for the victims of sexual abuse to lie about it.  In fact, less than 2% of reports of rape are made up by victims.

Now let's start with Number 1:

Question: Why do we need a "tell all" about Oprah anyway? 

Answer(s): She is basically untouchable.  She gives tons of her money charity.  And she's a billionaire.  Oh and she's a woman of color.

It's kind of like how Chris Rock made the joke that Oprah has to give large amounts of her money away to keep people off her back.  When you have the reputation of being "perfect" you are a target and the media looks for any opportunity to knock you off of your pedestal. 

One of the reasons why Oprah's show has been so popular over the course of so many years is because of Oprah's willingness to share her story with her audience and let them connect and relate to her.  It's a story about triumph over adversity, emotional pain, and poverty.  An inspiration to many people all over the world.

What better to put a crack in the veneer of perfection than to simply imply (without actual proof) that things may not be what they seem.  That her story of childhood sexual abuse was just a ruse to get ratings. 

Number 2:

My first reaction to the news that Oprah may have made up one of the most traumatic events in her life is, PROVE it.  Contrary to perception, less than 2 percent of victims LIE about their abuse.  If you want me to believe that Oprah is sick enough to make up something as serious as sexual abuse in order to make more money as a television host I'm going to need more than just one cousin talking.  I mean let's be real for a second,  how many families have secrets and keep them hidden when something as horrible as sexual abuse is involved??  Hellooooooo it's called denial.  I'm going to give you a moment to consider a deep dark secret in your own family and think about what your relatives would tell some reporter coming to write a book.  You think they would want the world to know that your family might be disfunctional or even worse have a history of abuse?!  Until someone comes forward to back up this cousin's story I'm looking at her with suspicion.  Women very rarely make up a story about sexual abuse out of thin air.  Every story is not Duke lacrosse or Kobe Bryant. 

In sum, this new book is sure to make a lot of news and headlines will be splashed across every major news site claiming that Oprah is a fraud and a liar.  I'm going to need someone to do a backround check on this cousin first before we start picking apart everything Oprah has done and said for the past 30 years.

That is all.
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