Celebrity News

Oprah Winfrey reveals the name of the baby she lost at age 14

The media mogul has shared an intensely personal story from her past
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has revealed with heart-breaking honesty how she came to name the premature baby boy she lost when she was just 14.

The 61-year-old media mogul, currently in Australia for a series of motivational speeches, revealed that it had taken her nearly 50 years to call the boy Canaan. “I did have a son,” she said. “And I named him Canaan because [it] means new land, new life.”

Oprah was raped at age nine by a cousin, then molested by two family members before becoming pregnant unexpectedly when she was a young teenager.

Explaining to the 12,000-strong Melbourne crowd how the decision to name her dead son came about, she said: “I did an interview with a reporter before I came to Australia and she said ‘you should name the baby son who died.’”

Oprah was heartbroken when news of her loss was first made public by a family member in 1990, and, at the time, she worried the revelation would jeopardise her career.

“I took to my bed and cried for three days,” she wrote in a February 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. “I felt devastated. Wounded. Betrayed. How could this person do this to me?

“I imagined that every person on the street was going to point their finger at me and scream, ‘Pregnant at 14, you wicked girl … expelled!’ [But] I soon realized that having the secret out was liberating. What I learned for sure was that holding the shame was the greatest burden of all.”

The star, who is worth an estimated $3.2 billion, has never had any more children.

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