Oprah Reveals She Has a Half-Sister, Patricia | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

Oprah Reveals She Has a Half-Sister, Patricia | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network


– All these years, I’ve wondered
who my birth mother was, and she lives 10 minutes away
from me in the same city. Amazing. OPRAH WINFREY: Four months
after 47-year-old Patricia began searching for her birth
mother, she stumbled upon a jaw-dropping discovery. PATRICIA: I said, no. I said, that can’t be. OPRAH WINFREY: This single
mother from Milwaukee found out her birth
mother is my mother, Vernita Lee, making
Patricia my half sister, who I never even knew existed. When Patricia first discovered
the connection in 2007, she tried three times
to reach Vernita. But Vernita wasn’t ready. Yeah, I was very hurt. Very. I just had to let it go. OPRAH WINFREY: Despite
feeling rejected, Patricia kept it a
secret, fearing that it would become a media frenzy. PATRICIA: I remember just still
worrying about my older sister, and just praying to God
that nothing gets out. I did not want her hurt. So for months, no one in
my family told me any of this was going on. I had no idea that my mother
had given up a baby in 1963. I was nine years
old at the time, living with my
father in Nashville, and didn’t even know
my mother was pregnant. I grew up for 4 and
1/2 years with two half siblings, Pat and Jeffrey. Jeffrey died in 1989,
and Pat died in 2003. So imagine my shock
just a few months ago– it was the end of
October, really, right before Thanksgiving–
that I found out that I have another
sister living just 90 minutes away in Milwaukee. What’s even more
unbelievable is that she has the same name
as my first sister who passed away, Patricia. So you’re with me? You’re following the story? Both sisters are named Patricia. So to keep them straight, we’ll
call the sister I just learned about Patricia, and my other
sister, who passed away in 2003, we’ll call her Pat. So let’s get back to how
all of this happened. At this point, only Patricia
and her two children have figured out
that we are related. And they figured
this out in 2007, and have been
holding that secret. Patricia isn’t quite
sure what to do next, but she sees this article
about my niece, who is the daughter of my first
sister Pat, in a magazine, and tracks her down at her
Milwaukee area restaurant. ALISHA: OK, this is all pork. That’s your pork. PATRICIA: As soon as I
walked in, I felt so odd. OPRAH WINFREY: My niece Alisha
owns a restaurant called Pat’s Rib Place, named after
her mother and my sister Pat, who died in 2003. There are pictures of
Pat all over the walls, and one in particular stood out. PATRICIA: I’m looking
at that picture and I’m like, oh
my god, that is me. That is me. It just looks so much alike. OPRAH WINFREY: Patricia
approaches my niece Alisha to tell her she believes that
she’s related to our family. PATRICIA: I said, I am
your mother’s sister. And she looked at me like, huh? And I was– at that time,
I think she believed me, but she didn’t understand,
because she got very emotional. And as I’m looking
at her, I’m like, oh my gosh, she
looks like my mom. OPRAH WINFREY: Then
Patricia shows Alisha the proof, all the
documents that seem to contain our family history. ALISHA: I’m like, whoa. This is like really
freaking me out here. Let me go get my husband,
because I must be going crazy or something right now. TYDUS: I’m thinking in
my head that, you know, this could be any crackpot
out here just claiming to just be related to Oprah. OPRAH WINFREY: But
Alisha’s husband Tydus is shocked by how
much this Patricia resembles his deceased
mother-in-law, Pat. PATRICIA: He looked at me and
he said, you look like Ma, you look like her. And he lost it. No, he is not. TYDUS: It was the way she spoke. It was the way she
moved her hands. It was these expressions
that she made. ALISHA: Her laughter. TYDUS: It was her laughter. ALISHA: The laugh, mhm. TYDUS: It was her
excitement, her joy. And yeah, I’m a Marine,
and I couldn’t help it. I just bust down crying. ALISHA: Just something
about her, it is felt right. OPRAH WINFREY: Even
though Alisha’s instincts told her this was
true, she wanted to be sure. ALISHA: I just had
to prove it somehow. So a week later, Patricia
and Alicia take a DNA test. Here are the actual
results of that test. It says that there is
an 85% positive match. And because they
are niece and aunt, it means there’s little
doubt that they are related. Therefore, we are all related. So here’s how I was told. I get an email from Alisha. I get an email from
her sister, Krishanda. They say there’s something
going on in the family you need to know about. Calls go back and forth. They say your mother
needs to tell you. I call my mother.
My mother tells me nothing. And finally, my
cousin Alice calls. And then Alisha calls again. And back and forth
and back and forth, and finally, I said
to my assistant, Libby, what is going
on in this family? What is going on? And Libby says, do you
want me to tell you? This is 10 minutes before
I’m coming down to do a show. I said, yes, would
you please tell me? She says, you have a sister. And I’m like, what? [LAUGHTER] And so that is how I find out. I call my mother and
literally confront my mother with this story. Is this true? Is this true? And she finally said, well,
yes, I think it’s true. And on Thanksgiving
Day, Stedman and I drove up to my mother’s house in
Milwaukee to meet my new sister and her family for
the first time. Here’s that moment
on family home video. Hello. [INAUDIBLE] There she is. Oh. Nice to see you. Nice to see you. Nice to see you. You look just like Pat. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Hi. Nice to see you. Nice to see you. [INTERPOSING VOICES] OPRAH WINFREY: We spent
the rest of the afternoon getting to know each other
and hearing the whole story. So after Thanksgiving dinner,
Stedman and I got in the car. Stedman’s driving. We’re headed for the
interstate back to Chicago. We didn’t say a word
for miles and miles. Finally, he turned to me
and said, what was that? It was so uncanny to us and
to everybody in this family how much this Patricia
looked like, moved like, talked like Pat. It was a “Beloved” moment,
if you know what I mean. The daughter who comes back
from the dead in the movie “Beloved.” I didn’t even know
that my mother gave up a baby for adoption in 1963. I can’t tell you how many times
I’ve done a story like this on “The Oprah Winfrey
Show” and seen the surprise on somebody else’s face. It’s not something
I ever thought would happen to me or our family. Needless to say, it’s
something you need to process when it happens. And I’m telling you
today because my family and I agreed that we wanted
to do it on our terms, and not have it become some
big tabloid spectacle with all of the facts getting confused. So I have told you as honestly
as I know how because I wanted you to hear the truth from me. My sister Patricia is here. Come on out, Patricia. [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Now, I tell you what is so
remarkable to me about you and your son and daughter,
my new niece and nephew. What is so remarkable
to me about this story– and it’s gonna make me
cry, so just be patient– since I have been a person
known in the public, there have been few
times that I’ve been anywhere and not been sold out. There have been few times
where you can bring anybody new into your life and not have
that person, in some way, betray you or use you or
take advantage of you. What is so extraordinary
about Patricia and Andre and Aquarius is that they have
known this secret since 2007. She had tried and
tried and tried again. Even wrote an email to
our offices back in 2007 that we tracked,
but nobody would have given me an
email with somebody saying I’m your sister. Had sent me an email. Had gone to her
pastor, who contacted my mother’s pastor, who then
sent a letter to my mother. She tried and tried
and tried again to get responses from my mother
and other people in the family. She never once thought
to go to the press. She never once thought
to sell the story. [APPLAUSE] She never once. [APPLAUSE] So when I heard this about you,
when I heard this about you, I said, regardless of whether– I didn’t know if it
was true or not true. Now we know that it is true,
that you are my sister. When I heard this
about you, I said, regardless if it’s
true or not true, I had to meet you because
I wanted to meet somebody who had that kind of character. So thank you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] So during this whole process of
trying and trying and trying– you know, I’ve done these
stories where people try and then they’re turned down. What made you not give up? One reason why
I didn’t give up is because I know that
I needed to get it out or get in touch
with you so that no one else would put it out there. And then another reason
is for my children. OPRAH WINFREY: But
before you even knew that we shared the same
mother, because that moment, I just think that’s a God moment
that we told in the story, but let me just
reiterate it to you. So she’s now been turned
down for the second time. She’d written a letter to the
Department of Family Services, and they contacted my mother. My mother said, no, she didn’t– wasn’t interested. And she waited a year,
contacted them again, was rejected the second time. And as she’s rejected the
second time, in that moment, there is a story on the
news about my mother. And she is in front of the
television and sees that story. So when you first realized
that, oh my goodness, we could share the same
mother, what were you thinking? The first thing is my– I, you know, talked
to my daughter, and I told her to come and
watch what I just watched. And she says, Mama, you
know we can’t tell anybody. And I said I know that. Because we had to
make sure, you know? We had to make
sure, first of all. And then you can’t just go out
there and put that out there. You know, that
would hurt someone. I was so moved on the
tape where you said you were worried that you might hurt me. How did you think
you were to hurt me? Oh my goodness. [LAUGHING] That– if that got out, and– it’s not fair, number one,
because it’s family business. And family business needs
to be handled by family. Well, it is now out there. [LAUGHTER] PATRICIA: And it was
handled by family. Yeah. PATRICIA: It shouldn’t be
handled by anyone else. That’s not fair. It wouldn’t be fair to you. OPRAH WINFREY: Do you feel,
now that you have connected with your family, do you
feel a sense of wholeness and a sense of completion? PATRICIA: Oh, yes. OPRAH WINFREY: You do. Oh, yes. Yes. OPRAH WINFREY: Even though
our mother’s reaction, was it what you thought it would be? That’s OK, because
I have my nieces, I have my nephews and
great-nieces, and I have you. Aw. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. How did everyone even go into finding out? I was told by my uncle that my mother put up a baby for adoption before she met my mother and had my brothers and i. I would like to possibly know how to find him

  2. Beautiful..just finding this out in 2019..whattttt..congratulations Oprah and Patricia..family is important to know.

  3. I love your channel! Asking for someone to bless me with some groceries and I will try to pay it forward!! My cashapp is
    $JamielleB

  4. 5:30. Sweet how Oprah's wiping her tear-filled eyes by the end of the story.

    Oprah the highly sensitive extrovert…

    www.hsperson.com

    https://highlysensitiverefuge.com/highly-sensitive-extrovert

    www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201408/how-cope-highly-sensitive-extrovert%3famp

    https://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2017/03/16-signs-youre-not-actually-an-introvert-youre-a-highly-sensitive-extrovert

    https://thoughtcatalog.com/rayi-noormega/2017/03/20-everyday-things-only-highly-sensitive-extroverts-will-understand

    https://iheartintelligence.com/extroverted-highly-sensitive-people/

  5. Wow…there really needs to be a big-screen film on Oprah's life and definitely capture this fairy tale reunion between the long-lost sisters.

  6. That was sooo beautiful!!! To have a sister, to find out you have a sister and that she loves you and that she comes to search for you and finally she meet you and your family gets back that member that wasn't there.. May God bless you Oprah Winfrey and all who try to strengthen their family and others! May God bless all parents and children of the Earth! May God, bless those who don't give up, and those, who had given up to search for their family, and may God brings them all, no exception, if he just will, to bring them all, together and restore all families of the Earth!

  7. I remember doing a viva presentation on Oprah’s life back in high school, and learning about her siblings 😢.

  8. i just crying……… oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh! but wonderful because she gained her family back in a big way!!!!! praise Yeshua!!!!! thank u father!

  9. Oprah Winfrey she had money and fame but one foundest moments missing is not never in her life thoughts she had sister I'm happy for her family reunions

  10. I have tremendous respect Patricia oprah sister knew her sister have all the rich and fame but she walk in tide rope dont wanted media figure she after fame what amazing about it is that all she wanted oprah that we have same mother despite that she forgave her mom what a big heart

  11. As someone who was adopted and reunited with my birth family at 18 I can vouch for that sense of wholeness I feel like I know myself better and I'm blessed to have two amazing brothers who really love me and I was blessed to have a mother who loved me until she passed away and I'm even more blessed that I got to meet her before she died because she died fairly shortly after it's like it was meant to be

  12. i LOVE this clip, i love how Oprah, the great orator and storyteller, depicts how everything unfolded behind the scenes. This is an incredibly sensitive and personal family moment that she was gracious enough to share with us, her audience. I watch this clip riveted and the telling of events that led up to Patricia officially joining Oprah's family. p.s. Kudos to Libby, the assistant, becuz i dont think i would have had the cojones to drop THAT bomb on my boss like that especially if my boss is Oprah Winfrey lol

  13. Apparently the people on here commenting on an 8 years old video don't know how it feels to search for connection with your biological mother and sibling and get rejected over and over again! Of course she's genuine! Ridiculous how Oprah made a show about it though. Shows Patricia is much more genuine than Oprah. You can't take your wealth with you after death Oprah. Get over the celebrity mindset!

  14. She was put up for adoption.. she knows the meaning of family and what it means to have one. That’s why I feel she kept it to herself. Family means more than money ♥️

  15. Geez same thing just happened in my family my Dad thought he was the eldest son and it turned out his mom had a son before him when she was a teen and had to give him up for adoption. In his hometown they let people have their birth certificates for the first time in year and he found out and called us. Sadly our grandmother passed at this point and my grandfather had kept it secret by her for years. We just met he's a cool guy and makes really good barbecue sauce homemade. Now I have an Uncle so that's neat.

  16. I’m an adoptee who found my biological family 5 years ago. My brother (half) also had no clue I existed and welcomed me with open arms. It warms my heart that Oprah welcomed Patricia with open arms. That for an adoptee can be SOUL changing. I’m so happy they found each other. ♥️

  17. Opra,take this story to BOLLYWOOD, you sure will get a movie of it., There are so many real life instances in the past, in indian movies where this type of situation is played out. Call Abishek Bachan & Ashwaria.

  18. Kinda sad that someone who is so well known and rich like oprah would expect to be sold out and then felt so thankful that Patricia did the one decent thing. This is not noble, it is just simple folks being thoughtful.

  19. I cried my eyes out when Oprah said that she didn’t have any Loyalty within her own circle wow I guess it’s so hard being famous her sister is so humble and professional now that is what makes u family this was so healthy and heartfelt the way this was told and most of Beautiful God Bless them all ❤️🙏🏿

  20. So we never get to know why the mom did it in the first place and hid it? We don't get to see the mom and Patricia meeting?

  21. Whatever her mother reason was, I still think she’s a cold person. Kids are innocent, can’t take it out on them for whatever the reason is. I have no respect for women like that

  22. She looks like Oprah & the the rest of the family. U r so blessed Oprah. Wish I could see my son that I had to give up n 1969. Enjoy your sister & her family.

  23. Ok but what about the sister that found out she was adopted? What about how SHE felt? Because you know Oprah is so important it's all about her and her sister not telling the press…

  24. Oprah mother she was a mean lady she didn't care about the daugther that she give away knowing that Orpah have money and could help her , she was a church person with a big secret pretending to be a good cristian! she was a cold lady no feelings!

  25. I really think how her sister went about this is the only ethical way to live. Private life is not for the media its family business. I just want to met my family and have a family record book. I love UK history. I want to visit where they lived and see there lives. Secrets.. Family.. love for family ETHICS!! media is evil!

  26. This have me chills. The thing that just kept jumping out to me was that Patricia did not want anything other than to know her birth family. So many others would have extorted this situation! What an amazing family!!

  27. This and the story of twins who found out about each other in Twinsters are two of my favorite stories. And I love how Oprah and Pat have still kept their family relationship private for the most part since then. I pray for all of them in both stories to have a lifetime of happiness and blessings .

  28. I don't care for Oprah Winfrey at all but this is still an amazing story. Her sister seems so nice and humble and unlike Oprah.

  29. It’s nice to have family. My parents and grand parents have been gone for years just my husband and my 2 daughters just tried to kick us out of our rental home and stuck us for $2000. By not paying the rent. My daughter came for help we took her in with 3 kids we slept on the living room floor and the sofa for 11 months and they turned against us. But faith in God will continue to help my husband and myself being seniors. Family means the world when you find them keep them next to your heart providing they are genuine. Blessings

  30. That's a beautiful story where this lady finds out that a famous celebrity is her sister yet took the matter slowly without thinking about the benefits of being related to one of the most beloved woman in America, Oprah Winfrey.

  31. God blessed you Opera, you have a beautiful, wonderful sister..God bless Patricia..always and forever..
    I wish I was related to Opera, she is a wonderful lady, very carring. Understanding. And God sent to all.of us..hugs

  32. I met a half sibling when I was a teenager. It didn't go well, he was very angry and resentful. I had nothing to do with it and felt that it was not my fault to pay for the sins of my parents. I decided to cut ties because I could see it was going to be toxic.

  33. I love these stories. I did my Ancestry DNA and found out the father I was raised believing is my father isn't and my real father. My real father has been in my life all of my life and I had no ideal my real father was my dad. I even grew up with 1st and 2nd cousins having no ideal we are cousins. Even worked with people I had no ideal that we are family. smh love these stories. What if I married a family member?? not knowing smh. Mothers need to be honest about the men they get involved with.

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