Oprah Winfrey has spoken out after she was confronted by a man claiming to be her secret son outside of the Late Show in New York earlier this month.
The startled American star could be seen in an awkward encounter with Calvin Mitchell, who claimed to have been raised by the presenter before they became estranged 20 years ago.
Oprah, 62, can be seen acknowledging the now truck-driver’s presence, putting her hand on his chest as he attempted to engage her in conversation.
Setting the record straight after the pictures surfaced online, she said: “I met Calvin around the early ‘90s, I think it was 1992.”
She added to Entertainment Tonight: “I was doing a film for television called There Are No Children Here. We were shooting in the projects in Chicago and I was sitting on set during a break, and this cute little sparkly-eyed boy came underneath the yellow tape to hand me a soda.”
Oprah admitted she was so “charmed” by him that she engaged in conversation with him and discovered his mum didn’t have a job and they lived in the projects.
She added that she and partner Stedman Graham decided to take him under their wing and paid for him to go to a local private school while also finding a job for his mother.
He was later expelled and Oprah decided to send him to a private boarding school in Mississippi which she thought would be better for him, but at 16 he left after claiming “the teachers didn’t like him”.
“I said, ‘Calvin, this is the moment. This is a seminal moment for you. I know you are 16 and can’t see the road ahead, but if you leave this school and refuse to get an education – I have tried to offer you an education twice – there isn’t another school I can put you in. If you leave this school, I am done. There is nothing else I can do.’ And that was my last conversation with Calvin in the early ’90s.”
When he approached her earlier this month the 62-year-old says she didn’t instantly recognise him but tried to contact him after the run-in.
But when she found out it was a set up, reportedly masterminded by the National Enquirer, she no longer wanted to speak to him, saying she was “disappointed”.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but it was the only way to get in touch with you,” Mitchell reportedly told the star outside the studio, referring to a recent interview where he discussed their relationship.
During the interview Mitchell spoke about his relationship with the media mogul – who he claims referred to him as “her son”.
Mitchell told RadarOnline: “I want to ask Oprah, ‘Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me?’
“We had a close relationship. Oprah and Stedman were like family to me.”
He told the site that the legendary star coughed up the cash for his expensive education at The Piney Woods School, a prestigious Christian-based boarding school.
But when he dropped out of the school, Oprah turned her back on the teen.
“I was young. I made a dumb decision, and Oprah wouldn’t forgive me,” he said. “I feel like what she did was wrong.”