Don't let the tabloids fool you-- Oprah Winfrey does not have a "secret son" roaming the Earth. Just a grown man on her tail looking for some publicity.
In a recent exposé published by the National Enquirer, 35-year-old Calvin Mitchell spoke of his encounters with Winfrey as a young boy growing up on Chicago's West Side. He said he met the former talk show queen at age 12 while playing an extra in the 1993 TV movie There Are No Children Here.
Mitchell explained that he slipped past security to give Winfrey a Diet Coke, which sparked a conversation that eventually led to a mentorship. He claims at one point Winfrey offered to adopt him, but his mother denied her. Winfrey did, however, pay for Mitchell's schooling, but the relationship went sour when he dropped out on two separate occasions.
An assistant for Winfrey told Mitchell: "'He said to me, 'Calvin, man, you blew it. You had something that a lot of kids wish they had.' He was telling me in so many words, 'Oprah ain't messing with you anymore.'"
Fast forward to October 2015 when Winfrey was ambushed by Mitchell outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City where she was to appear on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." In speaking with "Entertainment Tonight's" Nancy O'Dell, Winfrey addressed the incident, calling it a "setup" by Mitchell and the Enquirer.
"As I left, and he was looking so forlorn, he was like, 'Can I speak to you?' So I said to somebody on my team, 'Will somebody get Calvin's number so I can contact him later?'" Winfrey said. "I didn't realize the whole thing was a setup. And then when I found out the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him."
Winfrey admitted to helping Mitchell with his schooling and personal issues years ago, but denied him being her "secret son." She said she pleaded with him to stay in school, but when he refused, she never looked back.
"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," she said.
Thankfully, the entire ordeal taught Winfrey a lesson.
"I learned from that experience, if you really want to change somebody's life, you gotta be able to spend enough time with them to change the way they think about what their life can be," she said. "It isn't enough to give a person a new life or money or a new car; you have to teach them how to fish themselves."
(Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)