Would having a baby at 14 have hurt Oprah's career?

United States
January 22, 2007 11:44am CST
Recently it came out that Oprah had a baby at 14 and that the baby died in the hospital later. Oprah said that she didn't tell anyone this (besides a few family and friends) because she thought that she would be shunned because of it (not her exact words, but the general gist of it). A family member betrayed her and sold her secret for $19,000 dollars to a tabloid. Do you think people knowing she had a baby at 14 would have hurt Oprah's career? Do you think she'd be as well known and powerful as she is today if that secret had come out when she was first starting?
36 responses
@horsesrule (1959)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Back when Oprah was 14, the world was a different place. I didn't read the story but I am assuming that Oprah wasn't married at 14. And it was even more unacceptable then to have a baby out of wedlock than it is now. Well, here in the USA anyway. There are exceptions of course. I believe that it WOULD have hurt Oprah's career if her secret had been known from the beginning. People would have looked at her differently. As it was, she really had to work hard to get where she is today but I am thinking that it is possible that more doors would have been closed for her if her secret had been known. And possibly, since the world has some not-nice people in it, unscrupulous types may have expected something s*e*x*u*a*l from her in return for what they would do for her since those types would have considered her a w*h*o*r*e for having an out-of-wedlock baby. When I had an out-of-wedlock baby when I was 16 in 1978, the doctor himself referred to me, in front of me, as that 16 year old unwed mother. So yes, I do think Oprah would have had huge problems if that secret had been known at the beginning of her career. She might not have been able to become who she is today. So now is a good time for that secret to come out, what with the world's morals being what they are now. I just can't believe that family would sell her out though for $19,000. It isn't enough! If they had gone to Oprah herself, she might have given them more money than that to keep the secret!
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22920)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I dont think it would have hurt her career in fact it very well may have boosted it...Going through the loss of a child is hell for an adult I cant even begin to imagine how hard it would be for a 14 yr old kid! I also think that her hiding it so to speak says she was ashamed of herself and her child and i'm not one to buy into that type of thought process ya know..but thats just me, and to be honest I dont care for the woman in the first place..Its not that I dislike her, she just doesnt impress me I guess
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
oh thats gossip, she was raped by a family memeber, but it prob. would have hurt her career because of the same
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I had my first child at a young age and I do think that it would have hurt her career. People are very judge-mental. It is one of the VERY few irresponsible things that I have done in my life. My child is now a thriving ten year old that plays the piano well and is in the gifted classes at school. People still look at me like some kind of freak when they realize how young I was when she was born though.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 07
I agree. People are VERY judgemental about stuff like that, even when it's clearly none of their business. Thanks for sharing.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
23 Jan 07
It might have hurt her career. But it should not make any difference. There are thousands of teens that have babies at a young age and for all kinds of reasons. What about them? They are no less important than Oprah or any other well know person. The fact is that we seperate the well known people from everyone else and treat them like Gods. In truth, they are no different than anyone else. We put them on pedestals and then faint with shock when they turn out to be not as perfect as we thought them to be. You cannot deny her success. But she is still the same as you or me. I have never watched Oprah. However, I admire her for doing what she wanted to do and created the life she wanted to have. Many people never get past the thinkng stage.
1 person likes this
@sj_chaudhry (1537)
• Canada
23 Jan 07
yeah i also read that article yesernight. Yeah it was so sorry for her... she suffereda lot...according to circumstances..what she revealed was right i think.... atleast she feel relieved... and she is a big tycon... but above all she is a human...a nd she took a first step towards revealing a truth and i think it is a good start.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 07
I don't think so. She's a very determined, intelligent and highly driven woman. I think she would have been a success as a mother or not, simply because it was her destiny and she really wanted it to happen. I think if she had been a mother, certain aspects of her life may have changed, but I think she'd still be "Oprah". :O)
1 person likes this
@Jellen (1852)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I am sorry for Oprah, not because she had a baby at 14, but because she has family that betrays her. That is the saddest point in this news. Would it have hurt her professionally, yes, I believe so. Does it matter now? Not one bit. Oprah is a professional and a celebrity. She will have followers and supporters, whether she had a baby at 14, twins at 15, or tripplets at 16.
1 person likes this
@arvee17 (730)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Of course it would have hurt her career. If that thing came just when she was starting. Lucky for her, nobody spilled the beans at that time... but maybe she would have been more complete if her baby didn't die...
@mzbubblie (3839)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I don't believe it would hurt her career now or when she just started out. Oprah is known for her excellent role in the Color Purple and as she proceeded to her now talk show, She was very confident and presented some real interesting shows for the media and truth. That's like when her and Stedmen was all in the paper everyday...That didn't slow her career up any bit. She's a powerful, successful lady and with the things she has been doing with the community other countries she is far from failing...
@nibory (177)
• United States
22 Jan 07
No, I don't think this would have hurt at all. I don't know if the story is true or not, I don't recall it ever being mentioned by Oprah herself, but whether or not the public knew this is immaterial. If it's true, this experience would have been part of what has made Oprah successful. Losing a child is a life-altering thing. Not everyone knows that I lost a child, but they do know me as a pretty nice human being. Losing a child is one of the things that made me who I am today.
• United States
22 Jan 07
I'm sorry for your loss. :( I agree that whatever loss we go through, makes us who we are today... Oprah had kept it a secret for many, many years. I read a news story about it today where she commented on it and said it was true. She said it's a liberating feeling now that it's out and that she realizes what a burden on her, it was to keep the secret.
1 person likes this
@nibory (177)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I'm sorry she had to go through that. I found a link to the news story. Apparently it came out in 1990. http://news.sawf.org/Gossip/32459.aspx
@linoleum (200)
• Indonesia
1 Feb 07
I think she will become much more powerful since that incident means that she is not perfect, just like any other people. Many people will knows that all the talks that she talk, comes from an ordinary woman who felt it. But, if that secret found out before she is in her position right now, there is a possibility that she is not gonna be as powerful as right now.
• United States
27 Jan 07
no i dont think it would of becasue she is still oprah she still played in movies and stuff and by time she was doing her show and stuff her daughter would be grown so it really wouldnt have hurt nothing
@Rahleah (187)
• United States
27 Jan 07
I don't think it would have made too much difference. Oprah is a woman in tune with her destiny and determined to fulfill it.
@pearl1003 (669)
• Philippines
27 Jan 07
Really?? I never heard that until now... Wel, if she really did had a baby at 14, I don't care. She is "Oprah" now! Count the success she has on her hands today... it's immeasureable... I don't think it would hurt her career. Although I'm already thinking, why did she hide it for a long time? Everybody has a secret. We have the right to keep some to ourselves. That family member of hers should be sued. He/She is trying to ruin Oprah's career.
• United States
23 Jan 07
I think that she would be as well known as she is today. However, I don't really recall when she started, so maybe she would not. The times were different then. I feel like if she had been in that situation today adn started her career, it wouldnt' have made too much of a difference. She shows that you can make it past some really hard times and still succeed. Maybe the best thing to think about is how it affects her now, in retrospect, and how it makes her even more powerful and influential in her current career.
@TerryZ (22082)
• United States
23 Jan 07
No I dont believe that garbage. They are always saying things about the stars and none of it is true and even if it was it doesnt bother me at all. And I dont think it would have bothered her career in no shape or form. And besides thats her business not ours.
• Hyderabad, India
23 Jan 07
I realize that, by using one filled with disrespect, I have hurt more than ... Oprah Lost a Baby at 14
• Romania
23 Jan 07
i will not have a baby at 14.do you whant to distroy my live.the beople how gve barth oh a baby net do be matur and responsable.the baby is not a toy
@Marie2473 (8517)
• Sweden
23 Jan 07
No I do not think so, She has been true about her upgrowing and about her beeing raped and all of a familymember and that just made her more human. The risk is that alot of 14 years old children will now claim to be her kid =)
@limosonia1 (1559)
• United States
23 Jan 07
That family member was horrible for selling that to the tabloids. I don't think that it will effect her know because she is to strong and has to many followers. Plus all the good she has done over the years. 19,000 I guess that's the going price for hurting somebody. Whats wrong with people now a days.