In March of this year, Oprah Winfrey became the number one trending topic on Twitter because of a false claim that spread across the internet.
The fake allegations said the talk show host had been arrested for sex trafficking and child pornography. When Winfrey saw her name trending, she immediately refuted the rumors, calling them an “awful fake thing.”
Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.??
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) March 18, 2020
In the latest issue of O Magazine, Winfrey opened up about the topic and revealed in a column that it’s always been her “worst fear” of being slandered for a crime she didn’t commit.
“Imagine sitting cozily in bed, when you get a phone call telling you you’re trending on Twitter. And you discover it’s a bogus and vile story that you were arrested and your home was raided for sex trafficking and child pornography,” wrote Winfrey. “I can’t and don’t want to imagine an uglier accusation. At first I was confused. Yes, that’s my name: ‘Oprah.’ But I’m in bed in my pj’s and socks, and somehow #OprahArrested is a thing. My worst fear realized. Being slandered, accused of a crime I didn’t commit.”
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She also shared that those fears are tied to her childhood.
“My fear of being punished for something I didn’t do stems from growing up being whupped for minor infractions,” Winfrey wrote. “Accidentally breaking a glass or a dish, getting my Sunday dress dirty, playing in a puddle with my shoes on. Just being a kid. I grew up trying to please everyone to avoid the whipping. It was hardwired in my head.”
The media mogul ended her column on a positive note, writing: “No matter the challenge or situation, I always ask, What is this here to teach me? And even when I don’t know the answer, I know one thing for sure. To paraphrase Genesis 50:20: What man intended for evil, God intended for good.”