Oprah Winfrey Tearfully Recalls Being Raped as a Child by 19-Year-Old Cousin

Oprah tears up on 'The Me You Can't See' on Apple TV+. Credit: Apple TV+

Oprah Winfrey detailed the traumatic experience of being raped as a child on the premiere episode of her new Apple TV+ series, The Me You Can’t See.

“At 9 and 10 and 11 and 12 years old, I was raped by my 19-year-old cousin,” Winfrey shared on the series in a clip obtained by British newspaper, The Independent. “I didn’t know what rape was. Certainly wasn’t aware of the word. I had no idea what sex was. I had no idea where babies came from. I had no idea what was happening to me.”

As she continued to speak, her eyes filled with tears. “And I kept that secret,” she said as she paused. “And it’s just something I accepted—that a girl-child ain’t safe in a world full of men.”

“The telling of the story — the being able to say out loud, ‘This is what happened to me,’ is crucial,” Winfrey stated.

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The media mogul has previously spoken about being sexually abused, and publicly shared the story for the first time on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986. At the time, she said she had also been raped by her mother’s former boyfriend as a teen in addition to male family members.

Winfrey and Prince Harry are executive producers of The Me You Can’t See, a five-part series that focuses on mental health.

Lady Gaga, Glenn Close, and NBA player DeMar DeRozan are all celebrity guests on the docuseries, which also includes appearances by everyday  citizens, mental health professionals and other specialists to help each person deal with past trauma and receive guidance.

In addition to Winfrey and Prince Harry, the series is executive produced by Harpo Productions’ Terry Wood and Catherine Cyr, along with RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen and Dave Sirulnick. Alex Browne serves as showrunner. Asif Kapadia and Dawn Porter executive produced and directed the docuseries.

The Me You Can’t See is now streaming on Apple TV+.